Private Universities Increasingly Turn to EducationDynamics to Prevent Drops in Enrollment

In a Year That Will Be Dominated by Economic Challenges, Private Schools Are Leveraging Web-Based Platforms to Reinforce Their Value Among Parents Who Have More Affordable Public Colleges in Mind

HOBOKEN, NJ--(Marketwire - January 27, 2009) - The financial market meltdown has spurred many private colleges and universities to turn to online technology as a proactive means to prevent drops in enrollment. As parents of incoming students for the fall of 2009 report that they are eliminating college choices based on cost, EducationDynamics advises private schools to reinforce the value and outcomes of private education among those whom they have found to be the most influential audience: parents.

"Parents are looking for indicators of superior return on investment from private education in these tough economic times, and only so much value can be conveyed through a glossy paper brochure," explains Peter Tomassi, senior vice president of product development for EducationDynamics' Enrollment and Retention Services Division.

To combat enrollment declines stemming from economic factors, EducationDynamics' parent programs arm universities with a Web-based tool through which to connect with and communicate value to parents on the fence about the merits of a private institution versus its public counterparts. These parent-centric programs have been shown to prevent melt, and in some cases even increase enrollment, through regular parent communication in a preferred medium. Loyola University New Orleans, a private institution and user of the EducationDynamics parent platform since 2006, has reported a 40 percent increase in student deposits since the program's implementation.

"The benefits of using a Web-based parent program are twofold -- for parents, it serves as a comprehensive information resource, cultivating engagement through direct communication with staff as well as virtual tools that immerse them in the campus and community," adds Tomassi. "For institutions, this online technology provides real-time reporting to help track the parent mindset and identify those with significant concerns about cost, financing options and other issues."

To appeal to the concerns and needs of parents, EducationDynamics has found the following value propositions to resonate most:

1. Real cost of attendance -- Encourage parents to look beyond a private school's sticker price. While state subsidies are built into public schools' tuition, private schools often provide significant discounts in the form of need- and merit-based scholarships.

2. Student services -- While public colleges rely heavily on tuition increases to recoup losses in state support, private institutions tend to re-invest these dollars to increase educational quality. Parents should compare the level of faculty experience, diversity of program offerings and even service offerings (e.g. dining services, library hours, etc.) when selecting a school.

3. Personal attention -- Faculty in the public sector struggle to balance money and time due to reductions in funding, making resources scarce for students. Parents should research the level of faculty-student interaction as well as the available tutoring resources.

4. Retention -- Given recent increases in student attrition in traditional student populations, many schools have begun to identify and implement new ways to engage and retain students. When weighing school choices, parents can look into programs in place to keep students retained and on the path to degree completion.

5. Graduation rates -- Encourage parents to investigate graduation rates at the schools in which they are considering. When faced with the probability of paying for four years of tuition at a private school versus six at a public school, the choice becomes clearer.

To learn how to hone a parent communication strategy to increase enrollment despite the economic slowdown, contact Tracy Howe by phone at 201.377.3318 or via email.

About EducationDynamics

EducationDynamics, a portfolio company of Halyard Capital, is the leading marketing and information services company dedicated to helping higher education institutions find, enroll and retain students. Its content-rich and highly visible education websites, including,,,, and its more than 50 special interest microsites, make EducationDynamics the premier provider of qualified prospective students for colleges and universities. In addition, the company offers a full suite of Web-delivered services proven to drive enrollment growth and reduce student attrition. For more information, visit

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