Student recruitment and retention are two of the key elements to institutional success. However, in terms of funding and support this area is usually lacking in resources in order for it to maximize its success. When you consider the return on the investment that an additional 100 new students brings and how much investment would be required to achieve that result, it is quite clear that this investment yields tremendous returns in the short and long term. This is compounded when the new students have greater preparation and academic credentials and thus are more likely to be retained and ultimately graduate.

The admissions office function and process is however, an inexact science and is made even moreso when factoring in the human element. For example, where in the admissions office would provide the greatest return on the investment?  Furthermore, the office should review whether it is operating at peak effectiveness in terms of staff training and resources, and has the appropriate data tools to set goals, measure progress, communicate projected success and perform a post mortem on the recent cycle. Other questions that should be posed include:

  • how much of the market share is feasible given the normal recruitment efforts and areas covered?
  • what are the demographic trends of the traditional area?
  • why are students deciding not to apply or turn down our offer of admission?
  • is the brand of the institution helping or hindering our efforts?
  • if we have the right number of students, how do we improve the quality of the students we attract?
  • how do we develop new markets, e.g. international students, out-of-state students?


Challis Educational Opportunities has the experience to help you address each of the aforementioned areas and assist in the development of a comprehensive recruitment strategy that will get the best results from the admissions office and set a clear trajectory for continued success. Specifically, CEO can assist in:

  • Reviewing the admissions process; examining strengths and opportunities, and increasing effectiveness
  • Training admissions recruiters to maximize the conversion rate
  • Providing support to faculty members as part of the recruitment team
  • Analyzing geodemographic market elasticity with respect to population shifts, diversity, and class profile to assist in establishing realistic goals both at the microscopic and macroscopic levels
  • Reviewing effectiveness against peer institutions and local competitors
  • Gaining feedback from focus groups including applicants, non-applicants, admits, matriculated students, non matriculated students, counsellors and parents
  • Reviewing marketing materials and strategy, and intended and perceived institutional brand
  • Identifying new markets and development of strategies for optimal early success in these new markets
  • Assisting in the development of a comprehensive recruitment strategy including class composition, demographics, and future trends
  • Implementation of software tools to provide real-time, accurate and comparative, monitoring, reporting and projections