What a year it has been on the regulatory front in higher education. In an industry that has seen such tremendous growth over the years, now more than ever colleges and universities are tightening the reigns, setting different expectations, implementing new policies and navigating a whole new era of compliance.
I recently had a chance to talk to Tom Robinson, editor of Today’s Campus, for his article, “Marketing in the New Regulatory Reality.” Tom and I talked in depth about the misrepresentation rules that went into effect in July, what they mean, and how they will impact education marketers now and in the future.
As we go into 2012, we’ll continue to see this impact. I believe we’ll see more collaboration between the big lead aggregators and schools around lead visibility. We’ll see the processes for schools to control over their messages perfected. We’ll see new and better ways to monitor compliance. But we won’t – and this is my out-on-a-limb prediction – see much in the way of Federal enforcement – yet.
The bottom line is that colleges will continue to re-assess legal and financial risk while still maximizing their marketing ROI. The opportunity to successfully recruit, enroll and retain the right students exists, and while additional controls are required by the new regulatory landscape, the fact remains that education is still a growing industry.