Enrollment Management and Marketing: Inextricably Linked [Podcast]

Heather Hoerle

Heather Hoerle


Heather Hoerle is Executive Director and CEO of the Enrollment Management Association (formerly SSATB) that serves 1,200 schools worldwide, primarily in the U.S. and Canada. In the eight years since Heather assumed the leadership of EMA, she has spearheaded EMA’s re-branding, restructured their management, rebuilt its IT infrastructure, enhanced the SSAT test development processes and procedures, launched an elementary level SSAT, grown the use of the Standard Application Online, and published groundbreaking research in the field of enrollment management. Heather is a graduate of Westtown School, has sat on their board and currently sits on the boards of Princeton Academy, the National Business Officers Association and the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools.

Heather and Rob chatted on a test run of the podcast to see what they would like to talk about. When they realized they had been talking for an hour, they knew would have plenty of material. They talked for another hour on the recording, so we divided the podcast into two parts for your convenience.

What comes through so clearly in this podcast is that Heather is so knowledgeable, speaks with such passion for the subject, and obviously cares about independent schools deeply.

Heather talks about enrollment management in 2018 and the critical role marketing has in admissions success. She explores the value of tried and tool admissions tools such as viewbooks and school fairs and investigate what the new opportunities lie in the digital landscape.

In compare and contrast moments, Heather and Rob discuss the results of the third EMA survey with 800 respondents and the second InspirED MarCom Survey with 190 respondents. The findings are fascinating.


Heather Quoted

“87% of school revenue comes from tuition. Resources aren’t being focused well on this important driver for institutional health.”

“I ask leadership to think if they have enough people and enough people with the right skill set to drive success.”  

“We don’t put enough resources in admissions and marketing to insure viability.” 

“It’s time to get over the distain for sales and marketing at schools.”

“Enrollment is the number one issue for independent schools now.”

“It’s a missed opportunity to not work with faculty, bring them along, and have them be part of your extended brand.”

Topics covered

  • Selectivity in admissions

  • Competition

  • Key drivers for enrollment success

  • Enrollment as the number one issue for independent schools

  • Who’s responsible for retention·     

  • The importance of faculty in your school’s marketing


Enrollment Management Association 

EMA’s Ride to Independent School (Free download)

EMA’s Publications

Mike Connor Podcast

Hawken School Promises

Next: Listen to Enrollment Management and Marketing Inextricably Linked — Part 2 Now

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