Recently, colleges and universities across the country have seen disparities in new student enrollment: while premier colleges have made up their losses from the pandemic, most other institutions are having a bad year. News stories coming out of a select few institutions might trick someone into thinking that the undergraduate enrollment decline of the last decade, starting well before COVID-19, has abated at last. This is not the case.
The decline in undergraduate enrollment has several origins. Low birth rates 20 years ago mean modest numbers of graduating high-schoolers today. The increasing cost of tuition can weigh heavily on students’ minds and uncertainty in job markets may discourage them further. With all these obstacles added to the pandemic-induced reluctance of colleges and universities to hold classes in person, is it any wonder that enrollment has shrunk?
When one door closes another opens: demand has boomed in the online education sector in recent years. Remote learning is on a sharp rise, a shift driven by the convenience, personalized content and reduced costs of online education. Perceiving an opportunity, colleges and universities have developed strategic enrollment plans to position themselves as leaders in remote learning. This in turn, has invited a boom in the field of online enrollment management.
The question for college administrators is how to harness the demand for online classes and how to manage online enrollment. Fully capturing the energy of this moment in education requires a change in thinking. It calls not only for expanded online services but for an entire mobile enrollment management strategy. After all, millennials, the population most likely to attend school online, are on their phones a lot. Why expect them to sit down at a laptop or desktop to apply for college when you can meet them where they are?
Enter Emma™, the mobile enrollment management app by Perdia. This mobile enrollment management tool gives students access to the information they want, in the palm of their hand. It guides them toward enrollment from the first inquiry they make about a college. A smooth interface for mobile systems, like Emma, is important for colleges hoping to boost online enrollment, since research shows mobile users are more likely than others to abandon a task if they can’t complete it easily on their phones.
Emma provides this interface, along with a host of other benefits such as marketing analysis, start coaching, document compilation, and admissions interviews. Building a comparable mobile enrollment management tool in house would be a formidable, time-consuming task for most colleges, but Emma is available today under a short-term contract model offering increased flexibility to suit the circumstances of individual institutions.
The ability of colleges and universities to curb the undergraduate enrollment slump will depend on their ability to let prospective students navigate the admissions and enrollment process via mobile device. Emma gives students all they could ever want in this regard, and it gives schools a means to tackle the education landscape of tomorrow.