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Recruiting Intelligence

New Revenue Sources: Your Success Depends on It

How does a university facing reduced enrollment find new sources of revenue? Let's get specific. 

There are a number of answers to this question. And they hinge a bit on how much time your institution has. Is this need for diversified sources urgent, as in, “Let’s get a new program out there this summer to increase fall enrollment”? Or do you have funds (endowment or reserves) to draw upon for the next year to weather the storm, allowing new revenue sources to be developed more slowly?

Either way, the response will require speed -- not a strong suit for academic institutions in general. And it requires a level of nimble creativity and well-coordinated collaboration. These are hard combinations to pull together. But mostly, it is the compressed length of time to bring a new idea to market that will likely be your biggest challenge.

With this post we are offering a range of ideas for new academic programs that you can offer to students across the country and around the world. For the most part, these are all programs that you can create from what you have on hand already. There’s a bit of repackaging and rebranding required. And an innovative delivery system. But it can all be done in the time you have available.

What’s the catch? Why haven’t you done this before? Well…

To succeed at this, you must have support from the those at the top and the ability to innovate. Easier said than done. But now your success depends on just that — getting it done. 

Want to find a way to fill the looming holes in your revenue streams? Our recommendations and tips follow.

This is not for the feint of heart. Buckle up and read on.

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Can Boot Camps Go to University?

Thinking about tech boot camps as a new revenue stream? We are.

If you've not already read last weeks post about Full On Armchair Recruiting with clear and supported guidance on what comes next for student enrollment, student experience and student services, well, we highly recommend it ; -)  We've received a fair number of emails from your peers who found the advice highly valuable as they make plans for fall 2020 and beyond.

Here's the thing: given anticipated and imminent enrollment drops, new revenue sources are going to be really important.

With all the changes happening now and coming down the pike for academia, we want to continue to look forward and point the way for how your institution demonstrates its value and hopefully finds new revenue sources. Turns out, in this environment, thinking about new revenue streams has suddenly taken on a fevered pitch. That's a good thing. We LOVE innovation.

You and your colleagues have likely talked about the quick-hit education providers cropping up in the form of coding boot camps. We’ve been keeping an eye on these burgeoning businesses ourselves. After all, they’ve been sprouting like weeds over the past eight or so years.

Their aim is to teach practical skills to nontraditional students looking to enter or change careers or move up the professional ladder. Courses tend to use project-based learning to cover topics like full-stack web development, digital marketing, data analytics, UX/UI design, cybersecurity, cryptocurrency, blockchain and more.

Universities have seen this as a threat to their engineering and IT offerings. But are they truly threats?

Within the past few months, Michigan State University, George Washington University and the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies each announced their own tech boot camp (or fintech) programs. There are others taking this direct competitive approach.

The trick for many universities is that their infrastructure is not necessarily set up to provide continuous, short-run programs. One challenge for boot camps is that their administrative infrastructure is slim and stuggles to support scaled growth. They also struggle with credibility. Will their certificates have value for the graduates over time?

Can you see where we’re going with this?

There’s an opportunity for a symbiotic relationship that can benefit students, local economies and your respective programs. Enrollment marketing, take note! Read on.

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International Strategy in the Time of Coronavirus: Longer-Term Thinking

In the past two weeks, since we posted our near-term thinking about student recruiting, enrollment, and the impact of the Coronavirus, a lot has happened. The advice we gave for institutions continues to hold. And now it is time to share some of our longer-term thinking.

Many of our readers are responsible for international student recruitment, enrollment, and student services. Other readers are in leadership roles with broader student enrollment responsibilities.

Intead has long been advocating for a diversified approach to enrollment growth beyond a focus on just international students -- advice on diversified approaches to enrollment strategy follows. Keep reading, and hang on to your hat…

A given: the virus represents a significant threat to international travel and the economy. This past week the APAIE 2020 conference scheduled for late March in Vancouver was postponed to 2021. Other education industry conferences have been cancelled as well. Some 200,000 international flights have been canceled since the virus outbreak. Academic administrators in Australia are taking the brunt of all the travel restrictions and challenges right now. The rest of us will be feeling it acutely this summer and fall and beyond.

As we mentioned two weeks ago, challenges do arise and when they do, we don’t get frustrated, we get focused. This is an important mindset in any scenario and especially important when your industry is suffering a significant shock.

A few quick assessment questions:

  • Do you have leaders who welcome big picture thinking?
  • Can you execute on your strategic plans?
  • Can you calculate the cost of putting your ideas into practice?
  • Can you provide market data to support your projected results?

Hopefully you answered, “Yes” to the first question (if not, you might be in the wrong place), and you think your answers to the next 3 questions are also, “Yes” (perhaps with the caveat that you’ll need some help to do it).

With this in mind, let’s dive into our longer-term thinking prompted by the latest threat to your student enrollment and revenue projections. Read on. 

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Non-Traditional Students, Public Radio, & You

Ahhh, NPR. What can we say: we’re fans. We’re suckers for Ira Glass’s vocal fry, we still listen to re-runs of Car Talk, and Kai Ryssdal's voice on MarketPlace is always reassuring in volatile times. Yes, we own more than one telethon tote bag.

But the public radio stalwart isn’t simply a source of endless commuting distraction. For the past few months, it’s also become one of our go-to’s for insights into the non-traditional student space, a growing market we’re following closely.

Ready for a new favorite resource to stay on top of your enrollment management game?

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You Have Your Student Segmentation, Now What?

Student segmentation and predictive modeling are becoming mainstream discussion topics for university administrators. How do you reach, recruit and serve different student segments?

We have once again been reflecting on a report distributed by the Parthenon Group a few years ago that we still find relevant today. Isn't it amazing how strong content can remain relevant over time? This particular study on audience segmentation was called: The Differentiated University. Let's take a look and see what new insights you (and all of us) can take away from this research. 

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NACAC, Our Latest E-Book and Today’s Enrollment Trends

Last week, Intead presented at the NACAC conference—what an exciting whirlwind! We met so many wonderful experts in the field of recruitment and were able to share our insights with many of your colleagues during our session on international recruitment, hosted with our friends Sundar Kumarasamy (Northeastern University) and Steven Bloom (ACE). We are so thrilled that so many of you made it out to our early morning session!

If you were not able to attend, as our loyal readers, we would like to extend the invitation to register to receive our latest e-book, Quality.Cost.Convenience: Beating the competition for today’s “non-traditional” students before it is released to the public. Read on to secure your copy.

Since the conference, we have been thinking a lot about today’s political environment (isn’t everyone?) and the impact it is having on recent enrollment trends. While we were in Boston, we had so many great conversations about the latest 2017 enrollment data, marketing strategies to combat dips in enrollment and what the future holds. So, this week, we are taking a brief look at research around enrollment trends in the U.S. and U.K., post-Brexit and U.S. presidential election.

Please read on for key data and industry insights (and to register for the new e-book ;-)

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