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Highlights from Higher Ed

Liaison International
Jun 30, 2022

Why Advanced Analytics May Hold the Key to Enrollment and Student Success

After the decline of its manufacturing industry, the city of Pittsburgh transformed itself into a technology hub by “correctly forecasting immense growth… while attracting young and bright workers to support it.” Today, colleges and universities facing the prospect of long-term enrollment declines must take a similar approach to safeguarding their futures by finding new ways of attracting and retaining students. According to Andy Hannah, adjunct professor of analytics and entrepreneurship at the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business and president of Liaison International’s Othot Division, “the application of advanced analytics offers a practical, proven solution. Using analytics to gain a deeper understanding of prospective students’ demographic and behavioral data, institutions can glean new insights into students’ interests and needs and their likelihood both to enroll and persist. To compete for students and remain financially sustainable in this new era, colleges and universities must understand these factors and the complex interplay between them.” Hannah noted, for example, that Western Connecticut State University recently leveraged the power of advanced analytics to “to discover and reach previously hidden pockets of students, both within the state’s borders and beyond.”

Source: Higher Ed Dive


More Students Apply to Study in Other Countries

A recent survey of 599 U.S. colleges and universities found that 65% have experienced an increase in applications from foreign students for the next academic year, compared with 43% in 2021. In 2020, 52% said they had received fewer international applications. Explanations for this year’s increase include a renewed emphasis on in-person recruitment, the resumption of in-person classes, and institutions’ efforts to support the safety and well-being of international students. The number of U.S. students applying to study abroad is also on the rise. “Overall, 83% of institutions reported an increase in study abroad numbers compared to last year, an uptick that was found at all types of institutions and in all geographic regions of the U.S. That’s a significant improvement from 2020-21, when only 1% of colleges and universities expected study abroad numbers to increase, and from 2021-22, when 35% anticipated an increase.”

Source: Forbes


In the Test-Optional Era, Data Fills Information Gaps and Increases Access

Last year, the number of Common App schools that did not require test scores from applicants increased from approximately 33% to nearly 90%. While the move away from standardized testing is widely seen as an opportunity to eliminate barriers and increase access for underrepresented and underserved populations, it has also deprived schools of valuable data about potential students. Diving into other sources of data may be the solution, said Chris Lucier, Director of Partner Relationships at Othot, in a recent op-ed. “Test-optional policies should be paired with advanced analytics to capture a prospective student’s life experiences more fully, how the student will likely fit within an institution’s culture, and their likelihood to persist and graduate. The reality is that admissions and enrollment management professionals already can, and do, use a range of data inputs and models to build their classes — often in highly-sophisticated ways.” Those strategies may include data-driven assessments of grade point average, class rank, honors course, extracurricular activities, and even socioeconomic status. “What advanced analytics can provide is a more nuanced understanding of the student and their ability to be successful at an institution, the support that they may need — helping the enrollment leader to manage financial aid investments more effectively.”

Source: University Business


Most 2022 Grads Feel Prepared for the Workforce 

The number of new college graduates who believe their program helped prepare them for the workforce increased from 51% to 66% this year, but their satisfaction with college isn’t motivating them to return to school. Just 18% said they plan to continue their education after graduation, down from 39% in 2021. More than two-thirds (69%) said COVID-19 increased the importance of work-life balance, and the number planning to take time off tripled, from 6% in 2021 to 18%. “After more than two years of experiencing college during the pandemic, taking time off after graduation might be a way for some to achieve balance in their life before moving forward with their degree in hand.”

Source: Diverse Education

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Over the last three decades, Liaison has helped over 31,000 programs on more than 1,000 campuses more effectively manage admissions through its Centralized Application Service (CAS™) technology and complementary application processing and support services. The higher education technology leader supports its partner institutions’ total enrollment goals by pairing CAS with its Enrollment Marketing (EM) platform as well as the recently acquired TargetX (CRM) and advanced analytics software Othot.