Enrollment shifts and what they mean for your business

There’s no denying the significance of change and adversity faced in the educational services sector in the last year.

The COVID-19 pandemic has come with drastic and historic education changes that have impacted the priorities of schools and districts far and wide, which have also affected the way they utilize their resources and budget.


In our research, we found a 2.9% overall decrease in enrollment across the board. However, charter school enrollment actually increased by 2%. What factors are impacting these changes, and how can edtech companies change their marketing strategies and efforts to provide schools, teachers, and students with the support they need? Let’s dive in.

Virtual learning and homeschooling

While the U.S. is getting in better shape to reopen schools for fully in-person teaching and learning, it’s still tough to say when most students and teachers will be in the same room at the same time again. Even with the idea floating around or becoming more realistic than ever since the start of the pandemic, parents are still uneasy about sending their children back to school. A poll by the National Parents Union found that 59% of parents believe schools should continue to offer the option of both in-person and remote learning options during the 2020-2021 school year. Additionally, 55% would feel more comfortable if they extended the choice into next year as well.

With no surprise, homeschooling is way up since the start of the pandemic. Parents are more comfortable keeping their children home instead of exposing them to the potential threat of the virus. Fifty-eight percent of principals and superintendents surveyed by the EdWeek Research Center said homeschooling was one of the biggest contributors to enrollment declines in the last year. It’s even more impactful than losing students to charter and private schools, two of the more common reasons for a decrease in public school enrollment.

Homeschooling is on the rise and is expected to remain a popular choice.

Why is charter school enrollment up?

As noted, overall enrollment is down, but charter school enrollment is on the rise.

For example, as highlighted by Gothamist, the 267 public charter schools in New York City saw an enrollment increase of 7% this year, amounting to nearly 10,000 newly enrolled students. James Merriman, CEO of the New York City Charter School Center, said the amount of support provided to students and parents during these unprecedented times may be the reason for the uptick in enrollment.

“These numbers reflect the extraordinary work the City’s public charter schools have done under extraordinary circumstances to educate students and support families,” Merriman stated in a press release. “More NYC families are able to choose the educational option that best fits their child, and now over 138,000 New York City students fill the halls and virtual classrooms of our rich and diverse public charter school community.”

Think differently with Agile Education Marketing

Supporting growing charter schools during this time is important. Finding ways to assist public schools in getting the most value out of their resources in an effort to maintain student enrollment is also imperative. The best way to ensure both ends of the spectrum are prioritized is to segment marketing efforts in a way that appeals to both parties.

Edtech companies are advised to keep data clean to achieve the best end results. At Agile, we can assist you in connecting with the right educators, no matter the type of institution, so you can properly grow and manage your business in a successful and sustainable way. We can help you:

  • Market your data in a way that prioritizes segmentation.
  • Tailor your marketing messaging and overall optimization efforts.
  • Devise an every-channel or multi-channel strategy.
  • Make a difference in today’s ever-changing educational experience for schools, teachers, and students.

Navigating through these strange times shouldn’t feel impossible. Let Agile help you prioritize your needs based on enrollment shifts today.

Check out our infographics and learn more about the enrollment shifts in our public schools.


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