New Normal in Education: Custom Packaging Helps Keep Enrollment Steady
Covid-19 is having lasting effects on private educational facilities across the country. Some schools are expecting to see a 25% drop in enrollment for the 2020-2021 year. They know the only way to attract students and keep enrollment steady is to adapt to the new normal: custom education and enrollment packaging. With limited campus visits, admissions teams can use customized boxes to send educational experiences straight through the mail.
Saint Mary’s School is an all-girl college preparatory boarding and day school with students spread over 14 states and 6 countries. With a small student body of just 300 students, Saint Mary’s is known for its close community and collaborative environment.
To gear up for each year, the school holds a special full-day event for accepted students. The private school market is competitive. With families checking out other places, showcasing their community is essential.
Enrollment events were slated for spring of 2020. Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit. To ensure the health and safety of the community, Saint Mary’s made the decision to close their 23-acre campus and cancel this meaningful event.
Then came the question; now what?
They knew they needed to get something captivating in front of the girls to drive enrollment up. The staff came up with a simple concept: since students couldn’t visit, they would bring a little of the school to the newly accepted students.
Saint Mary’s School collaborated with CompanyBox to create a custom welcome box to attract students. The school’s Senior Marketing Director, Heath Hilliker says “The template was super easy to use. I just downloaded it and then popped in our design.”
With the clock ticking, everything needed to be sent out in a few weeks. CompanyBox was able to immediately respond and transform the ideas into a cost-efficient solution to drive enrollment. “The money we spent on the boxes and shipping paled in comparison to what we would have normally spent on an event,” explains Mary Mills, Assistant Director of Admissions.
The design carried their brand colors and logo from the inside to the outside of the box. Then integrated a personal note with a selection of Saint Mary’s swag, weaving in school pride.
In spite of the pandemic, enrollment rates for the 2020-2021 school year are continuing to rise. That’s saying a lot considering these challenging times of the unknown.
From the moment the custom boxes arrived, the school saw a strong engagement. Families happily communicated it was an extra touch they didn’t receive from other schools. The Saint Mary’s staff was just as pleased. “We loved it,” says Mills, “It was a perfect look for what we wanted to represent our brand and for young girls to enjoy.”
“We want to make sure that apart from promoting a great education, there is a human touch to admissions – and this is it.”
-Mary Mills @ Assistant Director of Admissions
DOING SOMETHING DIFFERENT
While most of the country is still practicing social distancing, Saint Mary’s was able to create a connection with a personal touch that helped to drive enrollment. “We want to make sure that apart from promoting a great education, there is a humanlike touch – and this is it,” notes Mills.
The school is now considering developing additional campus visit boxes. “We’re seeing a huge uptick in education and enrollment packaging,” says CompanyBox president Kyle DeJesus. “There’s an opportunity here to make an impact.”
With 36 faculty and staff members living on campus, Mills notes, “It’s been tough to not be face to face with our students and faculty – so now we have to be creative about building a community.”