As an administrative leader in your school, should you be focusing on building relationships or managing the admissions funnel?  Where should your priorities lie? Is one more important than the other?

Building relationships are fundamental to establishing an emotional connection with your current and prospective families.  Building trust and understanding plays a key role in how your parents ultimately make the decision to apply and enroll in your school.  

Now, on the other hand, when it comes to managing the admissions funnel, what is the single most important factor for Headmasters, Superintendents, and the Board?  It is your Numbers!

Let’s break it down real quick to the conversion numbers that impact those decisions.

Inquiry to Applicationis the percentage of Inquiries that became Applicants.

Application Complete – This percentage demonstrates how many families complete the entire application process and is then ready to be selected for enrollment.  For example, completing tours, shadow days, interviews, submitted all transcripts and recommendation forms.

Selectivity – This percentage is collected by how many applicants you choose to accept into your school and dividing it by the total number of those who applied.

Yieldis the percentage of the applicants you have accepted that choose to ultimately enroll in your school.

All of these numbers are important pieces of data that help drive decisions for your school.

Today, admissions teams across the country are constantly educating themselves on finding new ways to improve and sustain their numbers.  One particular tool that is great for breaking a complex admissions process into digestible pieces is the admissions funnel. This tool, though helpful in identifying where an admissions team needs to focus, is missing an important piece of information: PEOPLE.  Every single one of those numbers represents a real and ongoing conversation and relationship with a candidate or prospective family.

There’s an internal conflict: you are tasked with improving the numbers, but your job is first and foremost about people.  The role of an admissions officer is about connecting with candidates, building relationships, telling the story of your school and helping families find their place in that story.

You can either focus on finding more candidates or spending more time with the ones that you have.  Numbers vs. People.  It comes down to quantity or quality, right?  Common sense says that unless you expand your team, you can’t grow the numbers and improve personal connections at the same time.

Hmm… let’s challenge that.  Here at SchoolAdmin, we know you can do both if you have the right tools.

Here at the keys to success:

  • Use technology to save time on routine admissions tasks. There are so many tools out there that can make a difference. Check out this previous webinar: 5 Ways to Balance Relationships and Technology
  • Build targeted communication plans to connect with candidates (specifically about the things they care about) in a more efficient way.
  • Broaden your audience. Connect with more candidates through your website and social media.
  • Have the right tools in place, such as SchoolAdmin, where you do not have to choose between focusing on numbers and building relationships.


This post was originally published on May 09, 2012 by Elyn Roberts and updated on November 06, 2018, by Cassandra Breeding.
SchoolAdmin is a powerful, customizable CRM with beautifully clean records, flexible workflow management for your school and sophisticated search and reporting, with unlimited custom fields. Click here to watch a quick overview of SchoolAdmin.

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