Upland, Indiana—Taylor University administrators, professional staff members, and alumni have created a program they believe will fundamentally change and streamline recruitment for not only Taylor, but for a host of higher education institutions.
The product, rAdmit, arose from a collaborative partnership between members of Taylor’s enrollment management and information technology staffs and Indianapolis-based Inroads Analytics.
According to Nathan Baker, Interim Chief Enrollment Officer at Taylor, and a 2013 Taylor alumnus, the college admissions process has evolved from responding to inquiries from graduating high school seniors to proactively searching for prospective students from the ranks of high school seniors, juniors, sophomores, and freshmen. rAdmit begins with a database comprised of prospective students and their expressed interests to create a predictive analysis that allows enrollment management professionals to identify students who are most likely to follow through all the way to matriculation.
“If you can find the ‘silver bullet’ of who would come to your school, it doesn’t matter how many applications you have as long as you have the right applications,” Baker said. “It’s not about the volume, it’s about identifying the right people at every stage of the admissions process. The analytics help us to manage the process and eliminate the reactive elements. This helps us to initiate a proactive approach.”
Baker said factors informing the process include campus visits, family members who have attended Taylor, academic performance, and financial aid needs. “It’s not a one size fits all approach, which is really important as we think missionally about who we are,” he said. “We are trying to recruit a diverse class of students.”
Gerald Stanley, President of Inroads Analytics, and a 2000 Taylor alumnus, worked closely with members of Taylor’s Information Technology and Registrar’s offices to create rAdmit and companion products rRetain and rBudget. He said each uses data points that will allow Taylor and other universities to more effectively retain students and plan budgets. He added this software also has application for private high schools, graduate programs, and other types of recruiting initiatives.
“Admissions is 25 percent of the story,” said Stanley. “We analyze factors contributing to why students leave—money, mental health, and all the factors into why a student does not last four years at Taylor … Analyzing data gives us insight into which students may struggle. It allows Taylor to be proactive. In sales, it’s more efficient to retain your clients than to acquire new ones. Similarly, admissions builds a freshman class, but retention, keeps those students at Taylor for the remaining three years. "
Ron Sutherland, Special Assistant to the President at Taylor, and a 1982 Taylor alumnus, said rAdmit, rRetain, and rBudget will be packaged on the inSuite platform to be marketed to other colleges and universities through Inroads Analytics, which is owned in part by 1846 Enterprises, a subsidiary of Taylor University.
“We believe these products, especially in light of the challenges faced by higher education in light of recent events, will provide significant benefits for not only Taylor, but also for many other colleges and universities,” Sutherland said.
“Taylor desires to build partnerships with alumni in areas of shared mutual interest, and we are actively pursuing ideas that can lead to additional revenue coming to Taylor to help offset tuition, room, and board costs paid by students and their families,” Sutherland said, adding Taylor University is part owner and will also receive a royalty from the corporate sales.
“Gerald Stanley and his team were selected to partner with Taylor to take a system developed at Taylor to the broader market involving recruiting students. We need more partnerships like this to help sustain and secure the future of Taylor.”