It takes courage for a rep to put their self interests aside for that of their prospective student.

35% of Prospect Student’s Can’t Do This ONE Thing

EDU Research Reveals Surprising Barrier to Enrollment

Dream Big.” “Reach for the Stars.” “If you believe it, you can achieve it.” These types of sayings feel omnipresent in career counseling offices, right up there with the frazzled kitten precariously dangled from a tree branch whose soft face and dark saucer eyes implore onlookers with the caption “hang in there.”

Kitten hangs from tree branch

Where did every guidance counselor get this poster?

Most people hear these platitudes about goal setting their whole lives, but far fewer are given the tools to follow through. What does it actually look like, in a practical sense, to pursue your goals? 

Enrollment Resources recently published findings from extensive EDU market research that included data from over 250,000 prospective career education students across North America and a surprising finding stood out:

When asked about goals for the future, 35.62% of prospective students surveyed selected the response “I want a better life for sure, I just have trouble imagining the details.”

How Thoughtful Admissions Practices Can Help Prospects Clarify Goals & Remove a Hidden Barrier to Enrollment

The application of practical goal setting is something many people are never taught. Those of us in EDU, especially those at private career colleges, are in a unique position to help prospective students break down the practical steps that can help them build a brighter future. A student may inquire about a particular program or know that they need some sort of professional skills in order to get ahead, but it’s not uncommon for them to struggle to imagine details beyond that. That’s where you come in.

Below are three steps to keep in mind when you help prospective students to imagine their potential future. 

#1. Break it Down: Practical, Achievable Steps
The gap from initial inquiry to new career can seem gargantuan when you don’t know the steps. It would be like trying to drive from L.A. to NYC without a road map, just two distant points with no clues of how to get from one to the other. If you had infinite time and resources that mapless road trip might be fun, but that’s not the case for our prospective students. As an Admissions professional, you can fill in that road map.

Much smaller than the gap between where a student is when they inquire and where they want to ultimately end up in their career is the gap between speaking with you and speaking with Financial Aid or other staff. That’s a manageable first step. What’s the next step in your enrollment process? And the step after that?

When you break down the enrollment, school and employment pursuit process into simple steps, you help prospective students gain an accessible road map to their future.

#2. Get Clarity: The Power of Specificity
Specifics take “pie in the sky” dreams and ground them in reality. It’s the difference between “I want a new car” and “I want a gently used 2012 Mazda3.” “I want to get married” and “I want to marry my best friend’s husband Todd.” Perhaps more relevant to our situation, it’s the difference between “I’d like to help people” and “I want to work as a patient care aide at the long-term care facility near my house.”

Thoughtful questions like “what motivated you to reach out today?” and “what makes you interested in this field?” not only help you get to know the prospect you’re speaking with, they help you to understand the prospect’s drive. This forms the foundation for the portrait of the prospect’s future you’re helping to build.

#3: Explain Potential Challenges
Have you ever hit the gym hard on January 1st only to fall off your “New Year New You” exercise regime weeks later? (No. Me Either :P). Often when we get off track from long-term goals it’s due to a failure to address potential challenges that may arise. Sometimes even just the fear of getting off track is enough to derail us.

As humans, we are motivated not only by achievement but by the anticipation of achievement. When you address potential obstacles, and help prospective students to visualize the ways they have within their means to overcome those difficulties, you go a long way to illustrating the way in which successful graduation and the pursuit of a rewarding career is within the prospects’ abilities to accomplish; this can provide incredible motivation.

TIP: Remember to Meet Prospects Where They Are
As an Admissions professional, it’s vital to remember what it was like to NOT know all the ins and outs of your school and things like education financing. Work from a place of empathy and remember that many prospects will be learning about career education for the first time.

In this role, you are uniquely qualified to provide clarity for prospective students about your school and their future. When you utilize goal-setting techniques you can help students to practically envision the steps along the way to their desired future and remove a sizable barrier to potential enrollment.

Want to see more from this in-depth research? Access the Hidden Motivations of Prospective Students report here.

Immediate Steps To Set Up For Virtual Admissions

Immediate Steps To Set Up For Virtual Admissions - Enrollment Resources

Photo by Manny Pantoja on Unsplash

This is a version of the white paper published through Career Education Review, and is a deeper look into the information presented by Tom King and Gregg Meiklejohn in the March 19th podcast ‘Organize A Quality Remote Admissions Program Quickly’. We hope this information helps.

As many schools rapidly shift to online operations in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, Admissions teams are struggling to be effective when in-person interviews are not possible. Adopting a Virtual Admissions Best Practice process is, in our opinion, crucial in avoiding lulls in enrollment over the next few months. Virtual Admissions will mitigate the current disruption and also become the new normal when the dust settles.

Most schools were not prepared for this abrupt disruption in business processes. Your school doesn’t have to face this alone. There are many associations and businesses dedicated to making sure your school comes out the other side of this situation and is prepared for the demand waiting there.

Social distancing means many people are staying home, and while there, plenty of them will be thinking about their uncertain futures. For some, this will involve searching for new careers, upgrading their skills, or continuing education they paused in a better job market. Establishing effective Virtual Admissions processes now will help you to be there to support them. Let’s take a look at how we can help these new “Explorers” choose to upgrade their skills through your school. Read more

[Podcast] Organize A Quality Remote Admissions Program Quickly

Enrollment Management Round Table with Enrollment Resources - Organize A Quality Remote Admissions Program Quickly

In this podcast, Tom King and Gregg Meiklejohn of Enrollment Resources give an overview of the pieces needed to organize a quality Remote Admissions program quickly.

Listen Now!

Subscribe to our free Training Library to stream this podcast

A companion white paper to this podcast will be published this week. Watch your inboxes for the link.

For a more in-depth conversation on this matter, please call Tom King or Sterling Simpson at Enrollment Resources at 250-391-9494.

[Podcast] Enrollment During High Employment Conditions

Enrollment Management Round Table with Enrollment ResourcesYour pool of leads could be shrinking, and fast. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States unemployment was just 3.9% in April. If your marketing is focused on people looking for work, then you need to take another look at today’s education market.

In this episode, the Enrollment Resources Panel explores alternative ways to fill your Career School’s lead funnel when it seems like everyone already has a job. Click to listen to Enrollment During High Employment Conditions: How to adapt to today’s education market. Read more

[Podcast] Lost Revenue Finder Live

Enrollment Management Round Table with Enrollment ResourcesWe have this cool, free five-minute process we call Lost Revenue Finder. Through it, we can find out if you’re losing millions of dollars in Enrollment Revenue due to small oversights within your Enrollment Management process. Click here to try Lost Revenue Finder yourself.

We usually run this exercise one-to-one, but we thought it would be fun to ask listening schools to try it live.

Read more

[Podcast] 24 Tips on How to Create a World-Class Enrollment Process – Part 4

Enrollment Management Round Table with Enrollment ResourcesThe fourth instalment of “24 Tips on How to Create a World-Class Enrollment Process” focuses on the Interview to Start Ratio. Our panelists jump into topics including how your school can optimize your interview-to-sit ratio in an ethical way. Listen for thought-starters you can use today.

Read more

New! Coaching for our Growing Virtual Adviser Software

Become a Virtual Adviser Software power user with built-in support from Enrollment Resources

In business, as in life, you’re either growing or stagnating. We’ve seen it in the education sector: schools that fail to attract and enroll students find their competitors nudging them out of the way. That’s huge motivation for us to be as effective as we can in giving you the tools to grow. So starting in 2017, our Virtual Adviser Software comes with coaching on new product features. Read more