Breaking News: 2-Year Colleges Are Different Than 4-Year Colleges

This, of course, is not really news. But as each institution type begins to take predictive analytics seriously, their neighbors are needing to keep up. I came across an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education featuring an industry researcher, Carla Hickman, describing the challenges facing 2-year colleges specifically, and how some have been handling it. What stood out to me the most was how well having your analytics take place in-house would fit the needs she describes.

To paraphrase a few key points, she mentions that the enrollment trends being witnessed are not simply par for the course. Four-year colleges are drawing more of the students that would have chosen 2-year colleges than usual. Carla goes on to describe that a marketing push would need to assert the value of 2-year programs either as degrees or transfer paths. Most significantly though, she mentions that colleges have been looking further into their data to identify the prospects might yield if given more outreach. Some of the initiatives she describes mention highly personalized forms of communication.

Sending personalized information to prospects undoubtedly gives that prospect a reason to consider your college. Colleges all along the spectrum have seen results that can’t be argued with. This is the entry point for predictive analytics. Ideally, every prospect could receive a personalized packet of information, at the time in the process when they are most likely to take note, but most colleges can’t operate on that level.

Related: Clark University: Personalizing Admissions with In-House Predictive Modeling