Clark University: Personalizing Admissions with In-House Predictive Modeling
Clark University initially became interested in predictive modeling due to an 87% growth in applications within three years. As exciting and encouraging as this was, it also presented Clark with a new set of challenges.
In order to acclimate to the rise in student applications, they needed to make adjustments in admissions standards, financial aid
Initially, Clark’s admissions office decided to work with an outside predictive modeling consulting agency to identify which prospective inquiries were most likely to enroll, with the goal of increasing personalized outreach to those students. Unfortunately, they ran into a number of issues when working with a consultant: for instance, the result turn-around time took much longer than was beneficial to
“As a way to help us identify the best match students ahead of travel season, using an outside consultant really didn’t line up with our needs,” said Tristan Deveney, Associate Director of Admissions at Clark University. “It also quickly became cost prohibitive to spend money on something that was only of limited use, both in terms of when it was available and in terms of the outcomes that it was able to predict.”
With application review already underway, they began the search for an alternative predictive modeling approach that would be more beneficial at each stage in the admissions cycle After a careful investigation, including helpful conversations with other institutions, Clark turned to Veera Predict. With Rapid Insight, they gained a newfound confidence in their ability to use predictive modeling to achieve institutional goals. Clark also discovered that in-house predictive modeling allowed them increased flexibility and new approaches to asking questions using their own data. They no longer had to rely on an outside source for a one-time enrollment score. With their new method, Clark has found they can approach recruitment planning in new and varying ways for each stage of the process.
Early on, the university learned the possibilities that come with using a predictive modeling tool in-house. They blended data from current students using Rapid Insight Veera Construct and were able to build a model that would predict first semester GPA. This identified students who are
As Clark added new predictive modeling projects using Veera Predict, the effects on recruitment practices became clear. The culture of the admissions department at Clark relies heavily on personal engagement with potential and current students. When it came time to plan fall recruitment travel, Deveney built two distinct models: One pertaining to
During application review and yield season, Deveney was also able to use the models to assist in planning communications. The admissions office used the models to assign candidates for interviews with alumni volunteers, which helped the University reach more of the students who showed
“It’s becoming very clear that having a robust, in-house predictive modeling operation can reshape some of the long standing assumptions that we have around how you communicate with a large group of inquiries early in the process,” affirmed Deveney. “It was really that flexibility that we were most drawn to, which Rapid Insight is uniquely positioned to provide.”
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