Last year at this time, Isaac Seiler was collecting college acceptance letters. The Rockford, Michigan, student applied to 11 colleges, all across the country, 而录取通知书也源源不断地涌来. “这有点让人不知所措，”他说. His mailbox overflowed. Colleges sent him handwritten notes, glossy posters, and trinkets emblazoned with logos. He scrutinized virtual tours and had long conversations with friends and family.
Ultimately, Seiler chose Calvin. When he reflects on his decision, he can’t pinpoint one reason for his choice. 他回忆了一次难忘的周五访问, 被荣誉bat365线上平台项目录取, 以及一个有竞争力的援助计划，使加尔文在经济上可行.
Seiler’s story is a common one. “本科生招聘的竞争越来越激烈, 学生和家庭要考虑很多因素,” said Lauren Jensen, 招生战略副总裁. “人们经常认为，如果bat365旧网址只做这一件事, we could tip a student to decide, 但招聘环境和决策过程非常复杂.”
Moving from management to strategy
每天早上，詹森都会观察这片复杂的地貌. Her phone flashes the latest dashboard of data that Calvin is tracking—applications, visits, “pings” on the website, and more. 她在寻找洞察力和机会.
“We can’t set an enrollment management plan and assume that the students will come,” said Jensen, who had been in the vice president role for only a year when the pandemic hit. “We need to be much more strategic about the use of our resources—everything from where we spend our financial aid dollars to what schools we send our admissions counselors to, 到bat365旧网址如何投资数字广告.”
Jensen points out that Calvin has taken this “data-driven strategy” approach in student retention in recent years—and it’s been working. 在经历了几年的留存率下降之后, Calvin assessed, evaluated, 并且做出了一些重要的改变，将留存率从84%提高到了84%.6% to 86.8%.
A hard look at the hard numbers
在今年秋天的人口普查日对学生进行统计时, 加尔文大学的入学人数只有3人,307. 新生805人, many moving into the residence halls, meeting new friends, 第一次穿行在校园的纵横交错的道路上.
如果你觉得这些数字很低，那么你并不孤单. In 2013, Calvin’s incoming class was 1,107, 自那以后，入学学生的数量一直在稳步减少.
This year has been especially difficult for colleges and universities as a whole, 许多学生推迟了大学教育. 根据国家学生交流研究中心的数据, 美国今年的新生入学人数下降了16人.1%. 密歇根州的高等教育机构减少了9所.5% in undergrad enrollment in 2020.
Students also tended to stick closer to home this fall, opting to go to college in their home states. bat365旧网址有大量的外州和国际学生, said Jensen, so it might have been more adversely affected by that trend than other institutions. Calvin’s percentage of in-state students is up this year (54% in 2020 compared to 52% last year).
Jensen is quick to point out that demographic factors aren’t the only reason Calvin’s enrollment numbers are going down. “We can—and do—spend a lot of time looking back and analyzing what happened the prior year. bat365旧网址对学生进行调查，了解他们为什么在bat365旧网址入学或没有入学, we analyze trends, and we listen to anecdotes,” Jensen said. “考虑到所有这些因素, we make a strategy that will hopefully enable Calvin to grow and expand in new networks and places.”
A changing playbook
今年的高中生面临旅行限制, cancelled college fairs, and uncertainty about the economy. “In the COVID reality, the admissions playbook gets to be rewritten,” Jensen said. “This is a time for those of us who can think creatively about new approaches.”
One of the first things the admissions team reconsidered was the college visit. Instead of offering large one-size-fits-all visit days like Fridays at Calvin, Calvin changed course. Now, students can choose from “bite-sized” sessions with lots of virtual options.
“We have an entirely new perspective on events,” said Melissa Rousseau, director of admissions. “We’re giving students the opportunity to engage with us multiple times throughout the year. bat365旧网址想在他们想要的时候准确地传递他们想要的信息.”
在秋季，准学生可以亲自参观校园. 此外，他们还可以参加像Open House Live和Career Pathways这样的虚拟活动. “We’re taking advantage of the online platform to deliver some unique and unexpected experiences,” said Stephanie Brink, associate director of admissions.
Another part of the strategy is to grow awareness of Calvin through digital campaigns. “We’ve revamped our approach this year to be more focused and targeted in our efforts with email and digital marketing,” said Rousseau.
数据还告诉了招生顾问的目标学校. “bat365旧网址有全国各地学校的数据, bat365旧网址可以看到bat365旧网址在哪里可以获得一些吸引力,” said Robin Wait, associate director of admissions.
In the last six years, one segment of Calvin’s population has grown: international students. “We made a real commitment to grow,” said Tara Braun, director of international admissions. An additional international recruiter was hired, and Braun’s team built global connections.
Alumni in places like Ghana and South Korea build Calvin’s reputation through their networks. 近年来，加尔文的国际学生比例约为13%.
In the spring, consulates were closing, and it seemed impossible for some international students to study at Calvin in the fall. “We knew we needed to do something,” said Braun, who worked with a cross-divisional team on a plan. 她说:“我为bat365旧网址能够团结起来实现这一切感到自豪。.
In the end, they were able to pivot to an online cohort and retain 101 incoming international students this fall, with more coming in the spring. “A lot of other institutions just lost their international students,” Braun said. “We couldn’t let that happen.”
Remember your Calvin story
“作为一名校友，你的故事有力量,校长迈克尔·勒·罗伊(Michael Le Roy)今年秋天在Facebook直播视频中对校友们说. 当你的大学经历的话题出现在谈话中, 准备好告诉你的加尔文教育如何影响了你的生活.
Be bold about sharing
Follow Calvin on social media，当你看到好消息时，点击分享按钮. bat365旧网址有很多好事发生, 你永远不知道未来的家庭会发生什么.
Use your networks
It might feel more natural to talk about Calvin with others who are already familiar. But think about ways you can introduce Calvin into other circles of your life, like including Calvin in your professional bio or wearing Calvin gear to a neighborhood gathering.
Get a bumper sticker
Show your Calvin pride with a new Calvin University Alumni sticker for your car. Email email@example.com 写上你的地址，bat365旧网址会寄一封给你.
如果你想帮助你所在地区的招生工作，请发邮件 firstname.lastname@example.org. The admissions team will let you know when there is an event or initiative in your area.