“Market Data Should Underpin Everything You Do” Is Core Message at Graduate and Online Summit

Scott JeffeVice President, Research (Graduate and Online)March 25, 2022
Five Fundamentals of Campus Culture

More than 400 marketing and enrollment leaders attended RNL’s second annual Graduate and Online Innovation Summit, which was designed around sessions meant to arm attendees with the market data and strategies they need to benefit from the recent expansion of both graduate and online education. (Click here to watch all of the sessions.)

Sessions were built around RNL’s “Five Fundamentals of Campus Culture” that are need to be reflected in successful growth strategies.

  • First, graduate and online success (and likely undergraduate success also) begins with a comprehensive understanding of the geographic market conditions in which the institution operates.
  • Second, institutions cannot successfully market and grow enrollment in programs for which they do not understand specific program market demand.
  • Third, marketing and recruitment strategies must be informed by both data gathered on points one and two, but also on a firm understanding of how graduate and online students search and make enrollment decisions.
  • Fourth, program and course design must employ the best practices in order to be able to demonstrate the fifth priority – demonstrated student success.

 Among the most important data shared with Summit attendees were:

  1. All net growth in American higher education over the last five years has been among students enrolled in “all distance courses” or “one or more distance courses.”   
  2. Nearly half (48 percent) of graduate students plan to enroll in a hybrid program and 32 percent plan to enroll in an online program.
  3. Business programs continue to dominate online demand at all levels, but other program areas are rising fast.
  4. Search engines lead as the most common source in online searches, and all but one other source are digital media.
  5. Graduate and online students use videos to learn more about the institutions they like, but they prefer some content over other.
  6. Adult students are more satisfied with their experiences than are traditional, but they measure success using different factors.
  7. Online students measure satisfaction very differently than do their adult student or graduate student counterparts.
  8. Online AND graduate students demand course schedules and formats quite different than traditional undergraduates.
  9. Successful graduate and online marketing strategy must include three distinct components.
  10. Almost 75 percent of all students today have one or more characteristics that make them “non-traditional.”

Watch every session from the 2022 RNL Graduate and Online Innovation Summit

Get free access to sessions from enrollment experts and thought leaders in graduate and online enrollment. Listen as they share strategies, insights, and research that will highlight opportunities and solutions to reach your enrollment goals. Plus you get our Summit Summary with 40 findings.


Graduate and Online Innovation Summit

About the Author

Scott Jeffe, RNL

Scott Jeffe has worked with more than 200 institutions in 40+ states to apply market data to strategic decisions. With a focus on profiling the demands and preferences of nontraditional (adult, online, etc.) students, Scott...

Read more about Scott's experience and expertise

Reach Scott by e-mail at Scott.Jeffe@RuffaloNL.com.

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