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 is a breakthrough example of how discarding conventional wisdom and letting qualitative and quantitative data drive enrollment marketing yields results that many in the field would say are impossible to achieve. Not only was every part of this program well-focused and well-scoped, it is clear that the execution across each part of the enrollment funnel was coordinated and impeccable. So much of the enrollment cycle is outside of the control of marketers and enrollment staff, but one key to this effort's success is clearly the institution's success in building a common understanding of key drivers and messages across normally siloed functions. Strengths included: 1) The boldness of addressing key drivers up front, including the discount rate; 2) CRM collaboration across marketing and enrollment functions; 3) Quality creative work; and 4) Reasonable budget.