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Case Study: Carroll University: record enrolment figures in record time

UQ Case Study - St Martin's

When Carroll University in Wisconsin identified its international undergraduate student body as an area for growth, they knew that they needed to build everything from scratch and be strategic. Recognising that this would be difficult with limited internal bandwidth, they turned to UniQuest.

Since January 2023, we’ve been working in close partnership with the team at Carroll to nurture their prospective students through the application process, and – crucially - on to enrolment. Through a mix of proactive outbound campaigns and managing incoming enquiries, we’ve delivered that essential ingredient in any conversion plan: confidence from future students that they’re making the right decision.

The result? A record year. In less than 12 months of working together, we surpassed initial targets to deliver the biggest ever international undergraduate intake for the University in 2023. And it doesn’t stop there. Together, we’ve paved the way for further growth, building up the capabilities to maintain momentum and target new overseas markets.

QAHE (1)

The challenge

Like many institutions reeling from the pandemic and its ongoing impact, Carroll University found it challenging to maintain a consistent and intentional approach to international student recruitment in recent years. When Oskar Callermo joined Carroll in 2021 as their International Admissions Counselor, he set out to change that.

As a former international student at Carroll, Oskar recognised the importance of bringing a personal touch to every student interaction and providing support at key moments in the journey to enrolment. After delivering year-on-year growth in recruitment numbers in his first year in post, he wanted to build on that momentum but faced a challenge familiar to many offices: bandwidth issues. As a micro team, he knew they needed more support to take international student enrolment to the next level.

Carroll had an existing partnership with our parent company, Keystone Education Group, to increase global brand awareness and generate leads and sports interest, but the team was struggling to really nurture their leads and maximise their investment.

The solution

We work with Carroll to deliver a robust array of services. This ranges from supporting students through the application process and chasing missing requirements, to assisting students with obtaining their visas and preparing for orientation, using proactive outbound campaigns to ensure key messages are landing at the right time in the journey leading up to enrolment.

Our proactive outbound engagement campaigns have anticipated the needs of Carroll’s future students, whether serving them with critical information such as how to get a Form I-20, or re-engaging those students with whom contact has slowed - gauging their likelihood of finishing their application or accepting their offer of admission, and helping to give realistic insights into enrolment pipelines. Collectively, our campaigns comprised over 4,000 emails and 3,500 calls in a 7 month period.

With our teams located in multiple global hubs, we've helped build an "always there" culture for prospective students at Carroll, allowing them to feel assured that we'll be there when they most need it, whether via phone, email, WhatsApp, or live chat. Here’s what one student had to say:

"The communication is very good! If I have any questions I get answers as soon as it is possible and everything is well communicated. Especially as an international student, I feel supported."

We’ve also worked with Carroll on a UniQuest first: introducing pre-arrival webinars where students have the option to turn their cameras on to engage in peer-to-peer live conversation – the first university partner with which we’ve trialled this approach. Oskar explains the value this has brought to his students:

“A lot of students have questions that are relevant to others, and this has helped us to increase access to that knowledge. The webinars have also helped us to build a sense of community well before arriving on campus. As a former international student, I know how important that is.”

Oskar Callermo, International Admissions Counselor, Carroll University

The impact

When it comes to enrolments, we surpassed our target early in the cycle, providing early assurances this partnership would generate strong return on investment and provide a level of confidence in the upcoming intake that Carroll had previously not experienced.

In 2023, Carroll had a 45% rise in international enrolments compared to the previous year, with 15 different countries represented.

The impact of this rise has helped secure buy-in from across the University that an ambitious international recruitment strategy is not only increasingly necessary, but eminently achievable with the right partner. As Oskar puts it:

“UniQuest has helped me to get other stakeholders at the University to realise the value and the importance of international recruitment. Because of our growing enrolment numbers, I’ve been able to push through new policies that are going to help our international students going forward, and in turn, that will push future enrolment. For example, we’re currently looking at waiving the second language requirement for all Bachelor of Arts students.”

Oskar Callermo, International Admissions Counselor, Carroll University

Our partnership goes beyond just numbers into something less quantifiable but no less important. In partnering with us, Carroll can tap into the expertise and experience of our team to provide support and advice beyond the immediate parameters of our own work.

“The knowledge and experience from UniQuest’s Partner Success Managers is invaluable. This is not just within the scope of the partnership but in international recruitment in general, and for me, is one of my personal biggest wins of the partnership.”

Oskar Callermo, International Admissions Counselor, Carroll University

Contact us to find out how UniQuest can help your university to improve student engagement, conversion, and application processing.