Frequently Asked Questions
Why should we choose Enrollment Research Associates?
ERA provides highly customized research and enrollment strategies that are designed to help each client achieve its goals. Our approach is to be highly involved with our clients, becoming an extension of your admissions and financial aid offices.
What information will I need to furnish?
ERA takes a quantitative approach to enrollment management. In a full-scope consultation, we typically ask for at least 3 years of data from admissions, financial aid, and the registrar. This data should include information covering all applicants (for some projects we may ask for inquiries and search purchases as well), and will cover basic demographics, academic profile, contacts between school and student, financial aid application and award information, and student achievement once enrolled at the institution.
In what format should we send the data?
We will work with your data in whatever form you can provide it, and assist you over time to improve its quality and format. However, we have developed a data specification that allows us to spend more time performing high-level analysis and less time cleaning files. It also ensures the absolutely quickest turn-around time possible during peak periods. We hope to get our clients to follow this format whenever possible.
What if we do not have all the information that you need?
Of course, the more information that an institution can provide, the more effective our analysis and recommendations will be. But we will work within the limitations of your existing data, and help you set up processes and procedures to collect more of the data that we need moving forward.
When is the best time to start a new project?
The ideal time to start a new project is summer. This allows us to spend several weeks working with you on the data transfer, getting familiar with your institution during a less busy time, and giving us an opportunity to be fully prepared for the fall census review. For a typical enrollment management project, we need to begin before any scholarships or financial aid is released in order to have an impact on that year’s results.
How long will it to take to get results?
Our approach is to work with you throughout the entire enrollment cycle, making adjustments whenever necessary, rather than just studying the problem and issuing a report. However, we can usually be prepared to make preliminary recommendations and to begin to track a course for the future within a month of receiving data. An institution will typically begin to see positive changes in the first year that we implement new strategies for recruitment and financial aid allocation.
How often will we communicate with each other?
The most successful projects are those where client and consultant stay in regular communication with each other. We are here to serve your needs and provide you with sound advice and strategies regarding enrollment management. Especially during critical times (such as March through May) we often speak to our clients nearly every day as we work toward meeting our enrollment goals for fall.
How often will you visit campus?
This depends on the preferences of each client. At a minimum, we will visit each institution at least once in the fall to review the prior year’s results and discuss goals and strategies for the upcoming year. Many clients benefit from a second visit in the fall to discuss topics such as search and retention. Also, we always make ourselves available to present to university leadership or faculty. ERA is pleased to make a reasonable number of visits to its clients each year, and those of you in cold-weather climates are welcome to visit our offices in sunny San Antonio.
How do we get started?
Give us a call anytime to talk through your enrollment situation and discover more about ERA. We will be happy to send you examples of our work, furnish you with references, or visit campus to explain more about our approach to enrollment management.