Admitted Students Case Study


Reaching enrollment goals during a pandemic.

As prospective students were no longer able to visit the campus during pandemic (one of the university’s most powerful yielding tools), SLU-Madrid sought out a campus app to support their digital efforts, and chose to deploy 2 Raftr communities: one for admitted students and another for their parents & family members.

Heidi Buffington

Director of Admissions, SLU-Madrid

“We’ve come a long way with Raftr in a very short time! After the first call with Raftr, I was excited about the possibilities of using the app, but also a bit daunted by the amount of work involved. But Raftr’s support throughout the process allowed us to set up our communities effectively with hands-on guided implementation help.

We have worked hard to make this a meaningful app for our students and their parents, and we are overall very happy with our communities in Raftr.”

For a university that recruits students globally and sees the high impact of campus visits to “try before you buy,” SLU-Madrid’s admissions team were looking to find a way to bring their vibrant campus life and peer-to-peer connections to prospective students virtually and persuade them to join their incoming class. 

As reported by Inside Higher Ed, “college and university enrollment nationwide fell by 651,774 students – a decline of more than 3 percent – from fall 2019 to fall 2020, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.”

The team also had other aspects to consider, like: gaining buy-in from parents & family members who were hesitant about students living abroad during the pandemic. Additionally, they had a business requirement for counselors to manage communication with admitted students and their families in an authenticated community – to avoid inaccurate information circulating from unofficial social media groups.

The Results

Doubling fall 2021 enrollment numbers with the support of an admissions platform.

Paired with better tracking, improved communication, extra webinars and digital events, as well as a larger focus on counselor connections, the admissions team was able to increase their fall 2021 numbers by more than double.


Increase in First-Year Enrollment - Fall 2021.

Student activation rate


Within the First 3 Weeks.

Active participation of


Sessions /User

Raftr users logged


Total Sessions

Average duration of




Connecting students & parents with campus life early, to increase yield, reduce melt & maximize enrollment

By leveraging Raftr’s communities, 95% of families on Raftr had students enroll this fall 2021. Of the 140 students who activated accounts in SLU-Madrid’s admitted students community, 104 of these students enrolled at SLU-Madrid this semester. According to Heidi Buffington, Chief Strategic Enrollment Management Officer, Director of Admissions of SLU-Madrid, they welcomed their “largest incoming class in decades.”

With Raftr, SLU-Madrid accomplished both students’ and staff members’ needs, working toward their overall goal of increasing yield, reducing melt, and maximizing enrollment for their fall 2021 class.


With Raftr, SLU-Madrid were able to meet both student and staff needs, and work toward their overall goal of: increasing yield, reducing melt, and maximizing enrollment for their fall 2021 class. 

By introducing both an admitted students & a parent community, they were able to:
        • Integrate and expand upon existing admissions strategies
        • Connect students to campus life early on prior to the decision period
        • Extend student & family reach to share necessary resources during the admissions process
        • Empower admissions leaders and counselors with tools to help save time
        • Provide dynamic omni-channel communication among current and admitted students

About Saint Louis University - Madrid

The St. Louis, Missouri-based university with a campus in Madrid, Spain prides itself on being the “American University in Spain,” delivering a world-class education that expands students’ cultural horizons. The Jesuit university is home to 900 students from the U.S., Spain and 50+ other countries, including a combination of short-term study abroad students and four-year degree seeking students. 

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