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  • Writer's pictureRussell Cooke

How the Business Manager Supports Admissions in the Reenrollment Process

As tuition fees for next school year are set and the re-enrollment process starts again, Russell Cooke reflects on the importance of collaboration between the Business Manager and the Admissions department.

Within the consultancy we regularly talk about the significance of the Business Manager position, and the multifaceted role they should have in helping lead the school. One example of this leadership is in supporting the Admissions department.

In the dynamic landscape of international education, successful school operations rely on seamless collaboration among various departments. While each department plays a crucial role, the synergy between the Business Office and Admissions departments is particularly essential during the reenrollment process. In this blog post, we delve into the ways the Business Office can support and enhance the reenrollment efforts of the Admissions team. Although some of these may appear obvious, they are worth mentioning to underscore the importance of the collaboration.

The reenrollment process is not solely about securing student commitments for the upcoming academic year, it is also a strategic opportunity to reinforce the school's value proposition and financial sustainability. As tuition revenue forms the most significant portion of the school's budget, aligning financial goals with enrollment objectives is paramount. Therefore, fostering collaboration between the finance and admissions departments is not only beneficial but necessary for the school's long-term success.

Participating in open houses provides the Business Manager with invaluable insights into the school's offerings, priorities, and perceived value by prospective families. By immersing themselves in these events, they can grasp firsthand what aspects of the school resonate most with families. From safety measures to specialized programs, understanding prospective families' interests informs financial decision-making, ensuring resources are allocated effectively to meet evolving needs.

One often overlooked aspect of the finance department's involvement in the reenrollment process is its role in reinforcing the school's fiscal responsibility and integrity. As families commit to investing in their children's education, they seek assurance that their financial contributions are managed prudently. By enhancing visibility and transparency around financial operations, the finance department reassures prospective families of the school's commitment to sound fiscal practices. This, in turn, strengthens the school's reputation and trustworthiness, crucial factors in families' decision-making process.

As the school business manager, you play a critical role in driving automation and operational initiatives to streamline the reenrollment process, particularly in documentation and payment procedures. By leveraging technology and process optimization strategies, you can lead efforts to digitize and automate enrollment forms, contracts, and payment processing systems. Implementing online portals or platforms for parents to submit documentation and make payments not only enhances convenience and efficiency but also reduces administrative burden and potential errors. Moreover, by spearheading initiatives to integrate these systems with existing school databases and financial management tools, you can ensure seamless data flow and real-time tracking of enrollment status and payments.

Effective collaboration between the Business Office and the Admissions department extends beyond event participation, it encompasses ongoing communication and mutual support. One actionable recommendation to facilitate this collaboration is to allocate one or two of blog articles to Admissions aspects from a series that is published throughout the year by the Business Manager. Similar to the "Finance at SAS" blog established by William Scarborough during his term at the Singapore American School. This article written a few years ago provides insights into the reenrollment process, financial considerations, and the school's commitment to financial stewardship. By proactively sharing this information with the school community, the Business Office reinforces its role as a partner in the enrollment journey, fostering trust and transparency. This series of blog articles has been continued by SAS and is now called Operations at SAS.

The Business Manager plays a pivotal role in supporting the reenrollment efforts of international schools. By actively participating in open houses, gaining insights, communicating financial stewardship, and fostering collaboration through proactive communication, finance professionals contribute to the school's overall success. As international education continues to evolve, strong partnerships between the finance and admissions departments will remain essential in navigating challenges and seizing opportunities for growth and sustainability.


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