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Monday, June 12, 2017

Competitors’ Data Keep Students on Track

College and university administrators are increasingly using data not only from their own institutions but also from other, potentially competing, schools to predict when their students might require an academic intervention.

Observing and understanding data on common factors that impact student retention and success—such as feeling isolated or overwhelmed, selecting the wrong classes, or being unable to afford the next semester—enhances administrators’ ability to proactively identify which students need help. For example, using predictive-analysis processes developed by the University of Texas at Austin, administrators at the University of Kansas discovered that 1,200 out of 1,500 students having difficulties on their campus hadn’t received any kind of intervention.

Both schools are part of the three-year-old University Innovation Alliance, a consortium of 11 research universities dedicated to raising undergraduate graduation rates. Since the group’s founding, its member universities have managed to increase the number of degrees awarded by 10%, with a 25% bump among Pell Grant recipients.

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