July 26–28 • Boston University



Professional development in a new admissions landscape is essential work. Now more than ever, Admissions teams need to develop new skills and creative agility in order to secure enrollment in our new normal. Participants will participate in large group sessions and smaller work groups with experienced admissions professionals.


July 26–28 


Boston University


Admission professionals with 0-2 years of experience in boarding schools


Dive into the fundamental skills and understandings of effective admissions officers, including maximizing touch points along the family’s journey, employing best practices in testing, assessment, and file review, and processing the complexities of financial aid.

Understand the latest data about why families choose boarding schools for their children--and how those insights can inform your admission strategy.

Learn how to instill the values of diversity, equity and inclusion throughout your admission and enrollment process.

Examine the messaging of your school’s unique value proposition and how to cascade a strong brand throughout the admission journey.

Build your skills in data-driven decision making and assessing ROI of your admission efforts.

Unpack generational insights and strategic approaches customized to domestic and international audiences.

Develop the habits of mind and daily practices that position admission officers to effectively manage internal partnerships.

Brainstorm, strategize and problem-solve with a personal network of admission mentors and colleagues throughout the boarding school industry.



Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, St. Paul’s School NH

Dana joined the Berkshire community in the fall of 2010 and was named Director of Admission in the spring of 2018. Prior to Berkshire, she worked at Westminster School in Simsbury, CT, and Santa Catalina School in Monterey, CA. In addition to leading the Admission Office, Dana embraces living on campus as an advisor, dorm parent, and lacrosse coach. She serves as a mentor to new admission directors through the Enrollment Management Association’s Future Leaders program and believes wholeheartedly in collaboration in our industry. A former camp counselor, Dana is intentional about team building and looks forward to creating a strong cohort at the Summer Institute. Dana’s education includes a B.A. from Middlebury College and an M.A. from George Washington University. This summer, Dana and her family will be relocating to Concord, NH where she will serve as the Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at her alma mater, St. Paul’s School.


Director of Admission, The Bement School MA

An alumna of the Loomis Chaffee School, Kim has an intimate knowledge of boarding schools from multiple perspectives. During her 17 years of school admissions at Gould Academy and Oldfields School, Kim’s responsibilities included serving as director of financial aid, website manager, international student coordinator, publications coordinator, residential dorm parent, and student advisor. In 2008, Kim became director of admission at The Bement School, a junior boarding school, where she oversees admission and communications for kindergarten through grade 9. As a current parent of a rising senior at a boarding school, she says, “it was interesting to see admissions from the parent’s perspective.” Kim has 28 years experience working in admissions and this will be her 20th summer teaching at the TABS Admission Academy. “It is incredibly rewarding to work with new professionals as they embark on admission and boarding school careers.”

Erby mitchell (guest faculty)

Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, Walter J. Crain Fellowship Director, The Hotchkiss School CT

Erby P’21 joined Hotchkiss in 2016 as dean of admission and financial aid, and was appointed the Walter J. Crain Fellowship director in 2021. Mr. Mitchell earned his bachelor’s degree in human development from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine and an Ed.M in higher education at The Harvard Graduate School of Education. He serves on the Board of Directors of Connecticut Basketball Club (CBC), New England’s only Under Armour youth basketball program, which provides counsel to families considering boarding schools. Mr. Mitchell also serves on the board of directors of The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS). He has nearly 20 years of admission experience, having worked at Bowdoin College, Sidwell Friends School, and The Loomis Chaffee School. Mr. Mitchell lives on campus with his wife, Jennifer, who is an elementary school teacher, and their three children, Olivia, CJ ’21, and Kennadi.

Admission Institute Agenda

No event found!

Monday, July 26 • Noon–4pm ET


Welcome to the Institute!

Get to know your program mentor, fellow attendees, and lead facilitators for the program. 

Why Do Families Choose Boarding?

Join TABS leadership to unpack the data, both quantitative and qualitative, about what leads students and families to choose the boarding school experience and to discover how you can leverage those insights for your school’s admission strategy.


Best Practices for Equitable and Inclusive Admissions

Building a truly inclusive and equitable community begins with the students you attract and enroll, and the admission experience is one of the first places you communicate your community’s values with regard to diversity, equity and inclusion to prospective students and families. In this session, we will explore the habits of mind and daily practices that will allow diversity, equity and inclusion to thrive in your admission office and, ultimately, your community.


Why Your School? Articulating Your Unique Value Proposition

Effective admission officers are true students of their own schools, studying their own communities, cultures, and students as if the school were a subject to be mastered. How might you build a deep understanding of your school’s culture, community and unique learning environment and connect prospective students, prospective parents, and others with this narrative–especially when you have only a few moments to capture someone’s attention?

We’ll introduce you to the elevator pitch exercise during this session.  

TUESDAY, July 27 • Noon–4pm ET


Understanding the Admission Funnel

Admission officers often use the metaphor of a funnel to capture the process of attracting and guiding prospective candidates toward an admission decision and, ultimately, enrolling a successful class. In this session, you will identify the key components of the admission funnel and explore how you can leverage each of these moments for prospective students and families.


