It only takes a few minutes of talking with John Dysart to realize he is passionate about helping colleges make the most of their opportunities to recruit and retain students. Listen to him for an hour and you will wonder why his commonsense suggestions haven’t already been implemented on your campus. But host him for a day and you will receive detailed analysis of your own situation plus concrete steps to take next. We hosted him 6 weeks ago, and by the next day we were already making changes. His interactions with our staff and leaders prompted important discussions that opened our eyes to things we had been overlooking. Whatever you are already doing in admissions, retention, and financial aid, you can do even better. John Dysart can help you get there. The money we spent on his audit service was a wise investment that will be repaid if we recruit or retain only one more student. And I expect the final results to be far better than that.
I am happy to commend John Dysart to you based on the STRONG work that he did for us at two of my previous institutions. Both institutions experienced strong enrollment growth under John’s leadership. Growth was unparalleled in history at one university. John is a no-nonsense admissions professional who brings to his consultations a solid and current knowledge base in all matters pertaining to college enrollment, financial aid, retention, academic program growth, as well as best practices encouraged by the various external regulatory bodies.
I say this in all seriousness: don’t call John if enrollment growth is not a priority for you. He can make it happen!
Working with John Dysart was the most professionally satisfying, productive and stimulating experience of my enrollment career. His counsel and guidance caused me to grow and succeed in ways I’d not thought possible. This year marks 20 years we’ve known each other.
I always enjoyed working with John. He is straight forward and tells it like it is, but that is a style I appreciate. There are no hidden agendas, just direct, instructive communication as well as give and take.
John worked with me at Saint Xavier University for 10 years. We doubled the enrollment during that time, increased the average EFC, GPA and ACT score. We built an athletic center, chapel, 3 residence halls, plus enlarged the dining hall because of enrollment growth.
At Roosevelt University, successful implementation of his strategies increased new student enrollment by 70% in a single cycle. If you do what he says- your institution will set enrollment records.
I recommend hiring him to review your current admission and financial aid strategies and offer specific recommendations for improvement. He’s worth every penny if you do what he recommends. Then someday you’ll be writing a similar recommendation for him.
I want to take a moment to thank you for your time and dedication to Georgetown College over the past two and a half years. Besides offering us a new model for admissions that has helped us to continue to increase our enrollment at this important time in our institution’s history, you have also introduced a new system of accountability in admissions that will ground our efforts going forward. You made it possible for me to bring new leadership to our Admissions operations, knowing that you would provide oversight, guidance, and accountability to the efforts, and you have been a constantly available support along the way. Importantly, I knew that I could count on your unbiased honesty in assessing our personnel and operations.
My name is Dr. Jim Nolan, and I am the president of Southwestern College, a graduate school in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I am writing this endorsement for John Dysart, who I hired to consult with our school around enrollment services, financial aid, recruitment, marketing, tuition discounting, and related issues. I had attended a training on the east coast where, among a handful of presenters, John stood out to me as the most experienced, down-to-earth, sharp, and straightforward professional of the day. I knew we had to bring him to Southwestern College. Well, we did, and John turned the place upside down in two days (in the BEST of ways!) His experience, acuity of vision, ability to listen, absorb, and offer feedback was completely amazing. In a room that included the usual array of skeptics, entrenched-in-the-past folks, and fearful participants, John somewhat easily (I had to reflect, and ask myself if that was the correct word, and it IS) converted the whole organization. No sooner was he gone that we revamped a number of offices, made personnel changes, halted outdated procedures, implemented new ones, and moved ahead collectively with great hope toward a different future we could not have envisioned ourselves. We are still in the process of using what John offered, and I cannot begin to tell you how delighted the entire institution is (including our Board of Trustees!) with the value we received from working with John Dysart. Best investment I have made in many years.
We are very grateful to the John Dysart Group for providing outstanding consultation services to our team at Elim Bible Institute and College. John knows how to quickly diagnose enrollment problems and offer proven solutions. He helped us discover several issues we are aggressively addressing, particularly related to recruitment, marketing, bridging the gap between applications and accepted students, and financial aid. John has given us direction and confidence, enabling us to move forward with several enrollment strategies which we are confident will make an appreciable impact for years to come. John’s communication style is authentic, clear and concise. He is not afraid to share his thoughts, but does so with respect and humility. It was very clear to us, early on, that John truly wants to make a difference and is willing to work hard to serve his clients toward that end. Thanks so much John!
