Conclusions/Recommendations

Based on the industry data, competitive assessment, and survey results outlined in this report, the following conclusions have been developed: Overall: We find it feasible for Salt Lake Lutheran High School to relocate their high school to a location in the Riverton area. There is an estimated market demand of 53 students per grade currently at the prevailing market tuition rates. Private schools average about 13 students per classroom, so 53 students per grade is more than sufficient to create at least two classrooms for each grade, which would be the minimum number of students required to provide adequate financial resources necessary to operate a quality high school.

Recommendations: If Salt Lake Lutheran High School decides to proceed with relocating the high school to Riverton, the following recommendations are made: Number of Students. While there are some advantages to having a small number of students at Salt Lake Lutheran High School, both current parents and church member parents recognize and prefer that Salt Lake Lutheran High School have more students. When current parents were asked about the ideal number of students at Salt Lake Lutheran High School, only one parent said less than 100, and most parents said between 150 and 300 students. Current students also said the school was too small and needed more students. There are many advantages to having more students at Salt Lake Lutheran High School, and parents felt that more students would provide additional opportunities, such as: more classes, advanced placement classes, more sports, more extracurricular activities, greater diversity, and greater socialization opportunities. Parents were also clearly aware of the financial issues related to the small number of students and the need to have more students for financial reasons. Underlying all of these reasons to increase the number of students is confidence in Salt Lake Lutheran High School. The small number of students at Salt Lake Lutheran High School does not inspire confidence in the school or the future of the school. There are church member parents who are unwilling to consider the school because they are concerned about the viability of the school. Even some current parents are questioning whether they will continue to enroll their students at Salt Lake Lutheran High School. Relocating Salt Lake Lutheran High School in its current size and format would not be enough to reverse this crisis of confidence. If Salt Lake Lutheran High School relocates, the school must have more students to be successful. Every aspect of relocating the school including the facilities, academics, programs, staff, marketing, and recruiting must all be planned and executed to serve a significantly higher number of students than current efforts. Everyone involved with the future of Salt Lake Lutheran High School must be able to see a vision for the relocated school that is transformational. Making incremental improvements on the way things are done currently will not be successful at the new location.

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Conclusions/Recommendations

Marketing. Whether Salt Lake Lutheran High School remains in the current location, or relocates, there are three significant marketing challenges that must be addressed: increasing awareness, establishing an image, and higher-quality marketing and communication. Salt Lake Lutheran High School has very low awareness in the community. All of the other high schools included in the study have significantly higher unaided awareness. Even when specifically asked if they had heard of Salt Lake Lutheran High School, only one in four community members said they heard of the school. It is essential to increase the awareness of Salt Lake Lutheran High School because parents who have not heard of Salt Lake Lutheran High School cannot consider Salt Lake Lutheran High School for their children. To be successful, Salt Lake Lutheran High School must increase their awareness to levels similar to that noted for other high schools. Not only does Salt Lake Lutheran High School have low awareness, but for those who have heard of Salt Lake Lutheran High School, only two out of three people can name any words to describe Salt Lake Lutheran High School. The most common words used to describe Salt Lake Lutheran High School were private school, religious, and small. However, several people also described Salt Lake Lutheran High School as new, under-funded, overly conservative, too small, and no different than public school, which are not necessarily desirable or accurate words. Salt Lake Lutheran High School must determine what image they want to communicate to the community, and actively work to establish that image in the community. Generally, most high schools will have an image related to academics, athletics, or the environment of the school (such as religious). Defining an image for Salt Lake Lutheran High School should be based on the internal strengths and values of the school; it comes from within and should not be based on what competing high schools are doing. The image must be focused and specific, so that when the community is asked what words they would use to describe Salt Lake Lutheran High School, everyone names the same two or three words. This does not mean that Salt Lake Lutheran High School only does these two or three things, but that everyone knows Salt Lake Lutheran High School does those two or three things. While the image of Salt Lake Lutheran High School will not be determined by competing high schools, the marketing and communication of Salt Lake Lutheran High School must be competitive with the other high schools. The current materials and Web site for Salt Lake Lutheran High School contain the essential information parents and students need, but the presentation is amateurish compared to the other high schools. All marketing and communication materials for Salt Lake Lutheran High School must be comparable in appearance and quality to the other high schools.

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Conclusions/Recommendations
Business Plan. If Salt Lake Lutheran High School decides to proceed with relocating the high school, the next step is to develop a business plan. The business plan for the new Salt Lake Lutheran High School must start from scratch to develop a financial model that reflects the realities of the new location/building costs, staffing and delivery costs to serve more students, and a diversity of income sources. This market feasibility study can serve as the basis for the business plan, and many of the estimates in terms of number of students and tuition can be drawn directly from this report. When asked about tuition levels, most community parents and church member parents interested in Salt Lake Lutheran High School were comfortable with tuition levels up to $10,000. Market demand when tuition levels go over $10,000 drops significantly and would reduce enrollment to a level that would not be feasible. However, this does not mean that Salt Lake Lutheran High School cannot increase tuition from current levels. Currently, tuition at Salt Lake Lutheran High School is the second lowest among the six high schools examined in this study, and there is room to increase tuition, remain price competitive with the other high schools, and not exceed $10,000. The business plan should also include a break-even analysis to determine the exact number of students needed for the high school to operate at without a loss. The break-even analysis will consider income and expenses for the high school to pinpoint the number of students the high school will need to enroll for financial sustainability.

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