How Vocational Schools Can Prepare for the Enrollment Cliff
The enrollment cliff is looming, creating a unique challenge for enrollment teams. Software eliminates time-consuming tasks so enrollment representatives can focus on identifying trends that will help prevent them from falling off the ledge.
What is the 2025 enrollment cliff?
The declining birth rate poses a distinct challenge for higher education. In a 2008 survey of birth rates in 25 states, births either declined or flatlined. Because of this, the college-age population in the US is expected to decrease by 15% between 2025 and 2029.
How the enrollment cliff will impact vocational schools
Though there is a 9% increase year over year in births from 2018-2021 the damage from the 2008 recession is already done. And enrollment teams across the country will feel it.
With the enrollment cliff on the horizon, there’ll be more competition between schools to enroll a smaller number of college-eligible students. There may not be enough enrollments for representatives to meet their quotas and marketing teams may find it harder to connect with prospective students.
The enrollment cliff is looming — are your enrollment teams prepared to meet the challenge?
Enrollment teams don’t have the capacity to face the challenges that lie ahead
At present, many enrollment teams can’t strategically prepare for the enrollment cliff because they’re spending hours on outreach and record keeping just to manage their current student pipeline.
Enrollment representatives call, text, and email students one at a time to ensure future starts make it to day one. Then, they enter notes into two different systems to ensure every department has the student’s records. Then, when day one rolls around, admissions representatives are left waiting for attendance data to determine who showed up and who needs outreach.
One admissions leader said her team has been understaffed since 2020. She’s plagued with high turnover and her staff spends half their time reaching out to future starts and managing data.
Picture this: It’s the fourth day of class and administrators are entering attendance data into the SIS. They need to figure out who attended the first day of class so that enrollment teams can perform the necessary outreach, but they’re lagging behind. For some students, time is already up.
Software frees enrollment teams to focus on higher-value tasks
Automate day one communications to future starts and win representatives back hours normally spent on individual outreach.
Plus, software creates and manages attendance data, giving FDA in real-time. Now, instead of waiting for instructors or admins to manually enter data, admissions representatives can act fast if a student doesn’t show up on day one.
With software, the enrollment representative can see attendance data in real-time, and they’ve identified what students were absent on day one. Automated emails to the student are left unopened so the representative knows to reach out with a text. The student responds that they’ve been sick with COVID, and together they get the student enrolled in the next start.
Identify trends to combat the enrollment cliff with actionable insights
A vocational intelligence platform tracks the school’s marketing efforts back to the source — social media, paid search ads, or word of mouth. Schools can use this data to reallocate resources based on which channels consistently attract students who are eager to learn and persist to graduation.
The enrollment representative pulls up CourseKey and observes that paid search brings in more enrollments than social media. Plus, those enrollments have a higher graduation rate. The representative suggests more of the marketing budget is spent on paid search ads and less on social media. Over time, funding is distributed more effectively and the enrollment team brings in higher quality leads.
Ensure teams have the necessary tools to combat the fluctuations in college-aged enrollees during the enrollment cliff.
CourseKey helps enrollment teams avoid the ledge
Give your team time back to prepare for the enrollment cliff by providing software that gives FDA in real-time, automates basic communications with students, and helps identify trends in enrollment that will help your school combat the enrollment cliff.
CourseKey provides software to 300+ vocational campuses just like yours, ensuring teams are prepared to face the enrollment cliff.