It is my honor and privilege to provide this reference and endorsement for the outstanding services that The Dysart Group provided to Louisiana State University at Alexandria (LUSA) in the area of enrollment management. Unquestionably, John Dysart contributed significantly to an unprecedented enrollment growth at LSUA, culminating with this fall having the highest enrollment in the history of the University! This feat is even more significant in that enrollment in the preceding 8 years had followed a downward trajectory that was so drastic that it appeared that the University was in jeopardy of being closed. LSUA went from having its lowest enrollment in 25 years in the fall of 2013, to the highest in its history in fall 2015.
Specifically, fall 2013 to fall 2015 enrollment increased 39.01%, credit hour production increased 39.01%, and revenue from tuition and fees increased 51.56%. Relatedly, LSUA experienced the highest number of students enrolling in baccalaureate programs, the highest number of continuing students, the highest number of transfer students, the highest number of out-of-state students, the highest number of international students, the highest number of students in the Honors Program, the highest number of student athletes (in intercollegiate athletics and club sports), the largest freshman class in the last 10 years, the largest number of students participating in dual enrollment in the last 9 years, the most culturally diverse student population, the largest number of students enrolled in large-scale asynchronous distance learning, 100% occupancy in its residence halls, and a 98.42% increase in students taking full meal plans.
Through his sage advice and counsel, LSUA used a broad array of relevant and timely metrics to help make more informed decisions as to resource allocation (both human and financial resources) in the enrollment management area. John helped LSUA revise significantly its recruiting materials and strategies for recruitment and retention. As part of The Dysart legacy at LSUA, the LSUA enrollment management team members know how to interpret and use data for decision making in the future.
Unquestionably, LSUA has benefitted substantially by its relationship with The Dysart Group.
I have known and worked with John Dysart at three colleges over the last fifteen years. While I value his expertise on all issues related to recruitment and retention, I count on him to help me in the area of financial aid. He understands award policies, financial aid processes, pricing, discount rates, and net revenue. He recently assisted me in reducing the discount rate at my institution by five percent in the first year. He did this while our tuition increased, our retention remained stable, and our academic profile increased.
John Dysart has been a tremendous resource. His insightfulness and forward thinking has provided valuable, practical information that has been easily implemented and applied. I have enjoyed working with John over the years and rely on him for his expertise and guidance from time to time. As SVP, Enrollment Management his innovative nature has been invaluable for me.
John is accessible and responds quickly to my inquiries. I consider him to be an industry expert and count on his feedback.
I began working with John Dysart in 1998 when Saint Xavier University was in the very early stages of a set of strategic recruitment initiatives. While the University’s executive leadership team appreciated the vital role of ‘data-informed’ decision-making, the institution lacked the operational experience and know-how needed to translate our lofty recruitment goals into reality.
John Dysart’s guidance and mentoring turned our dreams of success into reality. He showed us how to filter and shape data into useful information through weekly and biweekly statistical summaries. He taught us how to track progress towards goals at every stage of the recruitment cycle, and to foster a shared sense of accountability within all units responsible for student recruitment and enrollment. Through multiple years of tutoring and assistance, our management team gradually developed a ‘culture of evidence’ that endures and continues to grow to this day.
It is said that ‘without a vision the people perish;’ our experiences with John Dysart taught us that ‘without data the vision is lost.’ The proof of our new adage is found in the results. Our first set of strategic recruitment goals were met and surpassed three years ahead of schedule. Between 1998 and 2004, freshmen applications tripled; overall undergraduate applications more than doubled; the size of entering freshmen classes grew by 50%, and overall undergraduate enrollment increased 31%. Over the same time period, our resident population doubled and the average ACT composite of new freshmen grew two full points. All of this was accomplished while keeping our overall tuition discount rate well below the national average for institutions like Saint Xavier University. None of this would have been possible without the assistance and help from John Dysart.
