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.