With over 20 years of experience, we have found the ability of an enrollment advisor is known within the first eight weeks on the job. However, since most universities build their human resource infrastructure around faculty, the termination process can be cumbersome for all positions. Failing to understand the true cost of holding on to a poor performing enrollment advisor means schools can’t manage the staffing needs of advisement effectively. On average, we find it takes universities six to nine months to terminate a poor performer costing the university over $500,000 in lost tuition.
Below is an example of how the cost of carrying a poor performer can be calculated.
- A university employs a team of experienced enrollment counselors at a cost of $7,000 a month. Each counselor is given 150 leads for a master’s degree program that charges $30,000 in tuition. A successful advisor is able to convert these leads at 5%. On average the university has an 80% persistence rate. (There are other variables we use when doing a detailed analysis, but to keep it simple we will start by just looking at these.) The cost of having the enrollment advisor would be $7,000 a month for salary plus $15,000 a month for leads. In return the university is receiving 7.5 students generating $180,000 of lifetime revenue.
- The cost of a poor performing advisor
- If we use the same cost structure above, but assume this advisor converts at 2% we find for the same $22,000 a month expense, the advisor only produces 3 students resulting in $72,000 of lifetime revenue. The cost per month to the university for holding onto this advisor is $108,000 in lost tuition.
It’s never too soon to evaluate the effectiveness of your current online business strategy and review possible solutions.
Mind Streams recommends conducting a detailed evaluation of your enrollment advising which should consist of:
- Benchmarking conversion rates
- Analyzing local candidate pools
- Measuring hiring and termination lengths
- Assessing the ROI of onboarding and training programs