How to track historical trend data in admissions: The first of seven critical categories


This blog is excerpted from the first section of the 2013 Noel-Levitz white paper, Seven Categories of Admissions Data to Guide Decision Making.

Tracking historical admissions trend data is foundational to building an effective strategy for marketing and recruitment. You want timely, meaningful data for comparisons, so you can stay on top of campus trends. The data should be date- and year-specific, for example: “On this day last year, we had 221 applications from Los Angeles County. This year, we had 277 applications from Los Angeles County, a 25 percent increase.”

For effective benchmark comparisons, we advise campuses to store and analyze three-to-five years of comparative data. Student data should be organized into carefully-defined categories, such as the following eight stages:

DSC04291. Prospects (students who have not yet expressed interest in the institution, such as students whose names and addresses were purchased from a list vendor)
2. Inquiries (students who have expressed interest in the institution)
3. Applicants
4. “Stealth applicants” (students who made their first contact by submitting an application without inquiring beforehand; often categorized dually as applicants and inquiries)
5. Applicants who fully completed the application process
6. Accepts/admits
7. Deposits/confirms
8. Matriculants
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Sarah Coen offers nearly two decades of experience in student recruitment and retention. She is especially adept at developing and implementing comprehensive plans for managing enrollment and tuition revenue, and at applying predictive modeling toward enrollment management.

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