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How The BAC Improved Their Applicant Pool And Increased Enrollments

Meredith Spinnato, Director of Admissions at The BAC (Boston Architectural College), chatted with us on how Chili Piper helped them improve their processes and connect with more students.

Too many inquiries, not enough resources

With limited resources and staff, it was difficult for admission counselors at The BAC to be proactive with inquiries. 

For years they struggled to keep up with the influx of applications and inquiries they received. 

“Our volume of applications keeps increasing each year, so it just made it really tricky and time-consuming to reach out to any inquiries,” Spinnato said. “That was the missing piece that Chili Piper helped provide for us.” 

What was their process like before Chili Piper?

“Our inquiry form is on our application,” Spinnato said. “Students would fill it out electronically, and then we’d bring them into an email drip campaign.” 

Unless prospective students also filled out an application, an email campaign was typically the only follow-up they would receive after submitting an inquiry. 

The BAC simply didn’t have the resources to respond directly to every inquiry.

Without anyone to provide guidance or answers to their questions, many potential students wouldn’t take the next step and apply. 

Spinnato recognized that they were missing out on enrollment opportunities and knew they needed to make a change — they implemented Chili Piper to help take the burden off the counselors' shoulders and better connect with students.

“Chili Piper provided an easy platform that students could utilize to connect with counselors, and the process was simple,” Spinnato said.

Since implementing Chili Piper, the counselors at The BAC have been able to customize their schedules and set aside a few hours each week to meet regularly with those submitting inquiries. 

They’ve also been able to spend more time with applicants as well as students that they’re continuing to work with after enrollment. 

The ability to control calendars = a lifesaver 

A concern for Spinnato when first implementing Chili Piper was overwhelming the counselors with too many meetings. And her concern was not unwarranted — opening up their calendars quickly led to an overload of meetings. 

“Very quickly, the students were just filling up their schedules in ways they didn’t anticipate,” Spinnato said.

You could say Chili Piper worked a little too well.

They needed to cut back but ensure they still had time to meet with students. Luckily, Chili Piper gave the counselors the ability to control their schedules — they could block a specific time in their calendar when they were available for meetings.

When potential students filled out an inquiry, they could automatically book during those hours, making it easy for counselors to control their schedules and not be inundated with too many meetings.

“We’ve used it for two months now, and the counselors have continuously updated their calendar just to make it easier for them since it can cut into your day,” Spinnato said.

A crucial touchpoint made easier 

“The counselors are very excited to have this advising moment that normally they wouldn’t be able to have,” Spinnato said. “And it’s nice that it’s very simple for students to connect with them.” 

The BAC is an open admissions institution, meaning they have a very diverse group of students and will accept most students who apply to their programs.

“We’re quite unique in that alone,” Spinnato said. “So that advising moment is really crucial. And we’re able to have that moment which helps make our time with the students more effective.”

If they know that certain individuals won’t be a good fit, they don’t want them to go through the application process — making the advising moment especially important. 

What kind of results have they seen?

“Within the first month, one of our Chili Piper meetings led to an enrolled student this spring,” Spinnato said. “That speaks volumes in itself, and it’s something we’re very excited about.”

Enrolling one student in a month is huge — especially for a small institution like The BAC.

“We enrolled about 80 new students this spring,” Spinnato said. “So one out of 80 ain’t bad for just using it for a few weeks.” 

In total, they’ve scheduled over 270 meetings since implementing Chili Piper. 

“Those statistics are quite high,” Spinnato said. “We’re able to reach out to those students who we might not normally be able to given our former processes.” 

Chili Piper has also helped improve their applicant pool.

“Chili Piper has allowed us to connect with students more efficiently,” Spinnato said. “The advising moment for an open admissions department is crucial, and Chili Piper helps create a stronger applicant pool.”

Should other universities use Chili Piper? 

“I recommend it strongly,” Spinnato said. “Chili Piper is a great help.”

Chili Piper has helped them:  

✔️ Make processes more efficient

✔️ Do more with smaller departments and fewer resources

✔️ Be more proactive with their inquiry pool

“And again, the implementation process was smooth, and it’s nice that we were handheld during the entire process,” Spinnato said. “Whenever an issue came up, [customer success] was quick to get back to us, we’d resolve the concern and move forward.”

Since day one, it’s been a positive experience for Spinnato and her team. 

“These days, it’s hard to find good customer service with anything,” Spinnato said. “So the fact that everyone was so nice and helpful at Chili Piper really made us have a positive experience — and to see the results so quickly was a nice treat too.”

Are you looking for a better way to connect with your students?

Schedule a demo of Chili Piper and see how we can help.

About the Author

Kelli Diffenderfer is a Content Marketing Manager at Chili Piper. She is passionate about the power of words to tell stories and bring ideas to life. Outside of work she loves to travel (especially to her home state of Michigan), read, watch sunsets, and hang out with her dog.

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