As Rockland Community College (RCC) was faced with the need to take a new approach to their brand and their enrollment efforts. They wanted to shift from a PR & Communications model to a strategic marketing and enrollment model. To make this shift, they needed to examine their current marketing and recruiting efforts, so they engaged Swim to analyze current processes from the prospective student’s view point, the infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing and expanding institution, as well as the overall enrollment pipeline.


To meet this challenge, Swim embarked on a journey with RCC that included two phases.The first phase, Research and Analysis, informed the college of next steps to address their challenges. The second phase of the project, Implementation, allowed us to partner with the college to take action on the next steps we identified.


We gained an in-depth understanding of their Communications team, their roles and responsibilities, as well as what role their team played on the college stage in context of acquisition of new leads and the development of new programs. Through multiple deep dive sessions, focus groups, and discovery sessions, we wanted to map our current processes to identify gaps and opportunities for prospective students to fall out of their enrollment funnel. Through extensive time with their research team, we gained a firm understanding of the composition of their student enrollment and their needs.
From this data gathering, we provided extensive findings and recommendations that lead to the restructuring of a Strategic Marketing and Student Services model. Some of these recommendations included:

Departmental Restructure

Restructuring of the Communications Department to build a strategic marketing department charged with elevating the brand position for the institution within the service area.

Enrollment Management

Engaging in Enrollment Management Consulting that ensures that each enrollment cycle is laser focused on enrollment of existing and new/prospective students.

Communications Plan

Developing process maps and strategic Communications Plans, as they begin implementation of a new Enterprise Resource Planning System.

UI/UX Brand

Redesigning their website, to a more user friendly look and feel. It was built, and designed, with converting prospective students in mind.

With their infrastructure in place to begin implementation of the transformative work, Swim partnered with RCC to begin:

• List harvesting for prospective students who have never applied to RCC before
• Developing communication and intervention strategies for students along the entire lifecycle of the enrollment funnel
• Digital marketing strategies that are catered to students and prospects based on their current status within the enrollment funnel
• Text message and phone call campaigns for students

The development of a user-friendly, interactive, modern, and easy-to-edit website that can serve as a marketing tool as well as a lasting first impression for potential students. Keeping in mind that this site would be the primary marketing tool for RCC, laying out a solid framework for the website design was an important first step for this project. Implemented elements of the website include, but are not limited to:


After assessing all of the content and graphic requirements for the site, our designers went to work to provide a mobile responsive interface that included areas for marketing messages, news, calendars, and social media. Just like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, it’s a delicate task that our professional designers tackled with ease to get all the components of the concept to fit together nicely with ease. Additionally, the refinement in RCC’s communication and enrollment funnel strategy helped the institution exceed enrollment goals by 3% for the first time in 5 years. This was a significant increase, being that this was the first enrollment campaign that used a fresh approach to data collection for the service areas, allowing RCC to recognize their target group and establish effective, productive communications that drove success.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to apply for aid yearly?

Yes. If your financial circumstances changes, you may receive more or less aid. For example, your eligibility for financial aid could change significantly, especially if you have a different number of family members in college. Renewal of your financial aid package also depends on your satisfactory academic progress (SAP) towards a degree.

I probably don’t qualify for aid. Should I apply for aid anyway?

Yes. Many families mistakenly think they don’t qualify for aid and prevent themselves from receiving financial aid by failing to apply for it. There are a few sources of aid such as unsubsidized Stafford and PLUS loans that are available regardless of need, but you have to fill out a FAFSA to qualify. The FAFSA application is free, we recommend that everyone fill it out

Will financial aid cover all of my costs?

Maybe. In some circumstances, financial aid will cover the student’s full tuition and fees for the school year. However, it could only cover a portion. Once your FAFSA is processed and your award has been packaged, you will receive a letter outlining your full award.