I’d like your help in championing a grassroots effort to start a word of mouth campaign to change the name of what we currently call Student Search in enrollment management.

Progressive, forward thinking leaders are leaving behind the inefficiencies of traditional Student Searching and calling their student recruitment campaigns Student Find campaigns.

Recently, I’ve rallied a few of these rebels. They are starting to refer to themselves as Finders in the world of enrollment management. “Finders” are tired of playing the volume game and have a recruitment strategy that is more sophisticated than simply allowing gravity to make things work.

HA ThirtyOne T-Shirt

Last year I was on the phone with a novice interim Vice President of Enrollment and I said to her, “It’s really too late for a traditional Student Search campaign to have any impact on your fall class. We need to do a Student Find campaign instead.”

What I was saying to her is that she could buy a bundle of names and try to generate a bundle of meaningless applications and kill her staff with going-through-the-motions processes that would totally distract them and take them away from meaningful work. Or, she could take a more efficient path to engage future students.

Gravity is one of the most stable laws in physics, but it is one of the most inefficient strategies for enrollment. Gravity is what makes the funnel work. The problem with the funnel is that it only slows things down—everything still has to travel through the funnel. What if I had a funnel with some holes in its sides where those soft inquiries were allowed to escape and the very best and genuine inquiries showed themselves immediately? We’d be finding students then, not searching.

In the past year I’ve had a lot of fun finding enrollment leaders who are defying gravity themselves. I’m trying to rally them as an informal society of Finders. This week, at SACAC, you’ll see some of these rebels wearing one of our t-shirts about defying gravity.

Think you could be a finder?

If you’d like one of our defying gravity t-shirts send us an email. And if you’re already operating with a find strategy and defying gravity, let us know about it! We’d love to hear about your success. Want to share your story or learn more about finding with some of your peers (and get a t-shirt)? Join us for one of our upcoming Ideastorms and you’ll leave with great ideas, an expanded network, and a nice looking F!ND t-shirt.

HA ThirtyOne T-Shirt

When I hear and see our client schools having success defying gravity—meeting their enrollment goals with less volume and greater efficiency—I know we are doing the right thing. But I also have another metric for gauging the success of this grassroots effort. I’ll know it’s gaining momentum when I hear, “Hey Mike, can you and your team help me with my next Student Find campaign in the Summer?” It’s gonna happen. I can feel it.

Get your shirt and share your stories by emailing curious@hathirtyone.com.