We Wrote the Book on Strategic Enrollment Planning (Again): New Third Edition Released by RNL

Lew SanborneSenior Vice PresidentMay 11, 2023

It is so exciting to be able to announce the publication of the third edition of Strategic Enrollment Planning: A Dynamic Collaboration. It’s been seven years (2016) since we published the second edition, and so much has changed.

Why focus on strategic enrollment planning?

The higher ed landscape continues to change at a rapid pace, and yesterday’s enrollment planning methods will not yield the kind of results most college and university leadership teams are looking for. Participation rates for direct from high school students continue to decline, the demographic cliff is nearly here, and combined with shifting demographics overall, we are in a zero-sum environment. Every bit of enrollment growth for one institution is likely to mean a corresponding decline at another. Competition is increasingly fierce, and not just for traditional, on-ground students.

What’s in the new book edition?

The third edition of Strategic Enrollment Planning: A Dynamic Collaboration provides a roadmap for navigating the shifting higher education terrain. It does not describe a magic formula, and certainly not every institution is ready to embark on the process. But for those who are—and who have the leadership and drive to see the process through—it can help shift a degree of control back to the institution.

Every chapter in this third edition has been updated, not only to reflect the most recent trends in higher education, but to better align with the best practices we are applying with our campus strategic enrollment planning partners. Our full- and part-time consultants are constantly learning about what works, both relative to enrollment planning and to organizational development. Those insights and improved practices are all reflected in the third edition.

New in this third edition: We’ve split what was the financial aid and pricing chapter into two chapters—one on pricing, price strategy, and value; the other financial aid and scholarship awarding. We also included a fresh introduction and new concluding chapter.

  • Chapter 1 sets the historical stage for higher education, exploring major trends and considering the future.
  • Chapters 2-8 describe the nuts and bolts of strategic enrollment planning, from building the culture, planning the process, identifying key performance indicators and collecting data, through strategy identification, goal setting, continuation, and additional steps in between.
  • Chapters 9-14 serve as a primer of enrollment planning fundamentals: marketing strategy and positioning, pricing, financial aid and affordability, recruitment, student success, and attracting and retaining adult, online, and graduate students.
  • In chapter 15, we describe lessons learned through the application of vignettes from actual SEP cases, to help campuses consider their readiness for SEP, to avoid pitfalls, and to embrace best practices.

Read the book that’s been called “a must read” for enrollment leaders

Strategic Enrollment Planning: A Dynamic Collaboration is available in paperback and e-book formats. I would also be happy to discuss the book with you or any other facet of strategic enrollment planning. Simply send me an email and I will respond. I hope you find the book informative and enjoyable!

About the Author

Lew Sanborne

Dr. Lew Sanborne is RNL's leader in strategic enrollment planning. He offers three decades of experience in higher education and enrollment management, with a range of expertise including annual, and strategic enrollment planning, student success...

Read more about Lew's experience and expertise

Reach Lew by e-mail at Lewis.Sanborne@RuffaloNL.com.

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