Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.
– Zora Neale Hurston
The Lawlor Review is a critically acclaimed education marketing journal that provides insightful, pertinent commentary about marketing and brand management issues facing higher education today.
Published since 1992, the Review has become a must read for presidents, senior administrators, faculty members, and chief enrollment officers at colleges, universities, and secondary schools across the country.
Browse the two most recent issues below, or access the entire Lawlor Review archives.
To me, one of the fun parts of helping to pull together our annual “Year in Review” article for The Lawlor Review is that we never know ahead of time where the story will lead. This issue was no exception.
During the recruitment cycle for Fall 2012 entry, admissions officers and college counselors alike witnessed students and families approach the college search with a new level of concern and diligence—and a laser focus on cost that higher education enrollment managers couldn’t afford to ignore.
Like most private institutions, Concordia University, St. Paul (Minnesota) is acutely aware that sticker price is a big hurdle in today’s college marketplace—and that the hurdle has become more like an obstacle for families in recent years.
Don Hossler is a professor of educational leadership and policy studies at Indiana University Bloomington and a nationally recognized expert in the areas of student college choice, persistence, enrollment management, and higher education finance.
In front of glowing rectangular screens—computers, tablets, smartphones, or other gadgets—we’re absorbing thousands of information snippets every day as we consume, create, and sort through content of all types. The sheer volume of digital information we interact with today would have been unthinkable even a decade ago. How can colleges and universities cut through this clutter with targeted, engaging, and strategic content for their various audiences?
Presenters at this year’s Summer Seminar, the annual higher education conference co-sponsored by The Lawlor Group and Hardwick-Day, reminded senior enrollment and marketing professionals from private colleges and universities throughout the nation that dealing with the “new normal” demands innovative strategies and tactics. If they are to succeed in their campaigns for the hearts and minds (and wallets) of today’s prospective students and families—and achieve their institutions’ enrollment goals—then they need to think differently.
Whatever you have to say to today’s youth, it is clear from research conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project that you’ll increasingly be saying it primarily on the Internet and via mobile devices.
Offering visitors to your website pretty, easy-to-find packages of information is fine, said Kristina Halvorson, but if they are filled with junk, what’s the point? As Sun Tzu wrote, she noted, “Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” When your website is a prospective student’s single most important source of information about your institution, it cannot be a “launch it and leave it” affair. You have to make sure it continues to meet not just the needs of its owners, but also of its users.
The subtitle of his book is “Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business,” but Charles Duhigg said enrollment managers need to study how they do business, too—not only how they treat their potential customers, but also how they enable their staffs to succeed at jobs that are complex and stressful.
Once you have made contact with a prospective student, what will you say? That will be easier to determine if you have current, in-depth information not only about the characteristics and attitudes of the students who just entered your school, but also about those of first-year students nationwide.
Whichever tactics you choose to use to attract students to your institution, your overall strategy has to speak to this disheartening statistic: While 76% of college presidents recently rated the job higher education was doing as “excellent/good,” 57% of the general public rated the value they were receiving as only “fair/poor.”
Friday’s first speaker, Andrew Delbanco, gave his address without PowerPoint slides and with little in the way of notes. His talk was delivered in the tradition of the best college lectures: in an effortless, poignant, and thought-provoking manner.
Social psychologist Nicole Stephens gave a data-packed presentation that undoubtedly left the enrollment and marketing professionals in attendance with much to think about as they returned to their institutions.
Kevin Winge brought Summer Seminar 2012 to an emotional and inspiring close with his humorous and heartfelt address.