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2017 Higher Education Benchmarks: Enrollment, Marketing and Program Trends Revealed

By Dani Damaske
Higher education trends 2017

We recently released the third annual higher education benchmarks. The report focuses on the adult education sector across two-year, four-year, public and private institutions.

Each year, we’ve expanded our coverage to offer a more holistic view of the higher education landscape. This year you’ll find academic program research surrounding associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs.

Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect from the 2017 Higher Education Benchmarks

Enrollment Trends

As we navigate uncharted territory in higher education, student enrollment continues to decline while research suggests that it should soon begin to stabilize.

  • Institutions are looking to online training and additional programs to hedge the effects of negative enrollment growth.
  • Career advancement continues to be the largest driver for online enrollment.

Marketing Trends

The marketing landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace. We have seen a significant shift in prospective student search behavior, and higher education marketing strategies are following suit.

  • Identify your school’s differentiators and tailor your message accordingly, keeping in mind your mission and position in the marketplace.
  • Reach the right students to improve enrollment, retention, graduation and placement rates.
  • Design for mobile first.
  • Focus on conversion, even in your social media strategy.

Program Trends

Deciding which programs to launch, grow or discontinue requires extensive research of internal and market data. This report includes programs with the highest and lowest growth by degree level, providing context of where your programs fall on the scale.

  • Healthcare programs, closely followed by computer science, continue to dominate, with the majority of high-growth programs being nursing-related.
  • Top programs are aligned with job openings in the marketplace and provide value for prospective students, successful careers and earning potential.

Ready to learn more?

Download the full report. 

Register for the webinar. Group President Mike McHugh and EVP Tracy Kreikemeier will expand on the research and its implications in the corresponding webinar on Feb. 9 at 12 p.m. CST.

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