This past week Badger Day invited 110 prospect students to Spring Hill College. Spring Hill Ambassador, Caroline Strand, shares that “Badger day is a day where high school students and their families come to Spring Hill for a day filled with different sessions to learn more about the school. Sessions include things like meeting with professors for potential majors, housing tours, parent and student panels, informational meetings for pre-health, honors & pre-law/political science, an academic fair, mini badger expo, lunch and more!” These events help prospect students gain information of what life on the hill is like. Admissions put on these programs every single year to get students to come to SHC.
The Vice President of Enrollment, Gary Bracken, discussed in an interview a new process that Admissions is testing out this year. He states that “The events aren’t necessarily to be bigger, but there more intensive in terms of getting students and families to meet with the faculty, and getting them to meet with other Spring Hill students. We are trying to establish relationships and rapport with the students to generate more yield.” The yield that Bracken discussed with me is the time from when a student applies to school to when they put down their deposit and begin the enrollment process. Last year, Spring Hill’s yield was sitting at about 5 percent.
This is significantly lower than other universities. Bracken says “Usually the benchmark is about 25 percent yield. Our yield was 5 percent, so far less than it should have been by national benchmark and far lower than any other Jesuit college.” This entire year the Admissions department has been working on getting the yield back up a little higher.
Along with having fewer events, Bracken shares another goal of the Admissions department, he says “We cut back on a number of applications we are trying to get. Last year we had 6,820 applications. This year we have 5,260, and that is by design because when you are trying to get students to come to college you are selling something intangible. We are selling something that people can't see, touch, or feel. So we have to tell them about the benefits and features of an institution.” Although the Admissions department is decreasing the number of applications they are getting they are hoping to find the right students to attend SHC.
Bracken explains “Something happens here with an education and that is what we are trying to show, by not doing a volume of things and getting a volume of students, but the right students to come here and treating them the right way when they're going through the application process.”