Industry Panel Discussion: Conquering the New Normal
To say that it’s been a tough 24 months in schools is an understatement. The last 24 months have forced school administrators into thinking, operating, and forecasting differently—from acquisition strategies to marketing, budgeting, engaging, and everything in between.
The good news is schools are continuing to be agile, determined, and rising to the challenges with superhero adaptability and strength. According to the latest National Catholic Education Association report, Catholic schools continue to see increased enrollment.
And according to a survey conducted by EdChoice last year, 41% of parents were more likely to prefer a private education for their children post-pandemic, but the majority of those parents still enrolled their students in public schools. In looking at the barriers parents faced if they wanted to choose a private school, one was financial. The good news is that schools that are able to offer different options in financial aid or tuition are more able to attract families who want their children in private schools. Communicating that your school offers diverse financial aid opportunities early and often is one way to increase applications.
There are also new drivers for why families choose public or private schools and understanding those can be a key strategy to grow your enrollment and admissions at your school. These drivers include wanting a different academic curriculum, wanting to feel a larger part of the community, and wanting to have more interaction with teachers and administration overall.
The interest is there, and independent and private schools can manage that interest by shifting communication tactics to meet the needs of today’s parents (hint: more parents are researching online, including on social media, for private schools). New opportunities for early engagement of prospective families through your website and social media can give parents a bird’s eye view on the benefits your school offers over competitive schools. For instance, in a recent Pew study, the Pew data on users of social media found that close to 50% of adults in the age range of 30-49 use Instagram. Knowing how to communicate with your market and ways you can increase enrollment and retention will be part of thriving in the new normal.
While the worst of the pandemic might be behind us, we wanted to give you valuable ways to conquer what will be the new normal in the next 12 to 18 months. Fostering new applications, boosted enrollments, new financial aid opportunities, and having an aspirational retention plan will help your school continue to rise and expand.
For our upcoming panel, we have industry experts (who you likely know and love) to give us key insights to drive and lead applications, enrollment, and retention in the next two years. These leaders of private and independent school associations will discuss what we’ve learned holistically from COVID-19, and surefire ways to adapt for success for the years to come.
We invite you to join us and tune into this panel featuring: Trish Surin, Community Brands; Pete Upham, TABS; and Peter Baron, EMA.