The Tipping Point (from a parent)

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For as long as I can remember (as far back as my senior thesis for my undergraduate degree on the costs and pricing of higher education), I’ve always had a nagging question about how colleges and universities price themselves.

In my last position at a university, I was “at the table” for discussions of pricing at all levels. I remember researching costs at competing schools, reviewing CPI trends, helping to generate profit-loss statements for the three major areas of the ...

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I was a big fan …

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Drexel University mourns the loss of President Constantine Papadakis.  He didn’t know it, but I was a big fan.  He epitomized the type of leadership higher educational institutions need and presents a model for others to follow.

During the 13 years as Drexel’s President, Dr. Papadakis transformed the University into one of Philadelphia-area’s great institutions.  Not everyone agreed with his decisions, but he was decisive, bold and had the vision higher education needs, expecially in today’s challenging economic climate.

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You don't want to hear this.

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How many times have I said in presentations or sitting with clients: “You are no longer in control.” In my presentation slide I swap out my standard black background with a bright red one in order to drive home my point.

And I followup that simple statement with one that always tends to get a rise out of those who are listening and have been in admissions for many years: “And you never were.

More than 20 years ago I was ...

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Sad, Sad Search

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It’s been one month since the College Board released the names to colleges of hundreds of thousands of PSAT test takers during what used to be the start of the next recruiting cycle for some (and still is for those lost in traditional search methods).  Each year we follow a couple of high school students – typically in their Junior year – and review the materials they receive online and in-print.  And each year we get the same comment from ...

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Ease their pain

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We just returned from a very successful Xpert Summit in Las Vegas. In flying home, I got to thinking what was the ah-ha moment for me during the two days of interacting with our clients.

On Friday, we staged a mini-iThink session like the one we ran in Seattle at NACAC. One attendee found a way to provide an incentive to her tour guides that I thought was brilliant. She has worked out a deal with the registrar’s ...

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Grown Up Digital

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If you have young children at home and you’re still trying to figure out your kids and all that fancy technology stuff they enjoy, then take about 10 minutes to listen to a really interesting podcast with the author of Grown Up Digital, Don Tapscott. Don was interviewed by a friend, Leo Laporte and his partner Amber MacArthur, on the Net@Night podcast.

Click here to listen online or download to iTunes

Back ...

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What if FDR had YouTube or Twitter?

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On the drive in today, I did my normal Monday routine listening to the latest TWIT podcast recorded Sunday night (TWIT stands for “this week in tech” and is hosted by my favorite tech expert, Leo Laporte).

About 13 minutes into the podcast they discussed the news that President-Elect Obama is going to have to give up his Blackberry, to which he is apparently addicted to like many of us smart-phone users are.

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Lessons Learned Before It's Too Late

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As you’ve probably already read, TargetX hosted an event called iThink at NACAC in Seattle in the morning of Thursday, September 25th the Seattle Public Library.  Our objective was to get people talking about issues instead of just coming to hear so-called “experts” speak.  

We had more than 150 senior enrollment offers attend.  We intentionally setup the room with the chairs facing each other with one aisle down the middle in order to get ...

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Podcast #40: Rit Fuller, Educational Consultant

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Just posted is a new podcast episode of the Recruiting Revolution – Rit Fuller, Educational Consultant and Gary Johnson, client project manager at TargetX – discuss the past, the present and future of higher education enrollment.

To stream, download and subscribe to the Recruiting Revolution Podcast, click here to launch the iTunes Podcast Store.

Do you know someone that we should invite to the podcast?  Let ...

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281 Emails Later …

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On November 8, 2002, Ray Ulmer (TargetX’s Vice President for Communication) launched An Email Minute – a weekly email message that takes no more than 60 seconds to read. Today, I can’t tell you how many people approach me on the road saying “I love those emails I get every week”.  I share the same opinion – Ray has an amazing gift for taking sometimes complex ideas and craft them into a quick read.

But 302 weeks and 281 Email Minutes ...

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Podcast #39: Conversation with Bob Sevier

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Bob Sevier of Stamats Communication and I recently had a discussion about his new book, “Building Brand Momentum: Strategies for Achieving Critical Mass.”  We talk about differentiation, collaboration on campus and other important topics to help colleges build brand momentum that extend beyond that of the current management tenure at an institution.