John’s approach to the financial aid awarding matrix is a comprehensive financial process for ongoing, timely aid processing and enrollment monitoring. His matrix strategy allows flexibility to target specific SAT/GPA groups with pricing tools that increase tuition income yield over the life of the four year undergraduate student contract. It is adaptable to graduate programs as well. It can be adjusted as needed depending on the enrollment patterns in any given recruitment cycle to maximize net tuition income. In the first year of the implementation of the matrix our institution saw a noticeable increase in net tuition income and a turnaround in our undergraduate enrollment.
John’s knowledge of the awarding process coupled with his ability to understand the net tuition needs of the client make him an effective financial aid matrix consultant. He is highly responsive to customer needs, especially in a complex environment with multiple pricing strategies, and he helped us to streamline and consolidate a myriad of financial aid awarding parameters into a consistent program. Properly utilized, the matrix student aid awarding process is a highly efficient tool to increase net tuition from students.
I have had the pleasure of working with John Dysart at two institutions. He is among the first people I called when I accepted the position as President at Tri-State University.
I have continued to rely on his services based upon his ability to increase enrollment, reduce financial aid costs and improve academic quality. John has helped me realize all-time, historical record new student enrollments at both schools. His understanding of admissions, retention, recruitment, marketing, finance, pricing and financial aid has been proven. I continue to utilize his services because of his approach and accountability.
His follow-up is consistent. He is always direct, honest and realistic in his assessments and recommendations and backs up his comments with research and data. John has always operated as part of the enrollment team and his commitment to excellence, detail and success matches mine!
John W. Dysart has been enrollment consultant to Saint Xavier University since 1998. Total enrollment has increased 53% over this period. Freshmen applications have nearly tripled, academic quality has improved, the residential student population has doubled, and there have been substantial gains in net revenue. Revenue gains have made it possible for the University to transform its campus through the addition of five new buildings during this five-year period.
Mr. Dysart has an excellent grasp of all aspects of the recruitment process. His recommendations regarding pricing and financial aid strategies are outstanding. We have implemented changes in technology, applicant services, and campus visit programs as direct results of consultations with John.
Mr. Dysart regularly visits the campus and interacts with decision makers and front line staff. When not on campus, he keeps in constant contact by reviewing progress reports and outcomes. John Dysart approaches his work with a strong intellect but also with an engaging personal style. We on the Enrollment Services team at Saint Xavier University consider ourselves very fortunate to have had a sustained and productive relationship with this excellent colleague.
I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with John Dysart for the last few years. John’s knowledge and understanding of the financial aid process has benefited both our students and the overall efficiency of my office.
I’ll never forget the first time John came to Ohio Dominican and asked to see all of the written correspondence and forms used in the Financial Aid Office. It didn’t take John more than a few seconds to tell me we didn’t need any of them and began working with me on how to make the financial aid process more streamlined, more efficient and most importantly, more proactive in working with both new and returning students.
John’s style was a breath of fresh air. We were now in the business of reminding our returning students to file for financial aid! The elimination of unnecessary paper work has freed up staff members to dedicate more of their time to outreach initiatives that were once never imaginable in the financial aid process. Students, both new and returning are now able to get their financial aid packages within 24 to 48 hours!
I have been in the financial aid profession for twenty years and for the first time in my career I can honestly tell you that these past two and a half years have made me a better leader. I now have time to reflect on the past year – what worked, what didn’t work – and then begin planning for the next processing year.
It has been my privilege to work with John Dysart over the past five years. As a result of his initial consulting visit to Quincy University, we experienced a 19% increase in new students. Obviously, we have maintained a close relationship ever since.
John always has new, creative ideas and suggestions to share. He makes himself readily available to his clients and is a pleasure to work with. I feel like John is a member of our enrollment team and value his expertise and support. I recommend John without hesitation to any institution seeking enrollment support.
John has a remarkable ability to think outside the box because he brings a unique combination of skills to the table. John’s a financial aid expert, but he thinks like an admission officer. Lots of people talk about enrollment management – John practices it. If you need help using financial aid, boosting enrollment, molding your incoming class or increasing your revenue you have to talk to John.
I have worked closely with John Dysart at two private institutions to develop and implement recruitment strategies that incorporate financial aid leveraging systems. His knowledge of this field is specific and very current. He is by far the most hands on consultant I have worked with over my 25 year career in higher education administration.
