Predictive analytics dramatically cuts admissions discount rate

Lauren Williams's picture

Washington and Lee School of Law utilized data analytics as the key tool to help them bring their admissions discount rate under control. At the time they were giving about 53% of the tuition they collected back in financial aid.

John Keyser, Associate Dean for Administration and Technology was tasked to bring that down towards 30%. This required him to connect data and staff across groups within the university. "This forced the people in different departments to talk to one another and face whether the data was valid or not. It required us to come up with a strategy and work at an iterative, continuous improvement process," says John.

Utilizing Rapid Insight's predictive analytics software John developed an admissions model and used it to score planned admissions offers before they were sent out, estimating how many students will matriculate and the amount of scholarship money that would be taken off the table. Admissions then used these numbers to make their actual offers and financial aid decisions.

John summarizes the results of their predictive modeling implementation this way - "We did, in fact, reduce our discount rate (in the very first year) from 53% to the low 30's. And we did it while maintaining most of our quality indicators. It's been very, very successful for us."

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About Rapid Insight Inc.
Rapid Insight Inc. is a leading provider of business intelligence and automated predictive analytics software. With a focus on ease of use and efficiency, Rapid Insight products enable users to turn their raw data into actionable information. The company's analytic software simplifies the extraction and analysis of data, enabling clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies to fully utilize their information for data-driven decision making. Founded in 2002 in Conway, New Hampshire, Rapid Insight is a privately held company with clients and partners across the nation.