The higher education regulatory environment has reached an entirely new level of scrutiny over the last several years, forcing college and university enrollment marketing processes and lead generation practices under the microscope and into unprecedented risk.
New rules continue to impact the way higher education institutions connect with prospective students. Yet, despite this closely guarded regulatory environment, institutions have found ways to ethically and efficiently generate inquiries, maintain brand standards, and identify and resolve any possible violations in order to ensure compliance. While these emerging guidelines can come with their challenges, they are also protecting our students and our schools alike.
State of the Market
The regulatory risk surrounding Internet lead generation, specifically, has never been greater. Still, the education sector needs to attract students via this low-cost channel.
Regulatory bodies are employing a critical eye as monitoring hits an all-time high and new and evolved regulations continue to surface. Important measures to be aware of include:
- April 2012: The President signed an executive order forcing colleges to disclose more information about financial aid and graduation rates.
- October 2012: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released updates to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulations, which finalized and implemented revisions to rules governing telemarketing.
- 2013: Many of the new TCPA rules are now in effect, and others will be by the end of the year.
At stake is the livelihood of institutions themselves, and while much of the scrutiny is due to the unethical practices of a handful of lead generators, the FCC has placed the burden of proof of consent with each school. It has never been more important for schools to understand the regulations, the tactical changes that may be required, and the long-term or indirect impacts that the rules are likely to create on the education industry, individual schools, and prospective students.
The Road to Compliance
As a result of both passed and proposed legislation, colleges and universities have had to not only redevelop some of their enrollment marketing practices, but also evolve the relationships they have with lead generators in order to still attract interest from prospective students—all while protecting their brands.
The Question: How can you continue to generate qualified inquiries without sacrificing your integrity or jeopardizing the survival of your school?
The Answer: Develop and employ new, essential practices that help you gain visibility and control of your advertising buys.
Safeguarding your online leads is of the utmost importance. It is imperative that you understand where they came from, what messaging they received, and how they want to be contacted. Cutting-edge, automated technology coupled with a personal compliance manager can pay close attention to detail, uncovering misrepresentations, taking immediate action to make corrections, and tracking resolution status.
*The content of this white paper is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.