12 SMART Goals Examples for Enrollment Management

Enrollment management is the cornerstone of any successful academic institution. It speaks to a school’s ability to attract, retain, and motivate students to strive for excellence.

The SMART framework can ensure your team achieves its vision for enrollment success. We have compiled 12 SMART goals examples that you can use to empower your institution to reach its desired outcomes.

From optimizing student retention efforts to maximizing enrollment growth, these goals will help your school achieve its fullest potential. Are you ready to get started? Let’s dive in.

What is a SMART Goal?

The SMART method facilitates the creation of practical goals for enrollment management. If you’re unfamiliar, SMART represents specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.

Let’s delve deeper into each aspect of SMART:


You should know that the more precise your enrollment management goals are, the more likely you are to achieve them. Ambiguous targets can be tough to meet, while clear ones offer clarity and direction.

For instance, if you aim to boost the enrollment rate of students in your institution, you might set the goal: “Boost the enrollment rate by 20% within this academic year.” You will have clear guidance on what must be done.


Measurable goals are vital as they enable the involved parties to effectively track progress. When establishing an enrollment management goal, ensure it includes criteria that can be quantified. That makes it easier for institutions to succeed in their mission.


When developing enrollment management goals, consider your institution’s current capabilities. Setting unrealistic targets can lead to disappointment for both the institution and its stakeholders. That would be a scenario you want to avoid as much as possible.


Concentrate on goals that align with the institution’s core mission. You will finally have the motivation and persistence needed to overcome challenges.

Make sure you ask yourself questions like: What do I value most within the context of school improvement? What satisfies me? By understanding your values, you can start working towards meaningful objectives.


A robust time frame lets you stay on course and focus on your enrollment management goals. It would be best to acknowledge that success requires years of accumulation. It is a long journey that necessitates persistent effort and dedication.

12 SMART Goals Examples for Enrollment Management

1. Enhance Recruiting Efforts

“For the next four months, I will update and improve the university’s recruitment materials, such as brochures and website content. I plan to add polished visuals and updated facts about the school.”

Specific: The goal clearly states what needs to be done (update and improve recruitment materials) and for how long (four months).

Measurable: You could track the number of materials you’ve worked on within those four months.

Attainable: Enhancing recruitment efforts is something you can definitely do.

Relevant: Recruitment materials must be updated and eye-catching to increase enrollment.

Time-based: Success should be met over a four-month period.

2. Increase the Visibility of Our Institution

“I’ll aim to increase the visibility of our institution for the 6 months ahead. I want to increase the number of applicants that apply to our institution and enhance our online presence.”

Specific: The goal states the objective and the deadline to accomplish it.

Measurable: You can look at the number of applications received and the level of engagement on our online platforms.

Attainable: This SMART goal is possible as it can be achieved by increasing online visibility.

Relevant: Boosting visibility could increase recognition, helping potential applicants decide on applying to our institution.

Time-based: There is a 6-month window for this particular goal.

3. Improve Financial Aid Offers

“I’ll work with our financial aid team to ensure out-of-state students receive at least a 3% increase in aid packages by the end of the school year. I will also ask current students for feedback on how these changes have impacted their educational experience.”

Specific: Increase out-of-state student financial aid packages by at least 5%.

Measurable: You should be able to monitor the increase in aid packages.

Attainable: This is likely achievable with enough resources and support from the financial aid team.

Relevant: Improving financial aid packages for out-of-state students relates to improving enrollment.

Time-based: Completion of this goal statement requires one school year.

4. Establish Career Readiness Programs

“For 9 months, I want to launch two career readiness programs for our students to help them develop the skills they need for successful careers. I’ll attend three workshops and contact industry experts for advice and resources.”

Specific: The individual aims to launch two career readiness programs.

Measurable: Two career readiness programs will be launched over the course of 9 months.

Attainable: It is possible to create two programs in 9 months with adequate preparation.

Relevant: The goal is appropriate since it focuses on helping students cultivate skills for successful careers.

Time-based: There is a time limit of 9 months for goal achievement.

5. Grow the Institution’s Alumni Network

“I’ll coordinate alumni events and workshops to increase the size of our alumni network by 10% by the end of two years. That includes scheduling alumni meetups in different parts of the country, creating a newsletter for alumni members, and reaching out to new alumni through email campaigns.”

Specific: The goal is clear-cut and well-defined regarding the target and time frame.

Measurable: Track the growth of the alumni network by looking at the total number of members after two years.

Attainable: This is achievable given that it’s only a 10% increase over two years.

Relevant: Growing the alumni network will benefit current students and the institution in terms of connections and networking.

Time-based: The SMART statement must be achieved after two years.

