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About the Episode

The what's what...

About the Episode: This episode of Higher Ed Pulse offers a dive deep into the concept of direct admissions in higher education. Our hosts, Mallory and Seth, explore how this approach is reshaping the college application process, with the promise of a simpler and more accessible process, particularly for first-gen and diverse student populations. They dissect the potential impacts, benefits, and challenges of implementing direct admissions strategies at institutions.

Key Takeaways:

  • Direct Admissions Explained: Simplifies the college application process by allowing students admission based on predetermined criteria, such as GPA and test scores, without essays or lengthy interviews.
  • More Sizzle Than Steak? While it’s celebrated for its potential to streamline the college application process and enhance accessibility, its actual impact on enrollment growth might not meet expectations. They emphasize that direct admissions tend to generate a lot of excitement (the sizzle) but may not substantially change enrollment numbers (the steak).
  • Application Volume vs. Enrollment Starts: A critical examination reveals that an increase in application volume, spurred by direct admissions, does not necessarily correlate with an increase in students actually enrolling. 
  • Direct Admissions as Expensive Lead Gen: The conversation shifts to describe direct admissions as an expensive form of lead generation rather than a surefire enrollment strategy. This viewpoint challenges the perception of direct admissions as an end-to-end solution, instead framing it as the beginning of a longer engagement and conversion process.
  • Future Directions and Innovations: The hosts consider how direct admissions could evolve and what it means for higher ed marketing and student engagement strategies.

New York State Direct Admissions Initiative: 

NICHE Direct Admissions Outcomes: 

About The Enrollify Podcast Network

The Higher Ed Pulse is a part of the Enrollify Podcast Network. If you like this podcast, chances are you’ll like other Enrollify shows too!  

Our podcast network is growing by the month and we’ve got a plethora of marketing, enrollment, and higher ed technology shows that are jam packed with stories, ideas, and frameworks all designed to empower you to be a better higher ed professional.

Our shows help higher ed marketers and admissions professionals find their next big idea, and feature a selection of the industry’s best as your hosts. Learn from Bryan Gross, Eddie Francis, Jenny Li Fowler, Allison Turcio, Dayana Kibilds, and so many other of your favorite leaders in higher ed.

Enrollify is made possible by Element451 —  the next generation AI student engagement platform helping institutions create meaningful and personalized interactions with students. Learn more at

About the Podcast

Seth Odell


Seth Odell

Widely considered one of the industry's leading enrollment marketing experts, Seth brings over 15 years of education marketing experience at some of our sector's top organizations, including Southern New Hampshire University, UCLA, National University System, and more. Today, he is Founder and CEO of Kanahoma, the fastest growing digital marketing agency in higher education.

Mallory Willsea


Mallory Willsea

Mallory Willsea serves as VP of Marketing at Element451 — the next generation AI student engagement platform helping institutions create meaningful, personalized, and engaging interactions with students. Her insights on best practices and new trends are informed by her sector research and more than 15 years of experience. Mallory has held executive leadership roles in ed tech and at agencies spanning customer success, marketing, and business development. Her superpower is building media brands to reach, educate, and inspire forward-thinking higher education leaders.

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