When You Need to Say No to an Applicant

Dec 21, 2021

Hi there!

I'm going to start by sharing this incredible marketing quote which perfectly captures the essence of the topic I have for you today: 

"Marketing to everyone is marketing to no one."

You've heard me express this time and time again, but I want to stress how important and relevant this is today. 

Thinking back to two years ago, did your school want to increase enrollment? Did you have a surge in enrollment during the beginning of COVID-19? If so, you may have experienced challenges in building community, teacher burnout, and a potential disconnect in your mission. 

Now, of course, some of these difficulties were due to the unavoidable stresses of navigating a pandemic. However, you may have been in a situation where you accepted families that weren't necessarily mission-aligned. 

Perhaps your teachers had to spend a lot of time acclimating new families to the independent school environment. For younger children, maybe this looked like extra focus on introducing them to in-person learning. 

Whatever the challenge, I want to encourage you this admissions season to keep these questions in mind: 

  • What does it mean to be aligned with the mission?
  • Who are we and who are we looking for?
  • Who thrives in this environment?
  • And who can we serve best?

I know this may be a difficult situation for a lot of admissions directors, especially this time of year. I'm wishing you the best of luck, and I'd also like to know, how do you navigate these challenges?

If you're looking for a place to share ideas, discuss strategies, and connect with other school leaders, our meetup is for you! Sign-up here.