RWJ Research: Data-Driven Insights to Guide Higher Education

RWJ Research gives campus leaders timely, actionable information for decision-making and strategic planning.

The process starts with close collaboration between our researchers and campus community members to determine who we’re studying, what we’re asking and how we’re asking it.

RWJ Research then designs methods that are qualitative (such as focus groups), quantitative (surveys) or mixed to provide comprehensive answers to your questions. Next, we analyze and interpret the data, communicating the information you need most while continuing to mine the data for additional insights.

Whether you’re seeking strategic planning research, an enrollment market analysis, or a capital campaign feasibility study, RWJ Research is positioned to design a custom solution for your institution.

Brand awareness and perception

Which audiences have heard of your organization? What do they think about you? How does your brand move them?

Identity messaging

Leverage existing data and collect new insights to refine your brand's voice, strategies and target audiences going forward.

Enrollment messaging

Take control of your strategic communications flow throughout the enrollment lifecycle from prospect through matriculation. Using proven quantitative and qualitative research methods, RWJ Research helps clients understand the nuances and drivers of decision-making by prospective students and families to consider and, ultimately, enroll at an institution.

Persona Development and Analysis

Shine a light on underlying audiences that may have gone unnoticed. Using the latest in psychological research techniques, we help clients unearth previously unstudied audiences and understand their distinct backgrounds, perceptions, personalities, motivations and behavior patterns as they relate to decision-making.

Price sensitivity research

Setting tuition is difficult. Assess the impact of a potential tuition change on applications and enrollment — and how to communicate any changes to current and prospective students and their families.

Alumni messaging

Foster engagement through better understanding of alumni attitudes, values and motivations so that you can communicate with them more effectively.

Market viability

For existing or planned program and course offerings, assess demand, identify target audiences and calculate value proposition.

Program assessment

Evaluate programs to ensure they're achieving their aims by measuring learning objectives, employee satisfaction, job placement and other key factors to determine program success and impact.

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The RWJ Research Team

Kevin Swartout, Ph.D.

Swartout leads RWJ Research, bringing deep research and academic expertise after spending more than 15 years teaching and conducting research on university campuses. Kevin received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a concentration in social psychology. He most recently served as a professor in the Department of Psychology at Georgia State University, earning tenure in 2017 and achieving the rank of full professor in 2020. His research focuses heavily on the influencers and psychology of decision-making. A significant portion of his work has centered on identifying and engaging distinct and diverse subpopulations.

Jess Neumann-Kersten, Ph.D.

Neumann-Kersten earned her master's and Ph.D. at the University of Denver in communication studies, with a research focus on new media. Jess is a first-generation student and earned her bachelor's degree in media, culture and communication and minor in gender and sexuality studies from New York University. In addition to her role at RWJ Research, Jess is an account director at RW Jones, working with various institutions and organizations on their communications strategies. Before joining RW Jones, Jess worked at the University of Denver, developing programs and preparing career-ready graduates through cross-disciplinary and experiential opportunities.