Private School Reviews Increase Enrollment Numbers

Updated: May 9

by Trevor Waddington, Principal, Truth Tree

Private School Reviews Increase Enrollment - Truth Tree

DISCLAIMER: I am not advocating that you sock puppet a private school review. Nor am I suggesting you tell parents exactly what to write.


We all know reviews can play a significant role in a family’s enrollment decision. In fact, experts say it takes FORTY good reviews to undo ONE lousy review. I think that’s a bit much in our industry, but a well-crafted and cleverly-timed private school review can wreak havoc on your enrollment outlook.


The Ultimate Private School Review


To counteract that scathing, one-star review, here is the ultimate private school review and the psychology of WHY.


Private School Reviews Increase Enrollment - Truth Tree

Let’s Dissect this Private School Review


4-Star Rawthenticity


Rawthenticity - a combination of raw and authentic - is a blend that millennials love when it comes to reviews.


If your school has 43 reviews, and 40 of them are 5-stars, the user will likely disregard them as “too good to be true.” For those parents that do buy into those reviews, you set the bar very high, and anything less than perfect may have such a parent questioning enrollment each year.


The Waddington Effect


When we were first looking for schools for our two children, I was skeptical...Two years later, I am enthralled.


I searched and searched for the name of this effect and could not find it. Here’s hoping “The Waddington Effect” will catch on. If you do know the name that describes the following scenario, leave a comment below.


The author was very skeptical.

The author is now a believer.

If you are ≤ “very skeptical”, especially if you harbor the same skepticism, you will become a believer because the author became a believer.


The Authority Bias


I’m an educational psychologist, so I’m pretty up-to-date on what constitutes a well-balanced education.


We tend to ascribe greater accuracy to the opinion of an authority figure and be more influenced by it. So whether you think the author is bragging about his job or not, he has a level of expertise. The bigger the purchase for goods or services, the more we rely on expert advice. And if we are rookie buyers, we rely on authority figures to guide us even more.


The Ellsberg Mob


...my wife loved the