Mastering the Wave: How Admissions Teams Can Tackle 7 Modern Challenges

Posted by Tribal Group

In the dynamic realm of academia, admissions teams play a crucial role as navigators, guiding higher education institutions (HEIs) on their journey. These professionals face a range of complex challenges that are constantly evolving as the educational landscape transforms. From the art of attracting competitive prospective students to the precision required in managing intricate application pipelines, the modern admissions professional is like a captain of industry in their own right. Let's dive into the strategic blueprint developed by admissions teams to tackle some of the sector's most daunting obstacles..

Challenge 1: Attracting the Best Applicants in a Competitive Market

The essence of any successful program is its participants. HEIs constantly jostle for top applicants in a market that's grown fiercely competitive. For an admissions team, the goal is to shine bright in a sky full of stars, making the institution an irrefutable choice for discerning candidates. The challenge lies in curating a brand image that resonates and leveraging the application experience to captivate.

Actions to Take:

  • Craft a Compelling Brand Story: Appeal to emotions and core values, not just academic prowess.
  • Revamp the Application Process: Innovate to offer an engaging, efficient, and memorable application experience.

Challenge 2: Smarter Management of the Applicant Pipeline

The management of the applicant pipeline is akin to a high-stakes chess game — each move consequential, each strategy deliberate. Admissions teams need to be agile and adaptable, accurately gauging their position relative to the goals of accepted offers and enrolled students. A bird's eye view of the recruitment and application pipeline is not just a luxury but a necessity to maintain a competitive edge.

Actions to Take:

  • Leverage Predictive Analytics: Utilise data to predict and prepare for shifts in the pipeline.
  • Adopt Modern CRM Solutions: Implement tools that provide real-time status updates and foster collaboration across the team.


Challenge 3: Keeping Applicants Warm to Improve Acceptance & Enrolment Rates

In sales terminology, the time when a customer goes quiet is often referred to as 'going cold'. For admissions teams, the period between application and decision can be this fallow period, ripe for losing out to a competitor. The need for consistent, warm communication extends beyond good customer service; it's a strategic imperative that can significantly impact acceptance and enrolment rates.

Actions to Take:

  • Automate Communication: Send personalised, timely messages to applicants based on their application stage.
  • Develop Multichannel Strategies: Engage with applicants seamlessly across various communication channels to maintain an active dialogue.

Challenge 4: Managing High Volumes of Applications

As the educational sector expands, so does the paperwork — or rather, the digital forms. Admissions teams must find ways to navigate through the deluge of applications quickly and efficiently without compromising the quality of scrutiny each one gets. The key is to streamline processes and adopt efficient technology solutions.

Actions to Take:

  • Automated Decision Making: Utilise a software that handles rule-based, repetitive tasks, freeing up human resources for nuanced decision-making.
  • Implement Application Tracking Systems: Use automated systems to track and manage applicants' status and documents.

Challenge 5: Safeguarding Sensitive Data

Higher education operates within a rigorous framework of legal and ethical standards — a challenge that grows more complex with each passing year. Admissions teams have the important responsibility of safeguarding student data in the face of ever-changing regulations. This becomes even more challenging as they navigate through an endless stack of applications to process. It is paramount for admissions teams to maintain compliance while also demonstrating agility.

Actions to Take:

  • Implement Stringent Access Controls: Use a technology that helps you manage permissions and access, adhering to compliance without impeding workflow.

Challenge 6: Achieving the Power of Team Agility

Maintaining organisational agility is crucial. However, admissions teams often face predicaments when they have to wait for a team member or consultant to provide technical assistance. This can lead to significant delays in processing student applications, spanning several days. The capacity to swiftly adapt and respond can truly be the differentiating factor for a provider.

Actions to Take:

  • Embrace API Connectivity: Invest in solutions that offer robust API connectivity to foster flexibility and integration.
  • Harness Low-Code/No-Code Capabilities: Leverage solutions that empower teams to build applications or workflows with minimal coding, enabling rapid development and deployment.

Challenge 7: Leveraging Data for Strategic Decision Making

For modern admissions teams, data functions as both a lighthouse and a compass, guiding strategic decision-making. With the right data, HEIs can make informed choices that better align with the market and the specific strengths and weaknesses of their admissions process.

Actions to Take:

  • Improve Data Sharing among teams: Use a technology that has a proper document management system to help information flow faster and securely.
  • Create Dashboards for Visibility: Condense complex data into visual, actionable insights for the team.

Mastering the wave is more than navigating the challenges; it's about capitalising on them as opportunities to innovate and grow. In an industry where change is the only constant, admissions professionals hold the best tools for carving a successful future for their institutions.

For admissions teams striving to surmount these challenges with finesse, Tribal Admissions emerges as a beacon of innovation, crafted with your specific needs in mind. Overcome daily hurdles and transform your admissions process into a powerhouse of efficiency and security. Discover a SaaS solution that can change your approach: read more about how Tribal Admissions can align with your objectives here.



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