Proving that small, tuition-driven colleges can grow and thrive
Recent news headlines about New England College’s (NEC) trajectory speak volumes, including: “Amid tough times for small colleges, New England College remains in ‘growth mode.’” It’s clear that NEC is on track to meet its vision of being the most highly respected and sought-after small private college in New Hampshire. Though challenged by typical market issues like high tuition dependency, limited resources, and financial constraints, NEC’s focus on the strategic initiative of developing multiple revenue streams has put the college on a path to attain its growth goals.
To promote continued, sustainable growth, NEC’s leadership team identified the need to effectively engage with students throughout the student journey. “We needed a holistic solution that could support our urgency to diversify revenue streams and meet the demands of new and emerging markets,” states Carol Thomas, NEC’s Vice President of Technology and Marketing Communications. “We wanted to adopt an agile, market- responsive and entrepreneurial focus to constituency communications and data insights.”
Though their small admissions team is highly ambitious and motivated, they were severely handicapped by their existing admissions system.
“My team was spending all of their time on manual tasks like manipulating data, crunching numbers, and creating one-off communications rather than engaging with students on tasks that could and should be automated,” shares
Dr. Sherry Kollmann, Vice President, School of Graduate and Professional Studies.
“Our admissions-only system was designed for a standard academic calendar, yet many of our courses run every seven weeks, so it just didn’t work. Plus, we had minimal insight into where students were in the process, hindering our ability to effectively engage them.”
It was clear to NEC’s leadership team that an enterprise, cloud-based CRM was a necessity—and enrollment was the top priority.
Enrollment: the first step to an enterprise CRM
In the fall of 2017, New England College, based upon overall cultural fit and functionality, chose Salesforce.org as its enterprise-wide CRM partner. The phased implementation began with rolling out Salesforce and EnrollmentRX to the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. Within a short five months, the solution was live and operational.
“With our Salesforce solution, we are able to successfully and powerfully target our top admissions priorities and are now finally able to have our admissions representatives exactly where they should be–engaging with students,” says Kollmann.
With this solution, Kollmann and team are empowered to:
- Know at all times precisely where their students are in the admissions process via robust, actionable reports, and dashboards.
- Engage with students using timely, targeted, and templatized communications.
- Encourage ongoing student engagement by using task management capabilities to schedule future tasks.
- Work more effectively by using automated workflows, consistent communication, and streamlined reading processes.
- Recognize the team’s performance, including areas of excellence and areas needing improvement.
- Redeploy human resources that had previously been focused on manual data manipulation to higher-value tasks.
Proof of success
In today’s highly competitive environment, speed matters. Of the six key metrics NEC’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies’ admissions department measures, five dramatically improved with the deployment of Saleforce.org and EnrollmentRX. Most notably, NEC’s average number of days from decision to matriculation (that is, a student being informed of their acceptance to their confirming intent to attend) lessened by 21 days (71%), the average number of days from inquiry to matriculation decreased by 29 days (47%), and the average number of days from an application submission to a decision decreased by 5 (44%). This expedition of the application process enables NEC to continue to drive towards their enrollment growth goals.
The next phase
Capitalizing on the success with the School of Graduate and Professional Studies, NEC extended its use of Salesforce and EnrollmentRX to undergraduate residential admissions, which went live in January 2019. NEC is now looking forward to maximizing the potential of the Einstein platform to achieve even greater actionable insights throughout the admissions cycle.
Download the full NEC success story.