On November 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education announced final regulations to protect student borrowers against misleading and predatory practices by postsecondary institutions and clarify a process for loan forgiveness in cases of institutional misconduct. According to the Department:

The final regulations include key provisions from the proposed regulations that will protect the rights of borrowers and hold institutions accountable by:
  • Giving borrowers access to consistent, clear, fair, and transparent processes to file claims;
  • Empowering the Secretary to provide debt relief to borrowers without requiring individual applications in instances of widespread misrepresentations;
  • Protecting taxpayers by ensuring that financially troubled institutions provide the government with protection against the risks they create and that institutions whose actions lead to discharges of Federal student loans are held responsible;
  • Helping students make more informed decisions by requiring proprietary schools with poor loan repayment outcomes to include a plain-language warning in their advertising and promotional materials;
  • Ensuring affected borrowers have information about loan discharge when schools close and access to an automated process; and
  • Banning schools from inducing students to sign pre-dispute arbitration agreements that waive their rights to go to court and bring class action lawsuits based on borrower defense claims.

For more information from the Department of Education, click here. For a final copy of the regulations, click here.

Customer relationship management is a critical component of an education provider’s enrollment operations process. Increased competition and tightening budgets have led to a growing need for efficient and effective customer relationship management systems. Many education providers have developed external partnerships to meet this need. Helix Education and the University Professional and Continuing Education Association have partnered on a study of continuing education metrics to examine the enrollment operations and customer relationship management strategies of various education providers.

With student conversion being one of the primary drivers of enrollment operations, identifying the most effective actions in an education provider’s enrollment funnel is crucial. More than one third of respondents indicated that the action with the highest conversion rate is phone communication with an enrollment representative. In response to this metric, education providers should ensure that their teams have the necessary resources and training to quickly and effectively respond to inquiries by phone. Understanding this may allow them to use their enrollment operation’s resources more efficiently to increase conversion rates.

Summary of Key Findings

  • A significant portion of education providers (77%) are currently leveraging an external customer relationship management (CRM) system to help manage their enrollment operations.
  • The activity with the highest conversion in the respondent’s enrollment funnel is telephone communication with an enrollment representative (36%).
  • Eighty-eight percent of respondents reported their ability to contact an outbound inquiry within one day.


UPCEA Members: Click here to login to CORe to download the complete PDF of the report.

Not an UPCEA Member?: Call 202-659-3130 for more information.

According to new research published by UPCEA and Helix Education, 83 percent of higher education professionals surveyed have no knowledge of the cost-per-inquiry of their most effective marketing channel for undergraduate inquiry, and more than half made the same indication for graduate inquiry. Additionally, less than half of higher education professionals go through a formalized process when determining which new programs to develop. Leading by Gut or by Data: The Data-Driven State of Higher Ed Decision Making reveals the extent to which institutions apply data across the student lifecycle, where data gaps exist, and how institutions are mitigating barriers to the data-driven mindset.

Click here to read the full story.

Marketing department media expenditures have been an important topic in student recruitment operations for more than 20 years. During the past decade, higher education providers have experienced a dramatic shift from print to electronic media as the main driver of their marketing operations. The resulting increase in electronic media expenditures has added a layer of complexity to the overall operations of marketing departments. To plan and budget strategically, and to compete in this emerging digital landscape, these departments must arm themselves with solid enrollment data and marketing metrics. To understand the current landscape of the marketing operations of higher education institutions, University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) commissioned a survey of members and partnered with Helix Education for a study examining media expenditures and budgeting strategies of various providers of higher education marketing departments.

Snapshot of Key Findings

  • Electronic media spending has shifted from 4% of media budget in 1999 to 41% of media budget in 2014.
  • Marketing departments spend an average of $1,037,651 on marketing expenses, nearly half of which is dedicated towards media expenditures.
  • Eighty-three percent of respondents did not know the cost-per-inquiry of their most effective undergraduate marketing channel, and fifty-six percent did not know the cost-per-inquiry of their most effective graduate marketing channel.
  • Almost 70% of respondents did not know their overall conversion rate from point of inquiry to first-day start, and nearly half did not know their cost per enrollment.


UPCEA Members: Click here to login to CORe to download the complete PDF of the report.

Not an UPCEA Member?: Call 202-659-3130 for more information.