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K-State Today

September 7, 2021

Update from Enrollment Management: Fall 2021

Submitted by Karen Goos

Dear Colleagues,

Reflecting on the last year and a half, the events brought exceptional challenges to many industries, including higher education. K-State, like many other institutions, faced a unique set of circumstances that required us to collaborate and communicate in new ways. It required us to not tweak history but create a new future; adaptability and innovative thinking were and are the key to success. Enrollment Management has leaned into change and will continue to listen, learn, evolve and remain fluid. We are continuing to reflect and will share lessons learned as we move forward together. We are pleased to report that we are continuing to make strides and improvements in our enrollment management efforts for the university and wanted to share a few highlights.

Expansion of the Kansas State College Advising Corps program

Kansas State College Advising Corps, or KSCAC, was awarded $2 million from the Kansas Board of Regents and Kansas State Department of Education to expand in Kansas beyond Kansas City over the next two years. The grant funding is provided through the Education Stabilization Fund Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund and will focus on increasing the college-going rate and the FASFA completion rates for Kansas high school students. For the 2021-2022 academic year, KSCAC will be expanding to seven high schools in Wichita and southwestern Kansas.  

Digital recruitment and communications

Over the last year, digital recruitment and communication have become a significant priority. In March, the Office of Recruitment and Admissions, with the assistance of the CRM IT Tech team, launched an Intent to Enroll campaign that included texting, emails and phone calls to admitted students. The Intent to Enroll campaign was the university's first use of the Mainstay chatbot with survey questions and a nudge-based communication campaign. This campaign also provided a real-time data progress dashboard and the ability to initiate real-time interventions. We also were able to launch our branded inquiry and post admit drip email marketing campaigns this summer. The email campaigns are a collaborative approach between the colleges and central recruitment to engage prospective students in the state of an omnichannel communication plan based on the point of entry into the funnel. The email communications are dynamic based on the student's admission type, age and residency. We are looking to continue to evolve as we learn what is working and what can be improved on our recruitment communications.

Campus visits

K-State has always excelled in providing outstanding campus visits for prospective students. Due to the pandemic, our on-site campus visits were significantly reduced over the last year and this had an impact on our ability to yield our freshman class. Over the summer, we were able to safely scale the number of visitors hosting almost three times the number of students on campus this summer compared to the pre-pandemic days in 2019. We have recently launched our new campus visit website, opening registration for our fall campus visits and events. The individual campus visit program will allow online registration and the ability to tailor specifically to the students' interests. Students will first choose the academic program of interest as well as choosing campus involvement and interest sessions to the visit agenda. Campus partners can access the registration information in CRM.

Campus logic

In an effort to streamline processes and increase our communications regarding affordability at K-State, we have purchased Campus Logic. There are three components of Campus Logic that we will implement over the next year.

1. The Cost Calculator will allow prospective students to enter information about themselves to find out what students like them paid to attend the institution after taking scholarship and aid into account.

 2. The Campus Communicator will allow K-State to send electronic notices of scholarship awards, financial award notices and other important information.

 3. Student Forms will allow students to access financial aid forms from any device. Forms will streamline verification, professional judgment, and SAP appeal with e-signatures and secure uploads as well as provide automated reminders about outstanding tasks.

Building transparency and collaboration through enrollment management resource

Knowing continued progress only happens when we work together, we wanted to provide resources and information that can assist your department in the enrollment management process as well. This resources page is for our internal use only and will require K-State credentials to access the information. We are beginning to share documents that include our calendar of communications to facilitate conversation about how each of your departments can complement the existing communication strategies. We have also provided links to request CRM access, a link to request an email or event be created within the CRM, and a way for you to directly enter a prospective student's name into the CRM so they can be included in our central recruitment efforts. We believe that as we increase our ability to communicate, it will only strengthen our army of recruitment of new students.

CASE collaborative recruitment grants

Building an awareness and affinity for K-State for our middle school, high school students, and transfer students is an important part of building our recruitment funnel. With the assistance of our philanthropic CASE funding, we have developed a one-time matching fund initiative to support the development and implementation of high-impact, innovative and collaborative approaches to targeted recruitment efforts for high school and transfer students. Requesting proposals should expand and strengthen areas of collaboration and coordination within university units to offer recruitment-focused events, including enrichment-focused camps, academies, workshops and academic competitions, enrichment experiences that align with K-State academic offerings. The goal of these micro-grants is to build awareness and affinity for Kansas State University among seventh-12th graders and transfer students. Every on-campus student visitor or event attendee will be viewed as a future Kansas State University student. The selection criteria and allowable expense information can be found on the Case Recruitment Grants page. The application deadline for this year is Oct. 1. Applications received after this date will be considered based on the funds available. 

Thank you for all of the staff and faculty who have worked so hard to get us where we are — whether it was the implementation of our CRM, reimagining our digital recruitment, revamping our visit process, it took everyone to make the ideas a reality and your efforts are appreciated. There are still many lessons to learn and hills to tackle, but I know we are headed in the right direction as long as we work together.

Let's continue to act boldly, swiftly and collaborate. Here's to continued learning and progress.

Onward,

Karen Goos
Vice Provost of Enrollment Management 

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