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Columbia College
4 minute read

Standing Out in a Field of Columbias


Columbia College of Missouri’s vision is to be a highly innovative institution of higher education, dedicated to excellence in its programs nationwide. When faced with an enrollment decline, team turnover, community brand confusion, and a lack of data on their prospective student personas, the enrollment team tapped into this spirit of innovation and excellence to create a new strategy that would deliver strong enrollment results. This strategy would need to hone in on learning who the college’s prospective students truly were, leveraging a partner who would maximize the team’s resources, and overcoming students’ brand mix-ups with other Columbia schools (e.g. Columbia College-Chicago and Columbia University).


Columbia College knew it was time for a strategy shift and turned to Encoura’s expert consulting and solutions to make the pivot. The school broadened their services to leverage forward-thinking marketing solutions, as well as industry-leading research, to deeply understand their market, build a high-quality applicant pool, and differentiate their institution from other “Columbia” schools. Next, the Columbia team prioritized their enrollment consulting meetings to work smarter, not harder, taking advantage of their expert consultant who could meet crucial strategic needs while it worked with less resources and staff. The admissions department also teamed up with the college’s marketing department during calls with their Eduventures Research analyst to develop a communication plan that was based on student research to effectively boost student engagement and enrollment.

Funnel Optimization

Strategic Enrollment Consulting

Funnel & Market Analysis


Eduventures® Student Mindsets™

Eduventures® Admitted Student Research

Advanced Student Search

Encoura Combined Dataset

Smart+® Predictive Model

Digital Solutions

Custom Audience Targeting

Custom Landing Pages

Email Marketing

Segmented Email Campaign Development


Campaign Performance & Recommendations


Enrollment Lens®

Class Planner®

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We have worked really hard to understand who our students are so we can build a relationship with them. To do that, Encoura’s consulting and Eduventures Mindsets have given us a new understanding of the regions where there is student interest. We’re able to use the SMART+ predictive model to strategize our name buys and shape our digital campaigns around student data, rather than implementing general, widespread marketing campaigns and hoping they perform well.
AVP Admissions and Marketing
AVP Admissions and Marketing logo


Columbia College quickly saw the results of leveraging new solutions with Encoura. Both brand recognition and funnel performance began to clearly increase. Students began approaching the institution’s reps at college fairs sharing that they recognized Columbia College from their emails and digital campaigns. Through its intentional hard work and strategic thinking at the top of its enrollment funnel, Columbia College’s admissions team experienced success through the entire funnel: a jump in applications from their region by 14%, a much stronger applicant pool, and a 33% increase in deposits.

Website engagement 5 times higher than previous campaigns
14% increase in regional applications
Website engagement 5 times higher than previous campaigns
15% increase in admit rate
Website engagement 5 times higher than previous campaigns
33% increase in deposits

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