6. Boost Extracurricular Opportunities

“I’ll strive to increase the extracurricular activities available on campus over the 6 months ahead. To do this, I’ll determine student interest in different activities and contact local organizations to offer on-campus opportunities.”

Specific: You have a clear action plan: survey students’ interests and contact local organizations.

Measurable: You can measure the number of organizations you contact and the surveys filled out each month.

Attainable: Assuming you have access to student email lists and local contacts, this is a reasonable goal.

Relevant: Boosting extracurricular activities on campus makes sense when focused on enrollment management.

Time-based: You should expect to meet success in 6 months.

7. Invest in Online Student Services

“We will invest in online student services like virtual advising, tutoring, and online library access by the end of 8 months. This will give students a more convenient way to access the resources they need for academic success.”

Specific: The goal is concise and clear, stating the objective and how it will be met.

Measurable: By investing in online student services, the institution can check whether or not students are utilizing these resources.

Attainable: Try to work with IT and other departments to develop the necessary systems.

Relevant: This is relevant to enrollment management because it gives students more convenient access to resources for the school.

Time-based: Eight whole months are needed to accomplish success.

8. Create Accessible Class Schedules

“Within the following 5 months, the school will provide two different versions of class schedules accessible for students with disabilities. That will be done by forming a committee and developing alternative schedule formats.”

Specific: The aim is to create two different versions of class schedules within 5 months.

Measurable: You can measure progress in terms of the number of versions created and the time taken.

Attainable: Developing class schedules is feasible and can be done by forming a committee.

Relevant: Offering accessible class schedules could improve the school’s enrollment management.

Time-based: You will attain this SMART statement after 5 months.

9. Increase Enrollment Numbers

“I will strive to increase the enrollment numbers of my program by 10% in the following three months. I’ll draw up an effective marketing plan to reach potential students and create a recruitment strategy for outreach efforts.”

Specific: This is explicit because it outlines what must be done to boost enrollment numbers.

Measurable: Evaluate your progress in terms of how many new students you’ve been able to recruit.

Attainable: Attaining this goal is possible if the right marketing plan and recruitment strategy are implemented.

Relevant: Increasing program enrollment numbers is an essential target for any academic institution that wants to succeed and grow.

Time-based: You should anticipate success over the three months ahead.

10. Foster a Community of Inclusivity

“We hope to increase campus diversity by 10% over two years. We will accomplish this by creating more diverse student programs and ensuring faculty members are adequately trained to support our mission of fostering an inclusive community.”

Specific: The goal is clear. Increase campus diversity by 10% within two years.

Measurable: This can be measured with quantitative data gathered from the previous year’s figures.

Attainable: This is doable, depending on how well the team creates and implements diverse student programs.

Relevant: This goal is appropriate for the university’s mission to foster an inclusive community.

Time-based: Two years is the time limit for achieving the statement.

11. Improve Student Retention

“I will strive to increase the student retention rate by 10% by the end of 10 months. I’ll use surveys, focus groups, and interviews with current students to understand their experience better.”

Specific: The purpose is clear: improve the student retention rate by a certain percentage in a given time frame.

Measurable: Keep track of the student retention rate before and after implementing changes to meet the target.

Attainable: With proper data analysis, improving the student retention rate is manageable if done correctly.

Relevant: This is relevant for anyone in enrollment management who wants to enhance student retention.

Time-based: You should be able to accomplish this goal after 10 months.

12. Strengthen Academic Reputation

“We want to increase media mentions of our college by 20% in the following year. We plan to create and execute a comprehensive public relations plan that includes outreach to regional and national publications.”

Specific: The aim is to increase media mentions by at least 20%.

Measurable: You can keep track of the number of media mentions regularly.

Attainable: With a comprehensive public relations plan, gaining 20% more recognition is possible.

Relevant: This focuses on increasing the college’s academic reputation and improving its standing in the community.

Time-based: The goal is expected to be achieved within one year.

Final Thoughts

Applying the SMART framework to your enrollment management strategy can revolutionize your approach, streamlining processes while maximizing results.

Each example illustrates how this potent tool can clarify your objectives and drive actions. They provide a roadmap, guiding you from where you are to where you want to be.

And the beauty of SMART goals lies in their adaptability. You can tweak them to fit your institution’s unique needs and circumstances.

Realize that successful enrollment management is about more than just hitting targets—it’s about creating an efficient system that aligns with your institution’s vision.

With SMART goals as your guide, you’re well on your way to achieving that. So embrace these examples to turn your enrollment management strategy from good to amazing.

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Rei Shen

Rei is the founder of Success in Depth. Based in Washington, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. He brings years of experience in goal setting to empower readers to reach their aspirations.