Key findings in the report include:
Colleges that used sophisticated AI and data analysis to build their fall admissions classes had an average year over year decline of 4.74 percent in their first-time, full-time 2020 class, three times better than the national average of a 13 percent decline.
Data and analysis systems also helped institutions reduce their "summer melt" - the gap between students who accept admission and make a deposit and those who attend classes in the fall - by nearly 1 percent.
Analysis of fall classes found no major differences between public and private institutions using data based decision making in either melt or deposit rates and yield. On the other hand, large institutions (more than 2,000 first year, full-time students) fared better than smaller schools in all deposit and melt metrics.
By a significant margin, schools in the northeast region saw the largest declines in enrollment and largest increases in summer melt.
There was no significant difference in the deposit and melt rates of Pell-eligible students, indicating that cost of attendance may not have been a major factor in COVID-19-related enrollment decisions.
"Our culture is rooted in data-based decision making, so it seems right and natural to share what the data show about fall enrollments," said Fred Weiss, Othot president and CEO. "We think there are significant outcomes for schools in this report including strong evidence that schools -- using data science -- can make major progress in growing their enrollment, even in this exceptionally difficult national climate."
The new report reviews data for institutions using Othot's student-centered AI enrollment analytics, helping schools understand which students are most likely to enroll as well as how and to reach them to further improve their likelihood to enroll. Based on the report, that information paid dividends.
"It was a challenging year across the board," said Weiss. "But, I would be willing to wager that most schools would be giddy about seeing enrollment rates two or three times better than national averages. There were some very bright spots, schools such as Texas Tech and Florida Institute of Technology, that planned and executed and saw very strong growth, up more than 3 percent year over year, which is pretty amazing."
About Othot, Inc.
Othot is the leader in advanced analytics and artificial intelligence solutions for higher education institutions across the United States. Together, Othot and its partner schools focus on each institution’s specific enrollment, student success, and advancement goals. Othot’s cloud-based solution provides continuous intelligence in real time and empowers schools to engage each prospective, current, and former student with the right tactic at the right time. Othot is higher intelligence for higher education. Othot.com @OthotInc
For the media: Contact us for access to Texas Tech and Florida Institute of Technology for additional comments
Additional Quotes from Fred Weiss, CEO
"The data that colleges already have can be instrumental in helping schools make better, even ideal decisions about admissions and enrollment" * "Getting to that data, understanding what they really mean is what separates schools who are making gains from those who seem at the mercy of national or regional factors beyond their control."
"The big take-away here is that enrollment is not fate or destiny" * "By using the right tools, schools can make their own magic and by and large build the classes they want, in size and composition, even in trying circumstances."
"I would be willing to wager that most schools would be giddy about seeing enrollment rates two or three times better than national averages" * "Some schools are doing it, getting there pretty quickly - even boosting their enrollments while cutting their marketing spending at the same time."
"Colleges under financial pressure, which is nearly all of them, are looking at hard choices" * "Before cutting staff or programs, enrollment management may be a better place to focus first because our report shows that colleges can be dramatically more efficient, build bigger and better classes and, in some cases, even spend less on getting it done."