Boosting an Existing Online Degree Program With Online Accelerator

The Story

The university was seeking to increase enrollment in its online Master of Science in Nursing degree program. We deployed our proprietary Online AcceleratorSM approach to identify areas of opportunity and maximize growth.

About the Partner

This Keypath partner is a nonprofit, faith-based university with a growing online program presence. The institution has been recognized by numerous independent sources for its educational excellence, value and successful outcomes.

The Problem

Enrollment in the university’s online Master of Science in Nursing was stagnant. University leaders turned to Keypath to perform research and identify how to revitalize the program and capitalize on its potential.

The Strategy and Execution

Our experts began by deploying Online AcceleratorSM, a business model that achieves accelerated growth of existing online degree programs through supplied capital, integrated marketing and a proprietary 123-point program assessment for identifying program opportunities.

The associated research unearthed new information about what Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) students truly valued in their education, career path, desired career outcome and more. Our findings led us to strongly recommend adding an FNP concentration to the partner’s online MSN offering.

We then set an objective to double the total number of MSN students year-over-year by investing in specific marketing strategies tailored to prospective FNP applicants.

We aggressively tested the research-based marketing strategy — for example, research showed nurses value an integration of faith in their practice, so we were able to differentiate this faith-based partner in a strong way by embracing its bold declaration of faith. However, we conducted testing to ensure faith-centric messaging wasn’t a barrier to students of other religions or with other primary concerns.

Thanks to our full suite of web assets, the partner was able to take its new program to market and begin building an applicant pipeline in under two months.

The Results

  • In less than one year, student enrollment in the program increased by 150 percent
  • The partner saw a 4 percent lead-to-start increase following the launch of the FNP concentration
  • We drove higher than 70 percent application-to-start rates for the program
  • Student retention tops 90 percent term-over-term

The Takeaways

  • Use research to identify market demands and persona values, then respond to them with strong value propositions and differentiators
  • Get to market quickly for a proportionally quick ROI
  • Allow Keypath to bear investment capital when testing growth strategies for optimized confidence
     
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