Handbook of Strategic Enrollment Management
The field of Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) is arguably the newest major administrative function to emerge at the senior levels of college and university administration. The confluence of competition for students, competition for the prestige associated with college rankings such as the â€œBest Collegesâ€ rankings published by US News & World Report, as well as concerns about retention and graduation rates, and growing investments in campusbased institutional aid to achieve enrollment goals, have resulted in the growing importance of new organizations created with titles such as Enrollment Services, Enrollment Management, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, and so on. Since the 1970s, there has been an exponential increase in research on the topics of student college choice, student retention, and the effects of financial aid on student enrollment behavior.
Part of this evolutionary process has been the naming of this new enterprise. As originally conceived, facing a projected decrease in the number of high school graduates in the midâ€1970s, forwardâ€thinking college admissions officers coined the term â€œenrollment managementâ€ to describe a new approach to maintaining the number of new students they enrolled as demand decreased. Early on, the â€œmanagingâ€ of enrollments involved examining demographic data, segmenting target groups of students, and ramping up marketing efforts to prospective students in new, more intensive ways. Through the 1980s, enrollment management grew to include other enrollment service functions that proved critical to attracting students, such as financial aid, registration, student records, and fee payment. It grew conceptually as well to focus not just on the number of new students enrolled, but also retention and graduation rates, creating direct ties between institutionsâ€™ academic and enrollment management efforts. With this comprehensive view of enrollment came more sophisticated financial modeling that linked recruitment and retention rates with institutional revenues. By the late 1980s, the scope of enrollment management had grown into a major strategic component of institutional operations; hence the emergence of the term â€œStrategic Enrollment Management.â€ It is this comprehensive, advanced understanding of original enrollment management thinking that forms the basis of this book
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