Is Your Enrollment Increasing?

Is Your Enrollment Increasing?

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

As statistics regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on higher education become more readily available over time, a decline in overall postsecondary enrollment nationwide has become overwhelmingly apparent.  Throughout Fall 2020, the National Student Clearinghouse – a well-known entity that facilitates degree and enrollment verification in addition to providing trusted research on educational outcomes – published regular updates on the current state of higher education enrollment.  The most recent update published on December 17, 2020 reported that postsecondary enrollment overall dropped 2.5% in Fall 2020, nearly twice the decline observed in Fall 2019.  Public 2-year college enrollment dropped from -1.4% in Fall 2019 to -10.1% in Fall 2020.  The conditions COVID-19 brought about did not alleviate the strains on improving public 4-year and private nonprofit 4-year institution enrollment over previous years.  Most shockingly, freshman enrollment dropped 13.1% over last fall.

In the wake of such unprecedented challenges, we as architects and designers play a crucial role in helping colleges and universities attract and retain students best suited for their programs, thereby maintaining enrollment despite market turbulence.  In recent years, exciting new and renovated innovation centers, STEM facilities, makerspaces, and interdisciplinary buildings have emerged as iconic campus structures aimed to woo prospective students and parents while contributing to the quality of campus life.  However, iconic, modern buildings do not recruit and retain students by themselves.  As many campus facilities operations budgets fail to keep up with inflation and maintenance costs continue to mount, it is more important than ever to direct campus resources toward recruiting and retaining students.

To best strategically evaluate the impact of a campus’ built environment on attracting and retaining students, we developed the Architecture of Enrollment Management® service.  We leverage our national perspective and extensive knowledge of higher education campuses to increase admissions success and maintain a healthy student enrollment.  Considering the importance of virtual campus tours during COVID-19, we have adapted our approach to offer Virtual Architecture of Enrollment Management® services.  Over the years, a number of our clients have expressed how successful our work with them has proven.

  • “Hastings+Chivetta’s strategic guidance has allowed us to make changes to the way we convey the mission and culture of Chapman University to prospective students.” – Chapman University
  • The Architecture of Enrollment Management® is, “extremely relevant to our strategic plan.” – Ohio Wesleyan University

Read more about our Architecture of Enrollment Management® service here.

To further discuss how we can help your campus develop an innovative response to enrollment challenges, contact Erik Kocher at ekocher@hcarchitects.com or (314) 529-4004.