Student Search

Executing a successful Student Search has never been more complex. Demographics have shifted, the number of test-takers has declined, and dozens of new list sources have emerged. That’s why you need Fire Engine RED.

We’ve been preparing for these dramatic changes for several years, developing new strategies and testing new list sources to help our Student Search clients achieve their enrollment goals. And we’re seeing our years of preparation and hard work pay off for our clients.

Results

For the 2020-2021 recruitment cycle, all key enrollment metrics were up for our Student Search clients, no matter how well-known their institution or the size of their budget. For example:

  • Fall Class of 2020
    Our clients received a return of 20 to 107 times their investment in net revenue.
  • Fall Classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023
    Our clients saw student engagement rates between 39% and 68%.

Drill down for Fall Class of 2020

Here’s a closer look at the ROI our clients received for the Fall Class of 2020. As the table below indicates, the earlier our clients started their recruitment efforts, the higher their ROI.

Year Searched
Senior
Junior
Sophomore
9th Grade
Average ROI in Net Revenue*
20x
62x
97x
107x

*Includes discount rate

Beyond revenue, we also helped our Student Search clients achieve a wide range of goals, from reaching more affluent families, increasing diversity, and improving academic profiles. In fact, nearly all of the prospects we generated for our clients were more affluent and diverse, and had higher GPAs and test scores than our client’s own inquiries as shown in the table below.

Year Searched
Senior
Junior
Sophomore
9th Grade
Average Household Income
$115,000
$139,000
$140,000
$134,000
Average GPA
3.61
3.74
3.80
3.88
Average SAT
1210
1340
1390
1390
Underrepresented Students
40%
34%
35%
29%

The table below shows how our clients’ inquiries compare to the results above.

Year Searched
Inquiries
Average Household Income
$85,000
Average GPA
3.69
Average SAT
1213
Underrepresented Students
30%

Video

In this video, Jeff McLaughlin, our EVP of Enrollment Data, Strategy & Analytics, discusses the latest trends in enrollment and how they are impacting Student Search.

Clients

Us vs. Your CRM

No matter which CRM you’re using, no CRM (including our company’s own CRM), can outperform Fire Engine RED’s team of highly experienced data, enrollment, and creative strategists.

While CRMs may be great at sending out email marketing messages (our CRM included), email delivery is just one small aspect of what makes a Student Search campaign successful.

Succeeding at Student Search is about having the right strategy. It’s not about having the right CRM. It’s also about having the experience, time, and focus to keep up with today’s rapidly changing enrollment realities.

Below is a list of skills that are now required to succeed at Student Search. No CRM has the know-how (functionality) to perform these tasks, but we do!

  • Stay up-to-date with the latest design trends and industry best practices in Student Search.
  • Determine which sources will be high-performing for you and then select the right students to help you meet your institutional goals (diversity, gender, academic programs, financial need, religion, first generation, timing).
  • Navigate the complexity and opportunities of the merged ACT and NRCCUA datasets in the new Encoura system.
  • Understand each list source’s complexities and know how to optimize every purchase.
  • Ensure your admissions office is compliant with CCPA and GDPR.
  • Build, revise, and rebuild predictive models that grapple with today’s rapidly changing realities.
  • Identify new high-performing list sources to supplement the lack of names from traditional list sources.
  • Utilize the results of ongoing, cross-client A/B tests to design and optimize your creative.
  • Update your creative approach based on cross-client analysis and trends.
  • Ensure your creative complies with Section 508 Color Contrast Guidelines so it’s accessible to students/parents with varying levels of visual ability.
  • Conduct a thorough quality assurance review to ensure you don’t make embarrassing mistakes or market to duplicate names.
  • Provide you with meaningful engagement reports that give you a deep understanding of student behavior and enable you to take action and make data-driven decisions.
  • Provide you with Impact reports that show how Student Search drove your student profile, including academics, diversity, and geographic expansion.
  • Provide you with ROI reports that evaluate the financial impact of your Student Search investment on net revenue.
  • And more … as 2022 unfolds …

Creative

View our Student Search Creative Gallery.