Why Retention Is More Important Than Admissions [Podcast]

Trevor Waddington

Trevor Waddington is an educational entrepreneur with 17 years of experience working in independent schools as a teacher and admissions administrator including St. John’s Episcopal School, Christ Episcopal School, and Green Acres School, all in Maryland as well as Hill Top Preparatory School in Pennsylvania. He is s past president of the MAESA (Mid-Atlantic Episcopal Schools Association) Board of Directors.

On the business side, Trevor is the founder of DCschoolHUB and NYmetroSchools, digital platforms that help educate parents and students about the different educational opportunities and where they can find them. He is also the Founder and Principal at Truth Tree Consulting, a full-service firm that works with independent schools in the areas of admission, marketing, brand development, and financial operations. These three companies fall under the umbrella of TYW Education Group, a coalition model of educational entrepreneurs looking to disrupt and obliterate the barriers keeping students from a world-class education.   

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Trevor Quoted

“It costs more to obtain a student than it does to retain one.”

 “Retention starts the moment the family signs the enrollment contract.”

“’I’m the admissions director. They signed a contract. My work is done.””

“When parents feel they have been listened to, they up the evaluation of the school.”

“Parents say in exit interviews, ‘We were listened to, but we weren’t heard. That’s why we’re leaving.’”

“Parents feel they have the power now.”

“I heard a rumor that a Head of School would fire the grumpiest teacher every few years and not offer a contract to the parents who raised the biggest stink to keep both of those groups in line.”

“5 people in advancement office and 2 people in the admission office. One office is bringing in 905 of revenue, this other is bringing in 10%, why not put more people power in the office that generates the largest amount of revenue?”

“Schools have been slow to reorganize because it doesn’t fit the current model that they have for administration of the school.” 

“You’re forcing parents to buy the equivalent of a nice mid-sized car every year for each of their children.”

“Keeping teachers happy and at the school attracts and keeps parents at the school.”

What You’ll Learn

  • Whose job is retention?

  • What’s a CXO?

  • Successful retention processes

  • Director of Admissions vs. Director of Enrollment Management

  • Parent survey best practices

  • What is should be expected of employees at an independent school

  • What does brand have to do with retention efforts

  • What vehicle schools are not using effectively for retention

  • What’s the likelihood that a poor-fit family stays at your school

  • The importance of communicating with parents the way they want


Learn More About Retention

Download the recording of our SparkTracks webinar, “Retention: The Most Overlooked Marketing Tool.”


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