University of Detroit Mercy campus with #52 national ranking (WSJ/College Pulse 2024), students walking towards Public Safety building, and university emblem in the corner.

University of Detroit Mercy

University of Detroit Mercy – Case Study

The University of Detroit Mercy is a private Roman Catholic Jesuit University in Detroit, Michigan. It offers more than 100 academic degree programs across three campuses.

Early signs of an enrollment cliff affect Detroit Mercy.

The enrollment cliff phenomenon is largely attributed to the significant decrease in birth rates following the 2008 financial crisis, leading to fewer high school graduates reaching college age.

University leadership sought answers to the challenges they faced in a soft acceptance season through Elevate market research to overcome early signs of the enrollment cliff.

Elevate market research revamps Detroit Mercy’s recruitment strategy.

Elevate conducted a comprehensive quantitative market research study followed by several rounds of one-on-one qualitative interviews with students that applied to the University but accepted elsewhere to understand the motivations for their selections.

These insights provided a blueprint for a reimagined marketing campaign to attract, recruit, and acquire a new class of students in the following enrollment season.

Detroit Mercy’s research-inspired marketing strategy yields a 70% increase in enrollment.

Applications increased by 20% and enrollment by 70% in the subsequent enrollment season following the comprehensive market research study and launch of a new research-inspired marketing campaign.

Elevate made it easy for university leadership to tackle a challenging enrollment season with “tangible suggestions on how to tailor marketing messages.”

The Elevate team is flexible, intelligent, methodical, and creative. They are also curious, detail-oriented, easy to work with, and exceptional in terms of approach. Their research told us what we need to do with perspective undergrads who are high quality students opting not to go here…Our President is thrilled!”

-VP Communications & Marketing, University of Detroit Mercy



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