John makes it a point to understand in detail the operational dynamics of the institution with which he is consulting. So, rather than simply bringing a blueprint that can only work one way, he designs a plan that incorporates the institution’s unique needs with his proven strategy, monitors the implementation and makes adjustments along the way that culminate in immediate and sustainable results.
He is readily reachable and gives 100% of his attention whenever contacted. John Dysart is a consultant with whom you can create success!
We are so pleased with our enrollment results!!! Our applications have almost tripled in three years thanks wholly to the methods John Dysart taught us. His no nonsense, no glitz approach really resonated with our top management. His willingness to go the extra mile in really learning about our institution and its unique mission gave us confidence that he could guide us on the right course for our particular situation. We felt we truly had a teammate that was as committed to our goals and success as we were. I know the Board of Trustees felt that same way when he made an outstanding presentation to them.
John, thank you for taking the time to meet with our President’s Council; you provided us with some very valuable recommendations regarding our long-range planning and retention. We have implemented those ideas and are just now seeing the positive results you predicted. John, you are more than a consultant to us. You’ve truly become a lasting friend and a part of Southern Virginia University. Please let me know if I can recommend you to other institutions. I would be happy to do so because I know their money would be well spent.
I have worked with John Dysart at four different institutions where he was either my colleague or consultant. In each case, dramatic results were achieved. John is an enormously talented, energetic and creative individual whose work has consistently produced increased enrollments, increased academic quality and stabilized financial aid costs. He is often referred to as the “Master of the Financial Aid Universe” but he is also equally savvy about admissions and how to integrate it with financial aid. He is also noted for attention to detail – nothing ever seems to get by him!
When I started with Ferrum College in 2005, I asked John to help us develop an enrollment management plan to move the institution forward. Admissions saw quick results applications increasing by 46% and new student enrollment increasing by 50% in two short years. Total student enrollment also increased by 30%. It is worth noting that the gains in total student enrollment were obtained not only from improved recruitment but also from improved retention. John helped us develop a retention plan that included an innovative approach to “re-recruitment” which helped produce a seven percent increase in freshmen retention in just one year.
Ferrum has also seen notable improvement in financial aid. John’s suggestions regarding packaging and processing enabled financial aid to integrate more closely with the overall enrollment goals of the institution. Service to students has improved and financial aid paperwork is completed much more quickly. Consequently, 97% of all financial aid folders are complete by the opening of school in fall. John’s approach to the management of financial aid has significantly increased net revenue and helped stabilize the institution’s discount rate. Because of that approach, Ferrum has enjoyed a significantly positive financial impact from the enrollment gains noted above.
John Dysart creates results! We hired John Dysart in December and by August our enrollment management processes were completely transformed. He helped admissions and financial aid personnel adopt a systematic approach for tracking potential students and implemented a system for student follow-up that resulted in a fifty (50!) per cent increase in student deposits over the previous year. Fantastic results in just eight months!
In addition, positive changes in the Admissions and Financial Aid offices highlighted the need for concomitant changes in many other processes including registration, advising, budgeting, marketing, housing, and tuition structuring to name a few. John’s broad experience and willingness to apply his expertise in varied situations has been invaluable to us and has helped me provide more effective leadership in areas that were not within my realm of expertise.
Finally, as an institution specialized in preparing health care professionals and affiliated with a large health care system we have a unique organizational structure and mission. John was quick to recognize and respect the distinctiveness of our college culture and he works effectively within it. His communication is superb whether he is making a presentation to my Board of Trustees, training a group of counselors, or working one-on- one with a program director. His high energy, clear and direct communication, breadth of experience and knowledge, and flexible responsiveness has provided me with valuable support in my role as President and he has functioned more like a member of my administrative team than a traditional consultant.
I look forward to an extended association with John and am confident that colleges who are looking for help to improve their processes, productivity, efficiency, and student satisfaction should invite him for an exploratory visit. I predict you will be more than satisfied with the results he creates!
John has worked with representatives at Mary Baldwin College for more than a decade. He really understands special mission institutions such as women’s colleges. He has provided broad assistance on everything from recruitment, publications and reporting to marketing and financial aid. I recommend him without hesitation.
It is with great pleasure that I write this reference for John Dysart. He has been instrumental in achieving our strategic goal of increasing the size of our freshman class. In the very first year, our freshman class increased by 72%. In five years, our full-time traditional student body increased by 90% and our resident population rose by 143%. Our institution adopted a wide range of new recruitment strategies to achieve that result for which John provided effective guidance and support through the challenging and difficult process of change.
