5 Strategies for Making Better Use of Your Admissions Data

[fusion_text]Check out our new eBook, Embrace Your Inner Geek: 5 Strategies for Making Better Use of Your Admissions Data, to find out how your colleagues are getting more out of their data. Pressed for time? No worries. We’ll be posting excerpts on our blog over the next five weeks.

Up first, understanding what your students want:

According to a Noel-Levitz study on freshman attitudes, almost half of college students today say they want career services as soon as their first day on campus. One in five felt confused about which career option was right for them. Nearly 40% report having financial problems that are distracting and troublesome.

What today’s students want from an education—whether they’re seeking a two-year certificate, entering a professional program, or leaving home for the first time to attend a traditional four-year college—might not be a new climbing wall. Understanding what students want from your institution is critical to how you attract, engage, and enroll them.


Understand who’s enrolling in your institution or program of study and why. 


Look at historic data to build a profile of a successful student. A five-year look-back by age, geography, and GPA is a start, but getting more nuanced means going deeper.

Look beyond the profile of your feeder institutions. Think about what academic training made a difference. How did students perform in key subjects or prerequisite courses?

Financial anxieties affect how students make decisions. What assistance made a difference in their decisions to attend? Was it monetary? Good financial counseling? Both? What other obstacles did your best students face and how did they overcome them?

Don’t make assumptions about the students you lose. Survey them.

If you think your competition is the private college across the road when it’s really the public university down the highway, chances are your recruiting methods will suffer. Understanding why students don’t choose your institution or program is as important as understanding why they do.

Begin to overlay standard demographics with motivational data to find patterns, build models, and reach the right students with the right messages.


The more granular your profile, the better able you will be to create offers and incentives that spark interest, overcome concerns, and attract students to your door.

Check out next week’s post on how to “Be More Responsive” with your data.[/fusion_text]