NSU Enrollment Campaign
For four years, Northeastern State University’s enrollment had declined more than 16%. The school was budgeting for a continued decline and a $600,000 revenue shortfall for the coming school year. When spring admissions reports showed head count significantly lagging even the most conservative estimates, we were asked to launch a marketing effort to address fall enrollment.Read Case Study »
Until 2005, Northeastern State University (OK) enjoyed steady growth. NSU had opened satellite campuses and busied itself serving full-time traditional undergrads and adult students attending school part time. When the competitive floodgates opened, NSU was slow to respond. Peer institutions offered new degree programs, expanded online course offerings, morphed from 2-year into 4-year institutions, and even offered free tuition to many local residents.
Things reached a crisis point in Spring 2009. Enrollment had declined steadily, dropping 16% over four years. Another 3% decline was projected for Fall 2009, bringing with it an expected $600,000 budget shortfall. Alarmingly, in March, application trends indicated that NSU would fall well short of even their most conservative enrollment estimates.
By May, we launched NSU Answers, an integrated recruitment campaign designed to drive fall enrollment. We positioned NSU as a trusted ally, a go-to resource ready to respond to any questions and needs a prospective student might have. We made it easy for prospects to inquire and connected them quickly with NSU recruiters. This multi-channel campaign involved a full assortment of online, offline, and highly targeted media.
In June, enrollment began to rebound. By August we had overcome the projected decline and, when the fall semester started, NSU’s enrollment was up over 5%, generating over $1 million more tuition revenue than original forecasts.
Our admissions team can feel the momentum changing. The president’s leadership council gives the lion’s share of the credit for our enrollment numbers to this marketing campaign. The strategy and tactics have been spot on.
— Mark Kinders, Vice President of University Relations, Northeastern State University