Higher Education Inquiry Volume Up; Conversion Rates Down

September 28, 2017 Melissa Piccinich

Higher education inquiry volume has maintained its upward trajectory since 2015, according to the Sparkroom Q2 2017 Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review. Although Q2 2017 experienced a slight dip, since Q2 2015 there has been an 11.3% increase in overall inquiry volume.


Since May 2016, online programs and campus-based programs have been neck and neck in terms of share of inquiry volume (SOV). In Q2 2017, campus-based programs held the number-one rank, grasping a 50.3% SOV.

Both online and campus-based programs have been experiencing steady declines in conversion rates (CVR), however it is campus-based programs that are at the root of the downward trend. The average CVR for campus-based programs in Q1 2017 was 6.9%, which is quite a fall from the 8.5% CVR just one year prior. Data for Q2 2017 is still maturing, however it appears to be on track to match the prior quarter’s performance. In Q1 2017, online programs achieved an average CVR of 8.0%. As a result of the stronger conversion rate, online programs are bringing in a higher share of conversions (SOC) than campus-based programs. In Q2 2017, the SOC for online programs was 55.5%, up from both Q2 2016 and Q2 2015.

Increased market saturation and decreased quality of inquiry capture are just two of many possible trends that have caused shifts in the average CVR over the reported period. Even so, the market is overall quite stable.

The Sparkroom Q2 2017 Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review addresses overall trends in the inquiry and student acquisition activities of higher education institutions for the period of January 2016-June 2017, with a focus on April-June 2017. The report details trends related to inquiry volume, conversion rates, channels, lead costs, program distribution and degree-level distribution.

Click here to download your free copy of the Sparkroom Q2 2017 Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review.

About the Author

Melissa Piccinich

Melissa Piccinich is a Marketing Manager at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), an industry leader in providing end-to-end customer acquisition solutions that help clients grow their businesses and realize their marketing goals. In this role, Melissa handles marketing and communications efforts for DMS and its subsidiary brands. Since its inception, DMS has evolved into a full-service performance marketing company that services firms within highly complex and competitive industries including mortgage, education, insurance, consumer brands, automotive, jobs and careers. DMS has achieved incredible year-over-year growth, which has earned recognition on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

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