A key element of our strategies was the introduction of an extensive scholarship program that served both as recognition of strong academic performance as well as an incentive to join our institution. John developed the program without compromising our discount rate. He then helped us to implement and monitor it. At the same time he streamlined our other financial aid strategies to speed up our packaging and more effectively use institutional dollars.
In the years that I have worked with John, I have found him to be focused and results oriented. The fast paced environment that college recruitment has become demands constant monitoring, assessment and re-dedication of efforts. John proved to be invaluable in his evaluation of our weekly reports and in his advice for follow-up activities. His extensive experience and background have provided him with a feel for what will and will not work.
I have no hesitation in recommending John Dysart, and wishing him every success.
Working with John Dysart for two years was a tremendous opportunity. As a young director, I found his advice and guidance very useful and practical. His recommendations for admissions and financial aid are solid, tested and proven. His counsel is honest and results lead to success when they are fully optimized. The relationship with John assisted us in enrolling the largest freshmen class in thirty years for two consecutive years. Iowa Wesleyan College has benefited from the work we have done with The Dysart Group. I am pleased to recommend John Dysart to any college and wish him many successes.
I have utilized The Dysart Group at my last three institutions (I’ve been president of four colleges over the past 27 years). John is results oriented and not afraid to make bold recommendations.
Wesley College enrollment in 1997 was 617. When I left in 2007, it was 3,000. Bethany College (WV) enrollment in 2007 was 751. When I left in 2015, it was 1,025. Virginia Wesleyan University: our remarkable transformation is chronicled in the attached Dwyer Strategies feature– http://www.dwyereducationstrategies.com/the-commonwealth-is-witnessing-a-transformation-at-virginia-wesleyan-university-in-virginia-beach/
I recommend him without reservation. He has produced for me in a big way at three institutions and is one of the most respected college consultants in the business.
I have been working with John for the past few years. I initially researched John’s background and contacted a number of people who have worked with John. All of the people I talked with had very positive things to say about John’s work. I found that he is well versed in areas associated with admissions, financial aid and retention.
Our situation is different than most because we are a private university that has a partnership arrangement with a community college. The difference in the type of students and the different tuition pricing is a challenge to work through. It became immediately apparent that John is not a “boiler plate” problem solver as we worked through the ordeal.
Our biggest challenge was with the admissions office and John structured a total revision of the admissions operations and added an accountability factor to each of the staff members in the admissions office. The weekly report schedules that were developed, with the cooperation of our MIS department, allowed us to examine statistics on potential students who showed the slightest interest in attending our University and those potential students who completed applications. This gave us a proactive edge to keep in touch with all possible prospects and his recommendations provided the structure to contact thousands of prospects. In addition, financial aid packaging was improved to provide better service, faster completion of the required forms, and a structured follow-up. The fact that we were under adverse conditions, had a very late recruiting start, but still ended up with the largest freshman class in the history of the school should attest to John’s abilities to get to the heart of recruiting problems.
John has also been a big help with our tuition pricing, conducting campus visits, orientation, and technology support. He has a direct, no nonsense approach that is coupled with genuine concern for the University. His research is reliable and he is always accessible. When he returns calls he gives you his undivided attention. It would be difficult to find a consultant with the background and experience that would exceed John’s in admissions, financial aid and retention.
I am very pleased to write this testimonial for John Dysart. During the last year since he began his relationship with Roosevelt University I have become his #1 fan.
As chief enrollment officer I had been charged by our president and board chair with growing the enrollment by at least double digits within a 15 month period. Having forty years of experience made me very wary of accomplishing such a feat. We were growing credit hour totals by approximately 2% per year so it was certainly no small feat to reach such a lofty goal.
Enter John Dysart who conducted a thorough review of our processes in admission, financial aid and housing. He worked with the leadership team I assembled to analyze data every which way we could. After many changes in procedures and ongoing analysis of what we did in the past and hoped to accomplish in the future, the day of reckoning finally arrived.
Preliminary numbers after the first full day of classes in fall 2008 showed growth fueled by significant increases among new undergraduates. The growth was most notable among new freshman which grew from 306 in 2007 to 520 in 2008, an increase of almost 70%.
