The Benefits of Predictive Modeling in Private School Admissions #PODCAST

August 27, 2015 Peter Baron

Out of necessity, comes some really cool ideas.

With an admission office of two and a school of 650 students to keep full, Matthew Evans, Director of Admission at Saint Mark’s High School (Wilmington, DE), turned to predictive modeling to aggregate data and make more informed decisions.

Higher Ed has used predictive modeling for years, so why not now in independent schools?

Using 11 key data points, Matthew’s able to better predict the likelihood of a student enrolling in his school. Given the high level of school competition from local public, charter, and private schools, his predictive modeling gave him a unique edge and contributed to an increase in the school’s admission yield.

He doesn’t base his decisions solely on the predictive data, but it’s one more tool that he can turn to as he evaluates his admission funnel.

In episode 14 of Blackbaud K–12’s Get Connected Podcast, Matthew joins me to dive into his model and its impact. It’s a fascinating view — one that I think every admission office should hear.

For a more detailed breakdown of the main points covered in our conversation, make sure to check out the show notes below.

You have a few listening options. Download the episode, listen to the podcast below or subscribe to our channel on iTunes!

If you’re a fan of the podcast, please do us a favor and rate and review the show on iTunes. Your support is very much appreciated!

Episode Notes:

  • Matthew shares his background prior to arriving at Saint Mark’s High School.
  • Like with all private schools across the country, competition to enroll students in Delaware is fierce. With a large number of private schools, public schools and charter schools in his area,Matthew lays out his market’s competitive recruitment landscape.
  • In the conversation, you’ll get a feel for what the admission office looked like prior to Matthew’s arrival, along with some of the immediate data challenges he needed to tackle.
  • Learn whyMatthew turned to predictive modeling and gain insight into how he built his formula to track the 11 key data points.
  • As with most admission offices, the concept of parent/school negotiations is becoming more prevalent. Hear how Matthew’s predictive model gave him more confidence as he went into each of these conversations.
  • Now that he’s at the one year mark with his model,Matthew reflects on its success and challenges (as well as opportunities heading into 2015-2016!).
  • For a school considering a predictive model,Matthew has advice that you need to hear. Make sure to listen to the entire episode for his recommendations.

About the Author

Peter Baron

As senior product marketing manager, Peter Baron is focused on illustrating how Blackbaud K-12’s software builds deeper connections among key school community stakeholders, including parents, teachers and students. Peter regularly contributes to various online communities and education conferences like NAIS, CASE/NAIS & SSATB to explain the importance of providing modern, user-friendly experiences for school constituents. Peter hosts Blackbaud K-12's Get Connected Podcast and is the founder of edSocialMedia, a community-driven site dedicated to exploring the role of social media in education. Peter also serves as a trustee for Wolfeboro, The Summer Boarding School and is an Executive Committee member of TABS’ North American Boarding School Initiative.

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