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How to Determine Monthly Ad Spend

Oftentimes at Charter Connect, we are asked "How much should we spend each month on Google & Facebook ads?"

That is a really good question, and it really just depends. Here are some tips and tricks to knowing how much you should invest on your monthly ad spend:

Are Your Ads Profitable?

If you are making money via your Google & Facebook ads, then you should definitely consider spending more money each month! If you give Google $1 and get more than $1 in return, upscaling your ad spend should be a topic of your next board meeting!

With charter schools, the profit margins are substantial! Charter schools receive thousands of dollars per student in government funding. If you can achieve enrollments for a couple hundred dollars, then increasing ad spend is a no-brainer.

How Many Students Do You Need?

Here is a hypothetical example to better understand this point. Let's pretend that we are the administrators of a charter school that needs 50 more students to reach a comfortable level of enrollment for the upcoming year.

Thanks to Charter Connect's data-driven marketing services, we know that we spend anywhere between $100 - $500 in ad spend per new enrollment. If we take the average of $300 per student, we can determine how much we need to spend to reach our enrollment goal.

50 new students x $300 ad spend per enrollment = $15,000 ad spend budget

If we plan on running the ad campaign for six months,

$15,000 ad spend / 6 months = $2,500 per month in ad spend

This formula is different for each charter school, but it does give a general idea of what to expect in regards to reaching your enrollment goals via ad spend.

What is Your Reach?

Although the formula seems quite simple, it might not be as easy as it looks to achieve your enrollment goals. Simply feeding Google or Facebook ads with an ad budget isn't always the answer.

For example, if you are an online charter school, you can target your entire state with an ad campaign and spend thousands of dollars very easily.

However, if you are an in-person charter school in a small rural community, it might be very difficult to even spend a few hundred dollars without running out of parents to target with your advertising.

This problem also might exist if you are a niche charter school that offers a very specific form of education (STEM, performing arts, etc.). The location and niche of your school will determine your target market reach.

Minimum & Maximum Monthly Ad Spend

Although it would be nice to have thousands of dollars each month to spend on online advertising, not every school's marketing budget allows for such robust spending... and that's okay! We oftentimes get asked by charter schools with "smaller resource" marketing budgets, "What is the minimum that we could spend each month?"

We typically recommend a minimum of $1,000 per month in ad spend for both Google and Facebook advertising.

The reason behind this number is that Google and Facebook use machine learning to automatically optimize your ads. The more money that is spent to show ads, the more data they collect! With more data, ads will begin to perform better overtime.

As charter school marketing experts, we have noticed that the schools that spend more have a lower cost per enrollment than schools that spend less. This is because their accounts have more data for better optimized ads and targeting.

This leads us to our belief in a minimum ad spend budget of $1,000 per campus.


Ad spend is the firewood that keeps a healthy enrollment burning! With realistic expectations, you can build an ad spend budget that will push your school to full enrollment and sufficient funding to take your charter school to the next level.

Feel free to contact a Charter Connect marketing expert with any questions!

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