Maximizing Touchpoints: Inquiries, Campus Visits and Virtual Connections

Inquiries are the lifeblood of the admission process. Once a family elects to visit campus, that visit can make all the difference in establishing a strong relationship with a student and family. We’ll explore how to design and manage a process that maximizes the various stages of engagement from inquiry to enrollee. 

Effective and Ethical Partnerships with International Agents

The majority of TABS member schools work with international agents as they recruit students from abroad. In this session, you’ll learn the basics for forming ethical partnerships with international agents that keep the best interests of prospective students at the center of your work.


Data-based Decisions: Mining Your Enrollment Data

Designing and managing a process that increases your ability to enroll mission-aligned families is both an art and science. Learn the importance of conversion and strategies for using data-driven decisions to customize your engagement with the market. 

Assessing ROI through Data Analytics: How Do You Know If It’s Working?

How might you examine your admission and enrollment data to identify the components of your strategy that are driving the most effective results–and then amplify those measures? 


Innovative Marketing Strategies for the TikTok Generation

We are seeing incredibly creative communications in the boarding school world and in higher education. Inspiration is everywhere and you don’t want to have your school left behind-tap into your creative side!  During this session we will see the top 5 most innovative ideas emerging in the market that are helping educational organizations gain attention and get ahead of the competition.

Strategic Flexibility: Knowing When and How to Pivot

The best admission officers keep a constant finger on the pulse of key performance indicators and know their options for adjusting their strategic approach when necessary. Particularly during the Covid and post-Covid era, a nimble approach to international and domestic recruitment with the ability to pivot is essential. In this session, you’ll use case study discussions to explore creative strategies for meeting enrollment targets when the landscape shifts.

WEDNESDAY, July 28 • Noon–4pm ET


Testing and Assessment

The landscape for admission testing has evolved dramatically during the Covid era. This session will examine some of the most common admission tests, their power and limits, and discuss the ways that admission processes have evolved over recent years and, critically, the past 12 months.

Financial Aid 101

Financial aid resources, who gets them, and why vary broadly from school to school, and the topic is almost always a sensitive one. This session will introduce the key essential concepts all admission officers need to understand about the financial aid process, its connection to the mission and values of an institution, and how to effectively discuss financial aid with prospective students and their families.


Practicing the Elevator Pitch

Get authentic feedback in real time as you practice conveying your school’s core message and  differentiate your institution from your competition. 

Financial Aid in the Covid—and Post-Covid—Era

Boarding and day school data reveals significant shifts in families’ financial need over the past 18 months, and boarding school enrollment strategies have shifted in response. In this session, understand the key trends in financial aid data and the impact on boarding school enrollment and financial aid forecasts.


Interviews that Convey your Mission

Interviews are a two-way street: you are striving to assess a candidate for mission alignment and potential for success within your program, and prospective students are weighing whether they’d like to join your community. In this session, explore the purpose of interviewing, who you might involve in the process, how to discern the information you seek, and how to convey the mission and values of your school throughout the process.

Effective Internal Partnerships

Collaborative relationships with other offices within a boarding school are key to success for admission officers. In this session, you’ll examine the intra-school partnerships most critical to meeting enrollment goals and explore ways to build the most productive relationships possible.


Introduction to File Reading

Pulling all the information and evidence together in file review can be a daunting and exciting time of the year.  Learn more about the key elements of the admission file and how to approach organizing and prioritizing recommendations for decisions. 

Telling the Story: Data Visualization for Impact

Whether you’re telling the story of your institution to prospective students and families or preparing an end-of-year report for internal stakeholders, communicating the narrative you want to convey requires visual dexterity. In this session, you’ll learn how to use visual tools to relay the most compelling story of your school’s impact and your team’s work.

THURSDAY, July 29 • Noon–4pm ET


Effective Admission Journeys: Advice from Boarding Families

Connect with families that have just finished their first year or two in a boarding school to understand the most powerful moments in their admissions journey and what led them to the boarding school they ultimately chose.


Beyond Acceptance: Engaging Students for Greater Yield and Avoiding Melt

So, your team has extended offers and families have signed enrollment contracts. How can you keep students engaged and excited about the journey toward your institution from the moment the contract is signed until they arrive on campus for move-in. In this session, explore creative ways to avoid summer melt and ultimately increase retention.


Keys for Personal Growth and Effectiveness

Discuss the key behaviors evident in the most successful admission professionals. This final session brings together all the issues and strategies examined during the week and helps lead you to develop your own strategy for success. 


Wrap Up and Send Off

Bring your Admission Institute experience to a close with a celebratory send-off into the academic year and the affirmation of your colleagues.

What do people say?

As someone new to the field of admissions, this was an incredibly informative and invaluable crash course.
Sam Carton
Darrow School
This was a wonderful introduction to the complex, fast-paced, exciting world of admission. It's inspired me and lighted a new fire for my first year!
Catie Gibbons
Garrison Forest School

Schedule is subject to change.


Institute Schedule Overview






Morning Sessions




Afternoon Sessions


Welcome Reception




Morning Sessions




Afternoon Sessions


Wrap Up




Morning Sessions




Afternoon Sessions


Wrap Up