The funnel has long been a metaphor for describing the process through which colleges and universities build their enrollments. Each stage is important in reaching our desired goals; each stage requires our collective efforts.
At the top of the funnel, we encourage students who have expressed interest in the university to take the next step and become applicants. Those who meet our requirements are admitted. Finally, a portion of those admitted students will “yield,” becoming enrolled students.
Why does this matter?
Improving enrollment yield requires commitment to a coordinated effort from recruitment to enrollment, and from the campus community at large to provide a quality student experience after enrollment.
The Application Funnel Chart shows UNLV’s increase in applications over the past four years. This growth is attributable to a variety of factors:
- Rising reputation of UNLV as a top tier institution
- Greater outreach efforts to engage higher achieving students in out-of-state markets
- Focus on building stronger relationships with school counselors both locally and out of state
- Adoption of the Common Application.
By reaching further and deeper into our selected markets, we are engaging students who might not on their own have pursued enrollment at UNLV. But, as we target higher-ability students, we are also expanding the set of institutions with which we compete. As the chart shows, this expansion results in lower yield rates.
Where do we hope to see this go?
To help bolster retention and graduation rates, UNLV Admissions will continue to target high-ability prospective students, both in state and out of state. Because we cannot raise admissions standards beyond the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents criteria, we will need to continue casting a wide net to attract the students who are the best fit for UNLV.
What are we doing to get there?
High achieving students begin their college search as early as 9th and 10th grades. So admissions begins cultivating relationships with them and their families early to build interest in UNLV that results in their application by senior year. Engaging them requires multiple channels of communications and carefully crafted messaging that differentiates UNLV from our growing set of competitors.
UNLV’s engagement efforts are increasing as much as technology and funding will allow. Admissions communicates with applicants and admitted student via social media, emails, home mailings, and phone calls. Admissions also brings admitted students and their families to campus to introduce them to college life and academic programs through events during the spring term.
UNLV’s value and outcomes are critical selling points in a highly competitive market. At the same time, financial aid and scholarships are incredibly important to admitted students and their parents. Communicating both need-based and merit awards as quickly as possible will help us maintain a competitive edge among admitted students.
After students accept their offers of admission, we work to clearly and consistently communicate with them through their enrollment process, which includes New Student Orientation, and to ensure a smooth experience.
How you can help
Choosing a college is a complex decision for any family. Many considerations are practical, such as cost, while others are subjective. All students and their parents want to feel that the college or university they choose is invested in the student’s social, emotional, and academic growth and development.
It is important that prospective students and their parents hear and experience UNLV’s commitment to its students at every stage of the enrollment funnel. Each of us at the university may have an opportunity to interact with a prospective student or a parent in the course of our work. Consistently communicating UNLV’s value is crucial to our success.
In each of our colleges, deans, chairs, faculty, and advisors can learn more about their own enrollment funnels and the strategies that help conversion at each stage. The Office of Admissions welcomes the opportunity to partner with the campus community to embrace students throughout the process and to showcase all the merits of the UNLV experience.