Student recruiting and enrollment management are  your lifeblood in a K-12 school because compatible students and families are the very  foundation of your mission.  Your school’s enrollment is  a basic barometer of school health, and tuition income  is your key revenue source. 

 Ultimately, your waiting list or a lack thereof is a  reflection of the product you offer, assuming your  student recruiting is done effectively.  Outside  perception will match inside reality at some point  whether it’s good or needs improvement.  Hopefully,  both are at a high-level. 

 When they are, you have an opportunity to increase  your enrollment in a healthy way.  Here are some  steps and activities to consider.

1.  Student recruiting must be a top institutional priority from the head and the board, with buy-in from key stakeholders.

2.  Create a defined recruiting process with a dynamic communications follow up cycle.

3.  Survey current families to find out why they're happy.

4.  Survey former families to find out why they left.

5.  Survey community members/other constituents of interest to get their views.

6.  "Shop" your process where one or more anonymous families shows up on your doorstep as prospective parents.  Track your follow up activities and process, identifying strengths and weaknesses.

7.  Develop your ideal student/family profile.

8.  Motivate teachers to be your best enrollment ambassadors.

9.  Plan activities to welcome new families to the school family in a timely way.

10. Follow up with new families early in the semester to check on their transition.

AuthorCraig Smith