We’ve all heard the news by now: the biggest update from the NACAC Annual Conference was “the vote.” In an effort to avoid accusations of antitrust law violations, delegates agreed to make several significant changes to the organization’s Code of Ethics and Professional Practices (CEPP). In all likelihood, these modifications will dramatically alter the college admissions recruitment landscape.

As higher education enrollment marketing consultants, it’s our job to help you get out in front of the changes. Here, I’ll provide a quick rundown of what happened at NACAC and the impact we expect it to have on the world of college admissions. I’ll also discuss some potential next steps you can take to adapt your recruitment tactics for this new era.

(For more details on the changes to CEPP, see NACAC’s Meeting Notes.)

What it Means for Colleges and Universities

Under pressure from the U.S. Department of Justice, our industry has collectively agreed to abandon several long-standing recruitment and marketing practices, which we expect will impact how college admissions offices operate year-round. For admissions and enrollment managers, there will be new challenges, and possibly new opportunities, but your outcomes will depend on how prepared you are to adapt to the changing landscape.

We anticipate:

  • Increased melt risk – We’ll likely see more competitive financial aid packages later in the cycle.
  • More competitive “poaching” practices – Expect to see competing communications post May 1st with incentives from schools who have missed their enrollment goals.
  • Aggressive early decision offers – Be on the lookout for incentivized early decision packages from schools attempting to lock in higher percentages of their incoming classes earlier in the cycle.
  • Higher volume of financial aid appeals – Early decision incentives and more competition will create the need for more competitive packages with higher discounts and increased average awards.

We Can Help

Spark451’s team of admissions and marketing professionals has resources to help you quickly adjust your marketing and communications plans for the year ahead. We can help you fully prepare to compete in the new more-aggressive-than-ever college admissions marketplace.

Spark451 is ready to assist with:

  • Purposeful student search marketing programs to build the top of your funnel
  • Personalized admitted yield campaigns to build brand affinity and cultivate an engaged admit pool
  • Robust anti-melt campaigns that deliver valuable engagement analytics
  • A revitalized approach to transfer recruitment and marketing. We can help you:
    • Identify students from your applicant pool who enrolled at other four-year schools
    • Create offers of admission that illustrate cost and time efficiencies
    • Grow brand awareness and ongoing transfer opportunities

We’d love to discuss your institution’s specific challenges and help you determine which strategies and tactics will best prepare you for next year’s cycle. Reach out so we can get started.