The cost to enroll a student is averaging approximately $6,000 and this cost doubles with the replacement of every student lost. Due to the recent financial climate, most states are facing financial cutbacks, making student retention paramount. Top reasons for attrition include school preparedness, financial support, academic progress, dissatisfaction with support services, and social readiness. So how can we keep students on track for graduation?
In 1999, the North Dakota University System coordinated a roundtable discussion inviting its board of directors, K-12 administrators, employers, and others to address their expectations of the university.
"It was a landmark event in North Dakota's higher ed history," explains Michel Hillman, vice chancellor of academic and student affairs at NDUS in Bismarck, which has 11 campuses. "What was recommended was a consistent set of accountability measures."
The financial pressures on institutions and the scrutiny on spending continue. But campus administrative offices also continue to find new ways to change their practices for the better.
As the stories of our Summer 2010 Models of Efficiency honorees demonstrate, there are a multitude of good ideas being implemented that streamline processes without reducing the quality of service that campus constituents deserve, and in many cases expect.
WHEN IT BECOMES HARDER TO raise funds and the notion of success is coming up with just 90 percent of last year's revenues, fundraisers must get smarter--by better understanding their donors and the different tools and approaches to connecting with them. Colleges and universities of all sizes now have the opportunity to influence and motivate a new generation of donors and get them in the "habit of giving," but it's an uphill climb. The competition for every second of attention and each dollar is frenetic.
A commitment to reaching out and meaningfully connecting with its students has prompted Chicago-based DePaul University to implement a customer relationship management (CRM) tool traditionally used by businesses to generate more customers.
THE ADMISSIONS OFFICE IS THE FIRST STOP for any student entering a higher education institution. A smooth process can not only instill confidence and reassure students they made the correct choice, but it also can make the lives of staff members better as well.
PEOPLE WITHOUT ANY CONNECTION TO A higher education institution don't generally hand over large amounts of money unprompted. Even people who are proud of their alma mater often need to be wooed before they open their checkbook.