Our Work In Practice
CRM-connected Admitted Student Survey Intelligence: Built by RHB, Owned by You
As the 2023 spring semester wound down and his enrollment team took a final tally of May 1 deposits, Chris Gray, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management at Lasell University, reached out to RHB to find a solution to a problem that had been nagging at him: their admitted student survey.
In previous cycles, Lasell had worked with a third party to host and deploy their survey, but that wasn’t feeling like the right choice this year. In this recruitment cycle the University reset tuition and thoughtfully focused on communications to the incoming class. Lasell wanted to assess the impact of these changes on their admits.
“I’ve been involved with sending admitted student questionnaires for half a decade, and I’ve always wondered, ‘Why do we pay someone else to tell us about our own applicant pool?’”
As Gray and his team engaged with admitted student survey providers, he found lead times to be excessively long and the survey design to be overly rigid. Consequently, our conversation at the outset of the engagement revolved around three pivotal requirements:
- Moving the admitted student survey in-house and deploying it through Slate
- Formulating questions tailored to Lasell’s distinctive needs
- Releasing the survey within a one-month timeframe
“I’ve been involved with sending admitted student questionnaires for half a decade, and I’ve always wondered, ‘Why do we pay someone else to tell us about our own applicant pool?’” Gray said. “When committing to a tuition reset, we also committed as a team to not doing things the same way or just because ‘that’s how it was done before.’”
Ultimately, Lasell wanted a tool that they could manipulate and rearrange to prioritize questions aligned with institutional priorities. Gray and his team also aimed for an anonymous user experience, and he expressed interest in the survey seamlessly integrating with student records.
RHB’s expertise in Slate and enrollment management, our deep understanding of the University’s database and the Lasell team’s desire to innovate enabled us to craft a survey and communication campaign that thoughtfully and efficiently leveraged Slate while aligning seamlessly with the institution’s strategic and tactical needs.
RHB collaborated with the Lasell team to formulate questions based on their institutional needs. We then leveraged forms and communications within their database to create a survey experience for students that felt similar to a traditional admitted student survey, but was housed in Slate, mobile friendly and linked to the student record.
It’s important to highlight the balance we achieved between an anonymized experience and actual data connection to student records. In addressing Lasell’s requirements, we developed an approach that not only consolidated data into the student’s record but also cleverly omitted from the survey questions that students had already addressed during their application process.
This strategic solution meant the survey could bypass demographic details that were already on record. Moreover, we could tailor financial aid-related questions exclusively to students who had submitted a FAFSA, enabling us to craft a survey experience that felt both personalized yet anonymized for each student and avoided the repetition of questions they had already answered.
“RHB allowed us to customize our questions, build an intuitive survey tool that utilized data we already had and message our audiences appropriately,” Gray noted. “The results speak for themselves.”
The month came to a close and the survey was finalized, tested and deployed. Throughout this period, the RHB team engaged in continuous learning and iteration, culminating in the creation of something remarkable for Lasell that they can deploy even earlier in their next cycle, now that they have a foundation on which to build.
Lasell’s decision to bring their admitted student survey in house with the help of RHB resulted in a number of positive outcomes:
- Lasell deployed this survey earlier on June 28, compared to August 3 in 2022.
- They increased the number of completed surveys from 190 in 2022 to 357 in 2023.
- The percentage of completed surveys increased from 8.8% in 2022 to 14.2% in 2023 (a 61.4% jump in completion rate).
- Lasell sent one planned text message to students in 2023, compared to multiple, unplanned texts in 2022.
In the end, the Lasell team discovered that enlisting RHB for the admitted student survey yielded immensely positive results. Beyond granting Lasell greater authority over their questions and increased data integration, they also witnessed a substantial rise in the number of respondents and diverse perspectives. This abundance of data now empowers them to make well-informed, data-driven decisions for the upcoming year.
“I am most excited for the delivery of the admitted student survey next year,” Gray said. “We plan to provide this survey moments after a student informs us they are declining their offer of acceptance. We’re excited to test this new approach and evaluate responses throughout yield season and not the summer after.”
Do you have an interest in bringing your admitted student survey in-house?
Reach out today and we can talk about your next steps.