Higher education marketing questions for 2012… 4 today, 4 next week

Higher education marketing… key challenges for 2012

Higher education still struggles in the environment of reduced financial resources that started with the economic crash a few years ago. 

Even Yale University, with one of the most powerful brands in the world, has not finished adjusting, as reported in a recent Yale Daily News article. A Chronicle of Higher Education report asked if too many college and university presidents were still “tone deaf” to public concerns about the value of higher education when faced with continuing tuition increases.

With that situation in mind, here are the first four of eight questions that many if not most higher education marketers will have to grapple with in 2012. How many of them are challenges for your institution?

credit crash came after several years when income growth for middle class
families had fallen far behind the rate of tuition increase. With no change credit availability in sight and increased concern over loan debt, will price dominate the marketplace for all
but the most affluent and those at the pinnacle of the academic talent

colleges in the private sector were faced with the dilemma of losing enrollment
market share or increasing tuition discounting. The most common reaction: try
to maintain enrollment or limit decreases with higher discounts. As a result,
the tuition discount rate for 2010 rose to a 42.4 percent average. Is a high tuition discount rate a
viable long-term marketing strategy?

appropriations for public sector universities have plummeted in most states and
there is not yet in 2012 a visible bottom. The “privatization” of the public
sector is well underway, as institutions seek to replace as much legislative
money as possible with tuition dollars. How high can public tuition go without
rebellion in the marketplace?

interest in online programs since 2000 increased immediately as working adults
sought ways to reduce commuting costs. Many institutions were left scrambling
to offer online programs in the face of faculty skepticism and reluctance to
change. Nearly one-third of college students in the U.S. now take at least one online course, reports The Sloan Consortium. How high will demand for online courses climb and how will faculty respond? 

That’s all for now.

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