Hawaii Pacific University Turnaround
From the Nominator
Many steps undertaken by Hawaii Pacific University to stem the beginnings of an enrollment decline resulted in undergraduate applications that doubled over the previous year, doubled RSVPs for the season’s first Admitted Student Receptions, a record number of deposits during the first week of campus housing sign-ups for incoming freshmen, and an enrollment deposit rate ahead of last year by 64 percent at the time of this entry. This entry focuses on the efforts of Communications & Marketing, which partnered with Enrollment Management and Academic Affairs to develop and implement recruitment marketing strategies, informed by research, that would drive what by all measures at the time of this entry is a significant enrollment turnaround.
From the Judges
This entry was the stand-out in the category and one that could act as an exemplar for other institutions. It is evidence-based communication at its finest. The skillful design and delivery of the survey of those applicants who decided not to enroll at the university following an initial show of interest very effectively elicited the key barriers for the university to overcome. By marrying communication planning to policy change at the institution, and by achieving buy-in at the highest level of the organization, the team was able to overcome these barriers and deliver significant end results. This project also is very relevant to our times as COVID-19 negatively impacts the enrollment of international and out-of-state students at many universities.