How to Reduce Cancellation Rates in Continuing Education

In order to have a high performing continuing education program, it is important to be able to reduce your course cancellation rates. As it takes as much time, effort and resources to set-up a course that is successful as it does to set up one that fails. By focusing on reducing cancellation rates, continuing education programs can greatly improve their refund rates, staff time and allocation of resources.

The basic 20/80 rule or Pareto Principle is a good way to look at improving your continuing education program. What is the 20 percent you can focus on that will make up 80 percent of the difference? Reducing cancellation rates is one of those 20 percent items you can focus on right away that will make an 80 percent difference in your continuing education program. As it can get overwhelming to try and fix everything all at once.

The Learning Resources Network (LERN) suggest you have no more than a 15 percent cancellation rate for all the courses in your continuing education program, with a 30 to 50 percent cancellation rate for new courses. In order to achieve these benchmarks, there are six simple things you can do to reduce your CE cancellation rates.

  1. Cut the dogs – courses that are not successful
  2. Reduce Sections – make sure you are not spreading your audience to thin
  3. Don’t cancel too early – determine your course half-life and when you should cancel
  4. Separate course and material fees – do your fees look to high
  5. Determine if you can afford to run a course with five people or less
  6. Regularly talk to your customers to get ideas for new courses