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Rapid Insight: Higher Education case study

Indiana State University Launches New Enrollment Initiatives with Rapid Insight Quickstarts

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Enrollment Initiatives at ISU
  • New enrollment analytics department launched

  • Equipped admissions counselors to perform targeted outreach

  • Improved student success and retention efforts

The Challenge

In 2019, Indiana State University hired a new Vice Provost for Enrollment Management who prioritized analytics in enrollment. He appointed Maggie Dalrymple, an experienced Institutional Researcher at ISU, to launch the new department as its first Director of Enrollment Analytics. 

Her role was to dive deeper into enrollment data, expand the institution’s forecasting capacity, and share actionable information across the campus.

Dalrymple had the skills and experience necessary to carry out the task, but it came with challenges. Her new department consisted of a single person (Maggie herself), had limited resources, and was expected to turn around high-priority results rapidly. Put simply, she had to hit the ground running.

The Solution

Rapid Insight Quickstarts

In response, Dalrymple and the Vice Provost sought tools that would equip the new department to succeed. 

Customer Testimonial

The Vice Provost wanted me to have the tools to start off strong. He purchased Rapid Insight almost immediately upon his arrival.

Maggie Dalrymple, Director of Enrollment Analytics, Indiana State University

The Vice Provost had prior experience with Rapid Insight’s products, and Dalrymple had heard about a colleague’s success using Rapid Insight for retention. They decided on Construct (for data prep), Predict (for predictive modeling), and two of Rapid Insight’s Quickstarts.

Quickstarts are template workflows that connect with an institution’s Learning Management System to cleanse and prepare a dataset for modeling automatically. As data preparation is the most time-consuming step in the predictive modeling process, Quickstarts drastically reduce the time it takes to implement a model. 

ISU chose the “Enrollment Analytics” and “Student Retention & Success” Quickstarts. Rapid Insight’s Product Manager, Jon Macmillan, assisted Dalrymple in customizing the Quickstarts for ISU’s internal codes. 

Customer Testimonial

When Rapid Insight states that they offer unlimited support, they’re not kidding. And not just with creating these projects, but in determining how to best tackle a problem.

Maggie Dalrymple, Director of Enrollment Analytics, Indiana State University

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Enrollment and Admissions Modeling

Thanks to the Enrollment Analytics Quickstart, Dalrymple quickly compiled over 100 variables and four years of historical data. Rapid Insight’s Predict automatically mined the data to determine which variables had statistical significance, then generated an enrollment model. When Dalrymple scored the current class, each admit was assigned a score that predicted their likelihood of enrollment. 

Admissions counselors then conducted targeted outreach toward students who fell in the “persuadable” range: those that were on the fence about enrolling and would benefit from personalized contact.

This equipped admissions counselors to focus their efforts where they would make the most difference, rather than on admits considered highly likely (or highly unlikely) to enroll.

Improved Student Retention and Success

As with the enrollment model, Rapid Insight’s Quickstart took the tedious data preparation out of the equation and allowed Dalrymple to dive right into analyzing ISU’s data on student success and retention.

Dalrymple incorporated five years of historical data and 250 variables (such as student demographic data, financial aid, test scores, registration data, DFW rates, and grade information) into the model. Predict calculated the variables with statistical significance, then produced an attrition risk score for each student.

With the scores in hand, advisors could reach out to the students most at risk of attrition, offering support and guidance to help those students succeed. Additionally, the model identifies common hurdles that students face, offering administrators insight that benefits current and future students.

Financial Aid Incentive Analysis

ISU also wanted to determine if merit-based scholarships had an impact on a student’s likelihood to enroll.

Because Construct’s data prep workflows are repeatable, Dalrymple creatively decided to duplicate and reuse a portion of the enrollment Quickstart that lent itself to answering this new question.

Using the results of Dalrymple’s analysis, ISU is currently modifying some of its existing scholarship programs to incentivize students to enroll.

Thunderstorm over Oakley Place

Looking to the Future with Enrollment Analytics

ISU’s enrollment analytics department is up and running at full steam, but Dalrymple’s work is just beginning.

Her next step is to add a field for a student’s attrition likelihood to the institution’s student risk factor dashboard. This will provide advisors with an even greater understanding of the challenges particular students face in attaining their degrees, better guiding advisor interventions.

Dalrymple plans to continue to use Rapid Insight’s tools to track student performance in high school math courses vs. ISU’s math courses. She also uses the tools to answer questions about the impact of changing majors and transfer credits on a student’s time to earn a degree.

Customer Testimonial

Having Rapid Insight’s support has been one of the highlights of these first few years. It’s been an early success as we’ve launched these enrollment management initiatives.

Maggie Dalrymple, Director of Enrollment Analytics, Indiana State University

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