Private Higher Ed Trends for 2018

In what has become an annual tradition, The Lawlor Group has combined findings from our extensive qualitative and quantitative research for independent college and university clients throughout the United States with several publicly available outside studies. The result is our analysis of higher education marketplace trends that will have a significant impact on student recruitment and enrollment management during the coming year.

These trends are requiring senior administrators at private colleges and universities to ask themselves five primary questions:

1. Do we need to expand our core market?
Population growth has slowed, and demographic trends forecast a national decline of high school graduates within eight years.

2. Can families of all income levels afford us?
It’s most common for even the net cost at a private college to eat up anywhere from one-third to two-thirds of a family’s income.

3. Are we inspiring willingness to pay?
For the educational experience to be worth its cost, students expect personalized learning with lasting relevance beyond graduation.

4. Is return on investment being proven?
Families factor in cost, quality, and results as they calculate ROI, so they seek evidence that a college produces desired outcomes.

5. Does our market know our brand strengths?
In today’s digital world, promoting a college means delivering authentic messages across a multitude of communication channels.

Our “Trends for 2018” provides statistics about the demographic, economic, and technological trends in the higher education marketplace that are demanding private colleges uncover the data that can provide answers to these questions.


Lawlor’s “Trends for 2018”

Our annual analysis of higher education marketplace trends includes statistics, data, graphs, and charts. (The Lawlor Group)

Higher Ed Predictions

“The physical campus experience [will be] de-emphasized in the name of reaching more students where they already are.” (Education Dive)

Liberal Arts Degrees

A recent article looks at what colleges can do to help make the ROI case for liberal arts degrees. (University Business)


Lawlor Recommends

The Lawlor Group has deployed a variety of research methodologies as we gather the market intelligence that informs our recommendations for integrated marketing communications and our strategic counsel regarding all elements of the marketing mix. Such studies include environmental scans, prospect research, non-matriculation and retention/attrition studies, price sensitivity studies, satisfaction surveys, brand strength studies, image and awareness studies, and more. As a result, our clients gain intelligent solutions for dealing with the marketplace challenges they face.

Today, all of higher education is experiencing marketplace challenges. Making informed decisions that are authentically relevant to the reality of the marketplace’s needs and wants is a must. 2018 is going to be a journey that will have plenty of curves and bumps. As you prepare yourself for the road ahead, you will want market intelligence that allows you to implement intelligent solutions and forge a path toward success.

Best wishes for a #MarketSmart year.