Independent Schools

Melior has extensive experience working with clients in the education space, including independent schools, colleges and universities, and related organizations (e.g., ASA, College Board, Boy Scouts). We immerse ourselves in the issues relevant to educational organizations and leverage our industry knowledge against our decades-long business experience to provide the strategic guidance that helps our clients meet their internal and external challenges.

The hallmark of our work with independent schools is a focus on how our clients will use the information we gather. We explore, in depth, the challenges and decisions our clients are facing. At the same time, we consider the resource constraints that may affect how they can act on the implications of our work. 

Melior approaches each client, and each project, with a fresh eye.  Our research toolbox includes standard, state-of-the-art, and innovative methodologies, including focus groups; online, telephone and mail survey research; and one-on-one interviews. 

Our studies range in size and scope, but they all have in common a unique set of questions to which our client needs answers to inform future directions. Examples of such questions could include but are not limited to:

  • What’s going on with our current parents? How are they feeling about their child’s experience, and what expectations are/are not being met?
  • What’s “word on the street” about our School, as well as our competitors? How do our current and prospective families talk about us within their communities?
  • How can we reach and attract the profile of student that we targeting (e.g., diverse students, full-pay families, etc.)?
  • What are the specific messages about our School that will resonate with target market families? Are our current outreach and communications supporting our enrollment efforts?
  • We are embarking on a strategic plan…what do our current stakeholders value about our School, and what do they prioritize for the future?
  • How can we involve our alumni base more deeply in the life and financial health our School?
  • Why do families leave our School? (Cost is the easy answer…but there is usually more to it.)

To answer these questions, we work with virtually every stakeholder group of importance to independent schools, including…

  • Current and prospective parents
  • Current and prospective students
  • Alumni
  • Administration and faculty
  • Board members

See below to read some recent examples of our work with independent schools.

To learn more about Melior, our consultants and how we can help your institution, contact us.

  • For the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE), The Melior Group conducted research to shape the recruitment strategies of 5 Chicago area Jewish Day Schools. Melior defined distinct segments of the market, and worked with the schools collectively and individually to tailor their outreach appropriately.
  • For an East Coast Jewish Day School, Melior conducted foundational research upon which to base strategies to increase enrollment. We developed insight into the factors that make the school a choice for families, and used these learnings as the basis for developing positioning statements for the school.
  • An East Coast independent school wanted to assess the market potential for the development of a boarding option. Based on the results of both qualitative and quantitative research, the recommendation was not pursue this strategy.
  • Milton Hershey School had endured several periods of ugly headlines in the news. Melior conducted foundational research upon which to base outreach and recruitment strategies to combat negativity and to showcase all that the school has to offer.
  • A coed Quaker independent school was concerned about a trend in declining applications and enrollment among girls.  Melior conducted research with target market families to explore gender-based educational decision-making, and the School developed appropriate recruitment strategies to address the imbalance.