RuffaloCODY Enrollment Management | 65 Kirkwood North Road SW, Cedar Rapids, IA | 800.756.7483 6/13/11
FLORIDA SOUTHERN COLLEGE
RuffaloCODY Enrollment Management | 65 Kirkwood North Road SW, Cedar Rapids, IA | 800.756.7483 6/13/11 In 2005, Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Fla., partnered with RuffaloCODY to strengthen one key area of its enrollment effort: inquiry management. Successful enrollment efforts begin with building an appropriate inquiry pool. To ensure success at this critical initial step and maximize their investment in RCQ, Florida Southern strengthened their efforts by adopting RuffaloCODY’s Enhanced Search Strategies (ESS) in 2007. This case study will show how RuffaloCODY and Florida Southern College worked together to meet these objectives: 1. Better utilize institutional resources and staff 2. Meet increasing enrollment goals with greater financial efficiency 3. Enhance marketing and recruiting strategies to find and engage students who would enroll and persist to graduation What is RuffaloCODY Qualification (RCQ)? RCQ is a point‐in‐time attitudinal survey that pinpoints the significantly smaller subset of your inquiry pool that remains interested in applying to your institution. The qualification survey can either be taken over the phone or on the web (via a link in an e‐mail). RCQ collects information on student preferences and intentions in these areas: Interest in applying to your institution Interest in visiting your institution, or if he/she has already visited Your rank among colleges on his/her list Most important factors when choosing a college Academic interests Perceived difficulty in financing his/her education It also verifies and collects each student’s e‐mail and cell phone number. Through the survey, every student is assigned a grade based on his/her responses to the ranking and applying questions. What is RuffaloCODY Enhanced Search Strategies (ESS)? The underlying principle behind ESS is that search success should be defined by getting the right students into the pool – those who will apply and enroll at higher rates. This differs substantially from the more traditional search approach that focuses primarily on generating large numbers of inquiries while failing to assess conversion likelihood throughout the enrollment cycle. To accomplish this highly targeted strategy, ESS begins with the creation of a series of predictive models specific to market break‐downs defined by Florida Southern College. Using logistical regression analysis, geo‐demographic characteristics are determined and measured from a detailed three‐year historical analysis of Florida Southern applicants and enrollees.
RuffaloCODY Enrollment Management | 65 Kirkwood North Road SW, Cedar Rapids, IA | 800.756.7483 6/13/11 By using a combination of RuffaloCODY’s RCQ and ESS, Florida Southern in 2010 achieved the maximum benefit of both tools, leading to greater focus, measureable efficiency and marked effectiveness throughout the entire enrollment cycle. From 2006 (when only RCQ was used) to 2010 (when both RCQ and ESS were employed), the number of inquiries increased by 36%. While only 27% of the inquiries in 2006 came from searched records, 42% of the inquiries in 2010 came from that segment. In 2010, Florida Southern was able to front‐ load search with the best possible prospects, reducing the waste associated with buying “weak names.” Subsequently, the enrollment management team was able to strategically manage outreach resources (including E‐Search, direct mail, and Tele‐Search) in much more targeted fashion. Further, 30% of all inquiries came from responders to search and 12% from non‐responders (those who did not respond to search directly via prescribed response methods but inquired later in the process). A second notable outcome was the 27% growth in applications to Florida Southern from 2006 to 2010. This increase in applications was expected given the increased quality and quantity of inquiries. The inquiries that Florida Southern received for the class of 2010 translated into real applications that the admissions office was able to strategically work with for greater conversion success. Also noteworthy was the change in the distribution of applications by source of contact. In 20061, search accounted for only 10% of applications, but in 2010, 27% of the applications Florida Southern College received came from purchased search names. 1
The “search non-responders” for 2006 is not available.
73% 58% 12% 27% 30% 2006 2010 SEARCH RESPONDERS SEARCH NON‐ RESPONDERS OTHER SOURCES 90% 73% 10% 10% 17% 2006 2010 SEARCH RESPONDERS SEARCH NON‐ RESPONDERS OTHER SOURCES
RuffaloCODY Enrollment Management | 65 Kirkwood North Road SW, Cedar Rapids, IA | 800.756.7483 6/13/11 As mentioned earlier, RuffaloCODY’s ESS model presented Florida Southern with the ability to focus its purchase of search names to specific zip codes from which they have been successful and strategically select those with similar characteristics where they could be successful. In the following analysis, zip codes are grouped into five quintiles ranging from most likely to apply to least likely to apply. The figure on the left shows the distribution of applications from the increasingly important segment of search non‐responders (again, those who do not respond via traditional reply mechanisms) by zip and by market areas. This table shows that 65% of all applications from search non‐ responders came from Market 1 (zips A, B, and C), and segments identified by the model as having the highest propensity to convert. The search non‐responders in fact accounted for 10% of all applications received for fall 2010. Identifying these high propensity cells from among the non‐responder segment provides a highly effective means for achieving greater results from students who opt to come into the pool in non‐traditional ways. On the left is shown the inquiry to application conversion rates in 2006 and 2010 by RCQ Grade. The increase in the inquiry‐to‐application rate of Grade 1 –or very interested‐ records, in 2010 (when both RCQ and ESS were used) is notable. Admitted students to Florida Southern College increased by 39% in the four‐year period from 2006 to 2010, suggesting that the strategies employed led not just to more applicants but applicants who would complete the process and ultimately achieve admitted status. Deposited students for the college, increased by 59% in spite of one of the worst economic years in history.
The significance of the increase in admitted and deposited students is further enhanced when both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the outcome are considered. Minorities accounted for 15% of the class in 2006 and 22% of the class in 2010, which was a much larger class. While only 35% of the 1 2 3 4 A 39% 5% 11% 3% B 16% 1% 2% 0% C 10% 0% 2% 0% D 5% 0% 0% 0% E 4% 0% 0% 0% 41% 34%
Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5 Not Interested
RuffaloCODY Enrollment Management | 65 Kirkwood North Road SW, Cedar Rapids, IA | 800.756.7483 6/13/11 2006 class was male, that number rose to 40% with the 2010 class. Out‐of‐state students represented about 35% of the class in 2006 and 45% of the class four years later. Finally, both the average SAT and ACT scores for admitted and deposited students were higher in 2010 than in 2006. These considerable qualitative changes were possible because the right students were initially identified and then targeted using a combination of RuffaloCODY tools. Florida Southern had a larger, diverse class of higher academic quality in 2010 than in 2006, the result of the strategic combined use of RCQ and ESS. Grade 1 accounted for only 8% of the inquiry pool for the classes of 2007 and 2008 combined, it accounted for 54% of the deposited students, and 62% of the segment of students who retained to the sophomore year, pointing to yet another outcome of the partnership – identifying students who are more likely to enroll and retain
In summary, this case study points to broad and notable enrollment success achieved from the partnership between Florida Southern College and RuffaloCODY from 2006 to 2010. Key accomplishments gained from the use and implementation of ESS and ESP include: 1. Redirection and better investment of institutional resources (time, money, people) to target students most likely enroll 2. Maximization of cost savings based on indentifying those inquirers who were no longer interested 3. Exceeding enrollment goals by May 1 4. Improvements in marketing and recruiting efforts that ultimately resulted in committed and motivated Florida Southern College students who also retained at a much higher rate
48% 7% 6% 6% 8% 46% 54% 62%
INQUIRIES APPLICATIONS DEPOSITED SOPHOMORE
Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5 NOT INTERESTED