To stream, download and subscribe to the Recruiting Revolution Podcast,

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Podcast #38: The Financial Aid Perfect Storm

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Recently I had a very interesting conversation with my friends from Scannell & Kurz including Jim Scannell, Kathy Kurz and Samantha “Sam” Veeder. We discussed what some have called “the perfect storm” around the financial aid crisis hitting colleges and families. They also provide information about their conference in 2009. More information can be found at www.scannellkurz.com

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Podcast #37: Michael Vitez

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Long time TargetX friend and talented storyteller, Michael Vitez, joins me, Jeff Kallay and Adrienne Bartlett on this podcast recording to discuss the power and impact of stories in marketing and recruiting. Michael is the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist at the Philadelphia Inquirer and author of the really awesome book, Rocky Stories. In February Michael provided the lunch time keynote address at our annual user’s ...

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Podcast #36: Joe Merante

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Just posted a really fun conversation I had recently with long time friend Dr. Joe Merante, former enrollment manager at Duquesne University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Southern California, Loyola University Marymount, and the director of the Snowmass Institute for the past 24 years.

Joe is now retired from enrollment management and provides a context to where we are today. He has an amazing understanding of the power of technology in recruiting and ...

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Twitter: The End of Blogs?

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As you know, I’m a big fan of story telling in the recruiting process. There’s enough research to show folks are frustrated by advertising and marketing and are seeking out the truth through individuals. Many times this is without the participation or knowledge of the college or university. And up until now, the most popular way for the admissions office to embrace story telling is to hire bloggers and get them telling their story. Unfortunately, many ...

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Episode #34 Interview with Ning CEO

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Today we posted podcast episode #34 – an interview with Gina Bianichini, CEO of Ning and recent Fast Company cover story, the social networking platform TargetX utilizes to power our eXpressNet admissions social networking sites.

Gina and I talk about the differences between setting up a Facebook or MySpace group vs. building your own fully branded social networking site, how to generate and keep traffic flowing on the site, where things are headed with respect to ...

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292 members. Join the conversation!

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Did you know there’s a place for college recruiting professionals gathering online? It’s TargetX’s Knowledge Center – the nearly 10 year old site where we post all sorts of free goodies, advice, links and no sales stuff. Earlier this year we turned it into a social networking environment for folks to gather, ask questions, share ideas, post success.

http://knowledgecenter.targetx.com

As I write this, there are 292 members and growing daily. A recent post by Marisa asks folks about their ...

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The Perfect Storm

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For many of you reading this, you’re planning your summer retreat with your staff, trying to figure out why your recruiting plan worked or didn’t work. And for some there are factors that are creating the perfect storm that needs immediate attention. What are these factors?

  • The number of students graduating from high school has begun to decline (particularly in the northeast)
  • The most competitive colleges have gone deeper into their waitlist than previous years
  • The financial situation of families and college ...
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Episode #32 Recruiting Revolution Podcast Posted

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We just posted episode #32 of the Recruiting Revolution podcast. You can find this on iTunes by clicking here to subscribe.

This episode was a little different – it was a conversation between myself, Jeff Kallay and Adrienne Bartlett about a survey we did of high school students and their attitudes toward how college recruit them. The study summary and the presentation given at SACAC this year can be found online in the Continue Reading →

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Graduate Admissions: The Poor Step-Child

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Memories were triggered by a recent post by a woman who works at a “public Ohio university” on her Old College Try blog about the priorities given (or not) to graduate admissions in higher education.

I say memories because back around 1993 when I moved from undergraduate to graduate admissions and marketing I found this was the case for all but the business school (which fortunately was where I worked). But a few years ...

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Chronicle Survey Summary Misleading

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On May 2nd the Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) published a summary of research done by the Maguire Associates that gave the impression that only 5% of colleges in the study utilized email as a recruiting and communication tool.

Unfortunately, this information is very misleading – in fact, grossly inaccurate.

In an email exchange with the two researchers who did the study, I was told today that the Chronicle summarized the answers provided in an ...

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Exceed Expectations #3: A Mountainous Effort to Yield Katie

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We’ve been talking for a few years now that colleges need to be more focused on the yield part of the enrollment funnel than anywhere else. Much of the budget gets put toward the top of the funnel and converting those prospects into applicants. But none of that matters unless they enroll. And doing so for many this year has proved to be a challenge.

Last night I sat on the porch with my neighbors whose daughter, Katie ...

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