Increase your student enrollments with InternetCarbon

Online Education, Marketing and Recruiting Strategies

Helping university enrollment managers understand how to succeed in building strong online degree programs and recruiting prospective adult students cost effectively.

About the Adult, Part-time Student Market

Based on student count, one of the largest sectors of the American higher education market is the part-time adult student. Of the 20 million students enrolled in college in the US, nearly 8 million of them are part-time, almost all of them adult students.

These students have been an integral part of many campuses, coming for class on nights and weekends and giving schools a second use for their classrooms, libraries and physical facilities and providing a secondary source of revenue for schools. The widespread acceptance of online degrees has created some disruption in this market recently as a growing number of these adult students have shifted from the on-campus classroom to the online learning format.

Quick to address this shift in student preference were the for-profit schools like the University of Phoenix, Capella University, Strayer University . These institutions have substantially impacted the market and in doing so, drawn a large number of students (over 1.5 million in 2010). There is great debate as to the quality and effectiveness of these programs and whether they have drawn students from their non-profit counterparts, but their impact has shown that adult students are a very dynamic segment of today’s higher education marketplace, and not to be taken for granted.

Building a Winning Portfolio of Online Degrees

With the rise in the popularity of the online format, many schools have rushed degrees to market, either by themselves or with strategic corporate partners. There are well over 1,000 online MBA programs today and more coming. What differentiates on from another, especially as schools use the web to try to expand their reach beyond the footprint of their physical campuses? With cost per click from search engines approaching $20, how can one cost-effectively reach the right target audience?

For those new to online degrees, InternetCarbon will take a look across your current campus and assess your academic brand strengths and help identify markets for your online degree programs. We’ll work with your staff to help establish a peer set of schools and programs and guide you toward program development and marketing tactics to separate yourself from the crowd. We’ll help you design and establish sound student services, marketing and enrollment systems modeled after the best in the business.

For those schools with established programs and who now find themselves overwhelmed with competition, our experienced consultants will work with you to retool your advertising message, refine your marketing and improve your analytics. We’ll work with your staff to train them on the latest tactics in student recruitment.

Manage your own online degree programs or seek a partner

Many of today’s most prominent online degree programs have become so successful due to partnerships with companies that specialize in bringing degrees to market. These partners take the responsibility for bringing programs to market and seeing them grow to scale. When the match is right, these companies invest in market research, product development including faculty training and program launch. They then recruit students and oversee the application process and depending on the extent of the services offered, will even support student services, advising and administration.

These partners do this in exchange for a share of the revenue, quite often in the range of 40-60% of the tuition for the life of the student. These companies include:

If you are trying to decide whether if these companies are the right fit, our consultants can help. We can provide an assessment of your institutions current capacity to operate your online degrees in-house and help you analyze what opportunity is lost and what is gained by outsourcing university online degree programs. We’ll help you model what costs are needed to perform these services yourself and help you analyze the market opportunities new degrees realistically have.

InternetCarbon’s lead consultant Mark Shay will draw resources from his network of subject experts, including those from Enrollment Builders to staff your project effectively. We’ll assemble a team custom designed to meet the goals of your project.

If you are interested in learning more about building a winning online education strategy, please contact InternetCarbon for more information.

Lead Consultant

Mark Shay

The driving force behind InternetCarbon is Mark Shay, a serial entrepreneur who has created, built and in several cases sold Internet-based and educationally related businesses. Read more for just a sampling of enterprises Shay brought to life...

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Memberships and Organizations

Mark has just completed his term on the Board of Directors of AIRC - the American International Recruitment Council - an organization he is still very active with.  Mark is  a member of AIEA's Fund Raising Task Force.

He is an individual member or participant in the efforts of AIEA, NAGAP, NAFSA, Council of Graduate Schools, NACAC, AACRAO and UPCEA.

Read what our clients have to say about InternetCarbon.

"All six of the projet's milestones were achieved and new student enrollments for Spring 2009 did exceed those of Fall 2008." more...