How to Increase Admissions in Your School
With the new academic year just around the corner, driving admissions for your school requires a smart and clear strategy. Even though the Indian education sector is booming with new K-12 schools mushrooming in all neighbourhoods, running a good institution is no easy matter.
Parents are always looking out for their children’s best interests, and finding a good school sits right on top of that list. While every school tries to pack in and deliver more, ask any young parent, and they will tell you how they are still looking for the right school for their child.
While the choice and access for the high-income population is wide and easy, it is the large Indian middle class that has a tough time picking the right school. A school that fits their financial resources and, at the same time, provides the best exposure for their child. It is this fine balance that most average Indian middle-income parents are looking for.
Research shows that parents go to great lengths before shortlisting schools basis multiple factors that they deem important. Some of which are key to a sound enrollment strategy. A good enrollment strategy for a leading educational institute includes not just what parents and students are looking for today but also tools and skills that will become important in times to come.
3 Cs for School Admissions
In the pursuit of increasing school admissions in India, a strategic approach encompassing the “3 Cs for School Admissions” plays a pivotal role. This section delves into the essential factors that can make a significant difference in attracting parents and students to your educational institution. From crafting a compelling curriculum and effective communication channels to the art of successful conversion, these key elements form the cornerstone of your school’s enrollment strategy.
1. Curriculum & Core Offering
The curriculum and core offerings of a school serve as its educational blueprint. While some aspects may align with standard offerings in the education sector, it is crucial to identify and highlight unique and exclusive features that set your school apart. This can encompass innovative teaching methodologies, specialised programs, extracurricular activities, or unique partnerships with industry leaders. Parents are drawn to schools that offer a holistic and exceptional learning experience, making this a cornerstone of your school’s marketing strategy.
2. Communication Channels
Effective communication is the bridge that connects your school’s strengths to the parents and students seeking the best educational fit. It involves not only what you say but also how and where you say it. Crafting a compelling message and delivering it through appropriate channels at the right time is paramount. This includes a robust online presence, engaging social media platforms, informative websites, and personal interactions during admission drives. The key is to showcase your school’s value proposition clearly and consistently, addressing the “why” and “how” of choosing your institution.
In the realm of school admissions, conversion is the ultimate test of your efforts. Even with a stellar product and effective communication, it’s imperative to have a well-defined strategy for closing the deal. This involves streamlining the admission process, offering financial aid options, providing comprehensive information, and nurturing prospective students and parents. A seamless and welcoming experience can make all the difference in transforming inquiries into enrolled students. Conversion is where your school’s dedication to prospective families truly shines, turning interest into enrollment reality.
Strategies to Increase School Admission in India
Let’s explore how each “C” can be harnessed to achieve your admissions goals.
1. Curriculum & Core Offering
Drive Quality in Teaching
The quality of teaching sometimes becomes the deciding factor for parents when it comes to choosing the right school for their children. Besides choosing well-qualified teachers, the school can further enhance the student-teacher interaction by keeping their ratio optimal. It allows for more personal attention and helps the teacher identify the real strengths and weaknesses of individual students. This, in turn, helps the teacher be more effective by adopting methods that deliver better results in specific situations. A good teacher-student equation results in students becoming more comfortable with seeking help and learning to cope with difficult subjects.
The school can also identify newer skills that the teachers can be incentivised to add to themselves, thereby keeping updated and improving the school’s output.
Smart classroom solutions are another way to keep up with the times. While digital classrooms have become a necessity in post-COVID times, adapting to newer teaching technologies and methods also gives the teacher a boost.
Besides a powerful curriculum, schools should also consider offering a school integrated program to help students prepare for competitive exams. This would be a solid point for parents to consider your school and help you boost your admission numbers.
Invest in Modern Infrastructure
The facilities that the school offers go a long way when parents are looking up schools for their children. Parents are keen to see what kind of investments the school makes to provide a robust environment for their child’s development. They look for things that help their child pick up knowledge and skills both inside and outside of the classroom. Some examples include:
- Library: A well-stocked and diverse library helps broaden a child’s imagination. A state-of-the-art library that has an extensive collection of books and other material, as well as digital access to references, manuscripts, artworks, etc., from across the world, is a huge asset for any school.
- Laboratories: Well-equipped laboratories, with the proper security measures, provide practical knowledge of concepts studied in textbooks. They become the foundation of profound and practical knowledge that children gain. Having modern laboratories and workshops gives any school an advantage over the others.
- Sports: Sports often impart essential life skills and lessons to children, which help them thrive in life. Discipline, hard work, healthy competition, teamwork, learning from losses, and accepting shortcomings are the lessons best learned in a sporting arena. A good sports program and opportunities to train and compete at the highest levels within the school are a win-win for both the school and the parents. The school benefits from student achievements, and parents have the convenience of one-stop, all-round development.
