Juniata College.

More Students Despite a Demographic Drought.

Shifting demographics are adversely affecting enrollment at many small private colleges across the country. Pennsylvania has been hit especially hard. Juniata wanted to make sure they could continue to thrive in this changing landscape, so they called Waybetter.

The Challenge

Juniata had a banner year in 2008, bringing in more applications than ever before. But then, shrinking populations in their primary recruiting territories caused a downturn. Juniata asked Waybetter to help enroll students who would be drawn to their high academic quality despite a lack of name recognition.

The Better Way

We began our collaboration with Juniata the same way we begin with all our clients—by getting to know as much about them as possible.

This necessary step helped us personalize the first wave of email and print messaging to prospective students. These communications invited prospects to further explore Juniata at a microsite that looked and felt like Juniata’s own website, but with information tailored to every single prospect’s interest. The microsite is the beating heart of our three-step approach: Attract, Listen, Respond.

Once they were attracted to our microsites, Juniata’s prospective students were able to find relevant information about their academic interests. And we were able to ask them more questions—Were they interested in student life? Were they concerned about cost? Did they want to know about Juniata Athletics?—that we were instantly able to answer. We listened to prospects, then responded with relevant context and information. For all intents and purposes, we were having real conversations with thousands of prospects on a one-on-one basis.

But the interaction didn’t end at the microsites. Next, we launched a series of triggered emails that changed depending on what we had learned about each student. Finally, we delivered the leads to Juniata for follow-up and nurturing throughout the entire enrollment cycle.


Juniata increased their total number of students while simultaneously becoming more selective. In three complete cycles, Juniata’s average class size of 385 jumped to class sizes of 423, 428, and 446.

They also saw a:

0 %
increase in enrollment
decreased acceptance rate

Waybetter learned our institution, helped us bring out the specific best aspects of numerous facets of our academic and student life offerings, and arranged to put our best before prospective students.

They have been and exemplary contractor, colleague, advisor, and—most importantly—dissenting voice when needed."