New transfers grew from 787 in 2007 to 914 in 2008, a 16.1% increase. The total new student count of 2363 is the largest since 1945, the year Roosevelt was founded. In addition, RU students living on campus (589 in 2007, 728 in 2008) grew by 23.5% and all this was accomplished while maintaining diversity and academic quality!
I find John a pleasure to work with since he possesses two characteristics I most admire – common sense and a sense of humor. I am only half kidding when I often ask, “John, why doesn’t every college and university hire you?”
Roosevelt University is certainly glad that we hired John Dysart and benefited from his creative thinking and effective strategies. He does not disappoint……
It has been a pleasure working with John Dysart. I have worked with John for over three years at Mars Hill University and the results have been excellent. He provides clear, logical advice and help in implementation of recommendations for both the admissions and financial aid sides of the house.
His recommended approach to enrollment management is effective and we have realized large increases in the number of inquiries, applications, accepted students and enrollments. The University now has its largest enrollment in more than 30 years!
We have implemented a strategically coordinated communication plan that includes outreach to prospective students via telephone, direct mail, email, personal visits and text messaging. Systematic communication has enabled us to educate students and their families on the extraordinary opportunities available at MHU. We are no longer “the best kept secret” in Western North Carolina!
We researched and then introduced significant changes to our approach to financial aid. Our financial aid process and policies now reflect our market position, the financial need of students we enroll and our budget priorities.
John Dysart, the president of the company, is available at all hours of the day and night to assist with information, motivation and problem-solving. We have had record breaking enrollment in the last several years, invested heavily in the physical plant and have made plans to increase programs of study. John’s work with our leadership team has helped to make these things possible.
I am happy to give a very positive reference for John Dysart and his company.
With the Dysart Group, we have enjoyed growth in many areas across our recruitment funnel and benefitted from a fresh perspective in regard to admissions and awarding. He brings to the table many years of experience, the ability to test methods and benchmark yields with multiple schools across the country, and a hard-nosed, no-nonsense approach toward higher ed enrollment management. We have made major strides in the areas of student search, telemarketing, reporting, staffing, financial aid packaging and awarding timelines, and recruitment outcomes.
If you have a young and inexperienced enrollment management staff or are stuck in the rut of doing the same thing and getting the same results year after year, I would recommend giving John a call. You will be satisfied with the return you receive.
Mr. Dysart has a distinctive set of talents that combines a business savvy with an intricate knowledge of factors influencing a student’s decision to attend a college or university. His attention to detail, knowledge of both admissions and financial aid, his forth-right manner of communication and solid counsel provides a rubric for maximizing recruiting effectiveness. As president, I appreciate the broad perspective that Mr. Dysart offers, his ability to assess scenarios and the proven recommendations he makes to enhance the enrollment management process. Wesley has had a long-standing relationship with Mr. Dysart and his counsel, this past year, assisted Wesley grow applications by 65%, deposits by 23% and attract the largest entering class in the history of the College in addition to strengthening the academic profile of this group.
John Dysart has worked with us for the past 15 months. Our college is somewhat different from most because we are predominately an adult professional college. The average age of our students is 38, and 85% of our students are enrolled in online programs. We had experienced more than 25 years of declining enrollment in our 45 year history. About two years ago we began the process of changing our organization with the intent of unifying our efforts into one united office. As we worked on re-organization we realized that we needed outside help to assist us in making the organizational and practical changes that were needed. That is when John came on the scene.
After his first visit, he recommended some immediate, significant changes. We worked to make those changes as quickly as possible. John Dysart understood the differences of our institution that made us unlike many of his other clients. His recommendations and directions helped us to make changes, while keeping our unique characteristics in mind.
The results of Mr. Dysart’s guidance have been impressive. In the fall term we experienced significant increases in inquiries, applications, and accepted students. We enrolled 29% more new students in the fall than we had the previous year. In the winter trimester we also witnessed increases in inquiries, applications, and accepted applicants. Our increase in new students was nearly 37% higher than the previous winter term. We anticipate similar results in the future.
John Dysart’s consultation has been a good experience. It has stretched us beyond our expectations, but has resulted in growth for the college as well as personal growth for all the members of our Enrollment Management staff.