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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

More Enrollees Are Just a Phone Call Away

There could be tens of thousands of potential community-college students out there who haven’t enrolled yet, apparently because they never got around to completing the paperwork. A simple phone call could reel them in.

According to Education Dive, a recent presentation at the American Association of Community Colleges Annual Meeting described how several colleges decided to conduct a call campaign to reach two groups of prospective students: those who had applied but didn’t finish forms for financial aid and those who had submitted financial-aid papers but hadn’t enrolled in classes.

The results of the calls were pretty amazing. Hillsborough Community College in Florida, for example, increased enrollment by 745 students compared to the previous year, amounting to more than $3 million in revenue. San Juan College in New Mexico got 17% of the individuals called in the first semester to enroll; the percentage went up to 46% in the second semester. Like Hillsborough, San Juan enjoyed a nice bump in revenue, helping to keep the institution afloat as state support declines.

Schools that called students who had taken courses but not re-enrolled also saw similar results.

The effectiveness of the phone calls suggests that many students may need that extra point of contact to stay on track. Some may struggle with complicated forms and don’t know where to get assistance, some may have missed a deadline and weren’t sure how to proceed, while others may simply require a little more encouragement.

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