SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Raftr, the community-first student engagement platform, announced that Saint Louis University-Madrid Campus nearly doubled its incoming fall 2021 class after deploying the Raftr platform. By providing real-time insights on engagement patterns with admitted students and their families, Raftr demonstrated its significant power to increase yield, reduce melt, and maximize university enrollment.
The New York Times recently reported on the college enrollment crisis and the ongoing decline of college enrollment numbers across the U.S. due to the pandemic, “Total undergraduate enrollment dropped 3.1 percent from the fall of 2020 to the fall of 2021, bringing the total decline since the fall of 2019 to 6.6 percent — or 1,205,600 students.”
Raftr’s comprehensive platform provides highly customizable solutions to nurture the full lifecycle of the student journey, from admissions through graduation and thereafter. For prospective students and their families, Raftr’s digital solutions offer a window into campus life well before they make their final decision. As well, Raftr extends the reach of admission department resources and equips admissions counselors with administrative tools to communicate more effectively, consistently, and authentically.
“It has never been more difficult to create a quality pipeline as families question the value proposition of college in a world with rising costs of tuition and growing online alternatives. This will only become more challenging as the demographic cliff approaches 2025,” said Sue Decker, CEO and founder of Raftr. “Raftr contributes to admissions melt and yield goals by building relationships with families early and often. Additionally, this allows families to develop a holistic understanding of social and emotional opportunities for their children, in addition to academic success resources.”
SLU-Madrid recruits students globally and places importance on the impact of a “try before you buy” strategy in admissions. Working with Raftr, the SLU-Madrid admissions team was looking for a way to bring their vibrant campus life and peer-to-peer connections to prospective students virtually. This real-life experience allowed prospective students to see themselves at SLU-Madrid and increased their desire to join the incoming class. It also gave families of prospective students their own forum to connect with other families and admissions staff, getting information in real-time.
“We've come a long way with Raftr in a very short time! After the first call with Raftr, I was excited about the possibilities of using the app. And, Raftr’s support throughout the process allowed us to set up our communities effectively with hands-on guided implementation and help,” said Heidi Buffington, Chief Strategic Enrollment Management Officer, Director of Admissions of SLU-Madrid.
Within the first three weeks of launching their admitted students community in March 202 1, 92% of prospective students activated their accounts. During this time period, SLU-Madrid’s Raftr users logged a total of 1,914 sessions for an average of 90 sessions per user. As of fall 2021, both their admitted students and family communities have fostered high levels of participation with measurable results. In the student community, there have been a total of 9,614 student user sessions, 40 sessions per user, with an average time of 7:20. Whereas the parent community yielded 28 sessions per user, with an average time of 7:48.
These engagement numbers and user actions contributed to major successes – SLU-Madrid nearly doubled their fall 2021 student enrollment numbers. By leveraging Raftr’s digital communities, SLU-Madrid saw a 93% increase in student enrollment from fall 2020 to fall 2021, with 95% of families on Raftr having their students enroll for this fall 2021. According to Buffington, they welcomed their “largest incoming class in decades.”
For more information, please visit: pro.raftr.com/case-studies/slu-madrid/
Founded in 2018 by a team of higher education and technology veterans, Raftr is an insights platform that reimagines university digital communities so every member can connect and thrive. For university administrators, this allows student insights on a real-time basis so they don’t have to solely rely on dated survey results to understand their students and support them in their journey to achieve a sense of belonging. The high-growth startup is currently serving campuses across the United States and in six countries. For more information, please visit: https://pro.raftr.com/ or follow us on Twitter at @RaftrGetCurrent or on LinkedIn.