- Technology: Digital Learning has become another big draw for parents. With the world becoming increasingly digital, digital learning, smart classrooms, and exposure to newer fields are becoming essential for children. Educational technology is essential not just for teaching and learning, but also helps students prepare better for competitive exams.Partner with Extramarks for Transformative Digital Solutions for K-12 Teaching and Learning & Competitive Exam Preparation. Learn More.
Participation in Community
Participating in initiatives such as tree plantation drives, cleanliness drives, and saving water and other resources makes the children evangelists of change that the community as a whole needs.
This drives a sense of action, compassion and connectedness for the kids and gives the parents a sense of pride. It makes the school visible in the community, but most importantly, it helps the school be the institution of hope and develop the future leaders of the world we live in.
2. Communication Channels
Improve Digital Presence
With a lot of information available at the click of a button, the first place for any parent or student to get to know more about an institution is the internet. Today, it has become essential to have a good website with an easily understandable user interface and all the information about the school that a parent might be looking for, such as:
- How is the school performing in academics
- What are the co-curricular activities that it offers
- How well are the school alums doing
- What kind of infrastructure does the school provide to its students
- Does the school have good sports facilities or tie-ups
- The admission process
An uncluttered page where the students’ achievements and those of the school are highlighted. Here, a good backend and SEO are vital and play a key role in visibility and ranking in search. If the school has excellent results but does not show up on the top of search pages, parents or peers might not even notice.
Optimising all Communication Channels
Today, there are a number of communication channels that are open and available to the school to reach its various stakeholders. Social Media handles play a huge role in communicating real-time wins and celebrating victories, big and small. These become mini bulletin boards for the school to share its accolades.
The school can facilitate alum groups and keep them updated about the school’s ongoings. This would not only keep old students from coming back to school but also play a part in their choosing their alma mater for their children.
Response and Engagement
A prompt response to queries and engagement on all communication channels is essential to convert people to loyalists. Alumni, parents, or students’ comments and DMs on social media should receive a prompt acknowledgement and revert. An email/message received through the website should get a quick response and follow-up. A responsive, easily accessible school communication team can help swing a parent’s decision in the school’s favour.
Simplify the Admission Process
School admissions are a stress point for parents, and simplifying the process puts them at ease. It makes sure that they will complete the admission process. Few tips on the stages of this process
- Easily Accessible Application: The first step for parents is to get hold of an admission form. These should be made available both online and offline. The design of the form and its questions should be concise and nonrepetitive. Additional documents required should be listed clearly.
- Timeline and Tracking: A clear timeline on submissions and last dates should be given along with the forms. A transparent stage-wise breakdown of the process helps parents track the procedure and make follow-ups where needed.
- Clear and Prompt Communication: The school needs to provide clear instructions through all its channels on the various stages of the admission process. Making sure parents receive timely updates on the progress and next steps helps keep everyone on track. Share streamlined points of contact and have a response team set up to address concerns throughout the process.
- Multiple Payment Options: The school needs to be equipped to receive payments through both online and offline platforms. This makes it easy for the parents to choose their preferred method to close the admission. This helps avoid any last-minute dropouts.
It is easy to get completely swamped during the peak of the admission process. Queries begin to pour in through all communication channels. Response time and rate take a hit. It is the time that both parents and schools struggle to keep up. This means that a lot of potential students do not finish the process or fall off the wagon along the way.
Having a plan of action, setting up an internal flow process, and allocating clear responsibilities to the admissions team help smooth the process. An efficient organisation of queries allows schools to extract most admissions from potential queries.
Invest in CRM
Utilising a quality education CRM platform can speed up the process of response and follow-up through multiple touchpoints for the school. Automation makes this the most effective way to generate follow us with hundreds of applicants. A CRM platform can handle multiple forms of communication, including emails, WhatsApp, SMS, etc., through a given schedule and at every stage of the admission process. This makes CRM extremely useful for the admissions team, which can then allocate more resources and focus on generic aspects of the admission process. Therefore, it increases the overall efficiency and turnaround timeline.
Response Time to Applications and Enquiries
A quick response time is one of the critical strategies that schools can utilise to maximise their admissions. It conveys to the parents that the school is willing to engage and connect. They see that their child’s admission is as important to the school as it is to the parent. A quick response also gives a preferred advantage to the school by getting the top pick amongst the applying students. When schools fail to respond in timely manner it often results in loss of potential students.
Wrapping up: The school needs to ensure that all three aspects of the school marketing ideas get equal attention – What the school offers, where it communicates, and how effectively it can convert the query. With enough attention to detail on these aspects, an institution is bound to have a large number of new admissions in their school.
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Last Updated on February 19, 2024