#TBT: The History of Enrollment Management

Did you know the term “enrollment management” was coined in 1976? That’s right, a whopping 38 years ago John Maguire, the Dean of Admissions at Boston College, wrote an article for the The Bridge, Boston College’s alumni magazine, discussing his approach on marketing for higher education admissions.

You may be asking yourselves – why was his article posted in the college’s alumni magazine? Well, we asked the same thing. At the time, there was nowhere else he could post his article because there were no publications that focused attention on higher education marketing. This shows you how truly ahead of his time the strategy was.

Enrollment management for higher education has come a long way since Maguire’s article was written, but many of the same principles still exist. Here are what we believe to be the most important aspects Maguire touched on in his article:

  • The importance of marketing strategies in admissions – Maguire argued Boston College’s enrollment success was partially due to advanced marketing strategies. In today’s market, there are an abundance of marketing options in higher education. It’s vital to constantly examine and re-examine your strategy and ensure it aligns with the strategic goals of your school.
  • Data matters – Once again, Maguire was extremely ahead of his time, even before CRM software, his article stressed the fact that without the collecting and analyzing of meaningful data, it will be impossible to make important recruitment decisions.
  • Retention is an enrollment tool – The ability to track and monitor student signals helps admissions recruit the right students and manage prospective students from every step from the search process to enrollment.

There’s more than meets the eye with enrollment, as we all know it’s an extensive process, but it’s not a new concept and actually has a lot of history behind it. Have any other interesting #TBT history for higher education? Feel free to leave feedback, comments, and questions below.