An alternative way to estimate your fall enrollment
Everyone is busy right now with prospective families, but we need to take an hour here and go through a REALLY important exercise, which is how to be reasonably certain that you will be making your enrollment goal.
Here’s the steps in brief. (1) Do the subtracts and adds to understand what your current enrollment is likely to be without new students. (2) Calculate the number of new students to reach your goal – essentially a “plug”, and (3) Determine if you have enough action in new students (leads, visits, applications) to realistically meet that “plug” number. (4) If the answer to (3) is no – then what are we going to do about it.
I will explain each in turn.
Step #1: How many current students can we expect next year?
|Your current enrollment:||____________|
|Graduates from last grade:||– __________|
|Estimate of likely non returning families in other grades||– __________|
|Best estimate of students from your feeder (typically P4 to K)||+ __________|
|The Number of CURRENT Students Expected for next year||= ___________|
Note: I would definitely NOT include your preschool in this calculation, unless by some miracle all your preschool kids are five-day, full-day. You need an FPE (Full Pay Equivalent) system for the preschool. FPE is the actual cost to educate a child, regardless of your tuition.
Step #2: How many new students do we need to make our goal?
|Total Enrollment Goal||___________|
|Subtract the number of CURRENT students expected from above||– __________|
|Total number of NEW students required to make our goal||= __________|
Step #3: Determine if we are likely to get enough new students based on our current new student enrollment activity.
There are a variety of ways to look at this. Probably the simplest would be to take the current number of Educational Success Consultations (ESCs) and compare that to actual and projected enrollments. Essentially, how many ESCs are required for one enrollment. Important: Count probables here.
Another way would be to look at the number of leads (visiting or not) required for one enrollment.
“Educational Success Consultations” are the GraceWorks recommended way to handle a parent’s first visit to your school. If you don’t do ESCs (or this is the first time you’ve heard of it), you can substitute ESCs with “On-site visits/tours” from prospective parents.
|Determine the ratio:|
(e.g. 2 ESCs required for 1 enrollment)
|__________ (ESCs) for 1 Enrollment __________|
|Number of ESC’s projected for the remainder of the marketing season:|
(Probably so many per week, recognizing lower rates in the summer. This is GOING FORWARD from today.)
|Number of NEW student enrollments likely from these ESCs |
(using the ratio above)
|Number of NEW students we have as of right now |
(Enrolled AND Probable)
|Total number of new students currently projected|
(This then is EVERYTHING – up to now and going forward)
|A) Total Number of NEW Students to MAKE OUR GOAL||__________|
|B) Total number of NEW Students we are CURRENTLY PROJECTING||__________|
If (A) is greater than (B), you are going to be short
If (B) is greater than (A), you are going to be OK
BUT in both cases you need to continue to monitor your assumptions
Next week, I’ll share some ideas on what to do if it looks like you are going to fall short of your enrollment numbers.
Want a spreadsheet version of this tool?