Higher education consultants can have a number of different roles and goals, but the best companies can help improve your university in a number of ways. Here are some tips for finding a higher education consultant that fits your needs.
What do higher education consultants do?
Depending on your needs, there is likely a company out there that can help you with those needs. Higher education consultants can help you simply plan out your strategy or manage an entire enrollment process.
Some of the things enrollment consultants can do include enrollment planning, institutional enrollment audits, executive leadership consulting, revenue management and growth, academic planning, marketing, and more.
Higher education consultant reviews
When hiring a new consultant – of any kind – looking at reviews from past and current clients will be one of the most important pieces of information you can have. Many higher education consulting companies have been in the industry for years, which means you should be able to either find reviews online, or ask for a list of references from the company that you can reach out to.
Ask both qualitative and quantitative questions of the past clients, including:
- Did they increase enrollment at your institution? (If so, by how much?)
- Were the leads high quality?
- What were they like to work with?
- Are there any employees you particularly liked or would stay away from?
- How did the company affect your bottom line?
Ask questions specific to your situation
If you are looking through reviews, you should be looking for reviews specific to your situation. For instance: If you are looking for an enrollment consultant specifically to increase your enrollment, ask questions related to enrollment numbers; If you are looking for an academic planning consultant, look for reviews specifically related to the academic side; etc.
What are their success rates?
A lot of what higher education enrollment consultants do is quantitative, and most of the consulting firms will keep track of those numbers. If they specialize in executive searches, they should know what their success rate is. If they specialize in enrollment, they should have an average increased enrollment rate for clients they have worked with.
What is their process?
Many higher education consultants have their processes they like to follow to make them successful. Before you hire a consultant, it’s OK to ask for their processes to make sure your personality and processes will match up. They may not give you their step-bys-step process, but they should be able to give you a broad overview of how they work. No matter how good they are, if they cannot work with you (and vice versa), they may not be a good fit.
When looking for a higher education consultant, consider your needs and what you are trying to accomplish. Look at reviews, numbers, and processes to find the best consultant for your institution.