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Isaac Newton’s first law of motion: an object at rest says at rest and an object in motion stays in motion.

I’m not a scientist or a physicist, yet I do know we can learn something from Newton’s first law and use it to better recruit and yield students in the enrollment process.

Colleges and universities have thousands or tens of thousands of inquiry and admit records. How do you prioritize who gets your attention? Or better yet, who is most likely to enroll? Simple — identify the student “in motion.” You have a much greater likelihood of converting the student who is active and engaging with your college than the one who is “at rest” or not actively engaged with your college.

Most colleges would consider a student who visits the campus (individual visit or open house attendee) to be “in motion.” But what other student activities should you prioritize?

Think about those students who:

  • Opened an email
  • Visited your website
  • Called the office (or whose parent called the office)
  • Sent test scores
  • Recently applied or submitted application pieces
  • Completed an online form

Many for-profit institutions have understood Newton’s theory for a long time. They respond to an online inquiry within minutes (or seconds!) Why? They know they have a greater likelihood of moving the student through the enrollment funnel if they keep the student moving by connecting when they are interested and engaged.

Timely responses are not only a best practice in providing strong customer service, but a timely response keeps the student “in motion” and engaged, ultimately improving enrollment.

The Ultimate Contact Strategy, research by Velocify states that: “A contact attempt within one minute of inquiry submission increases the likelihood of that prospect turning into an enrolled student by 391%.”

Once you identify that student “in motion”, keep them “in motion.” Engage and connect them to your college! (check out PS&L blog: Admissions Recruiters Should NOT Ask This Question, to learn more about how to engage with prospective students.)

This is especially important as we move into yield season. As students are notified of acceptance to your college, you must already have a well-developed yield plan in place. If not, you will loose the momentum and the excitement of the acceptance. Be proactive with your yield and give students opportunities to stay “in motion.” This will help you know who is most likely to enroll.

So, it’s simple physics. Those students “at rest” are going to be difficult to get “in motion.” But, if you have a student already “in motion,” keep them in motion with timely responses; engaging conversations over the phone, in person, or via email; and by connecting them to your institution, faculty and current students.

Download our 2020 Yield Boot Camp brochure to learn how your team can improve  the skills needed to improve conversion and increase enrollment.

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