Deciding Which College Fairs To Attend? Ask Predictive Models

A problem that emerges this time of year in admissions offices around the country involves invitations to college fairs hosted by various high schools. Are you receiving three or four of these invitations per day in your office? In the past, deciding which ones to attend — and which ones to ignore — has been mostly a matter of instinct and anecdotal evidence.

“This school seems like a good bet because…”

These prioritization dilemmas are the kinds of problems that Capture Higher Ed’s Envision predictive models are meant to solve.

That’s why Capture recently created a new feature for our search-consulting partners that can make travel recommendations. Through their dedicated advisor any one of these partners now can access lists of all the public high schools in the country as well as all the private high schools and choose to attend the high school fair that is predicted and ranked to be more productive. That would be the school where a visit from a counselor is likely to generate the most additional applicants.Predictive ModelsBut it’s important to note that the converse logic should not be used with these lists! This would mean interpreting the scores to suggest that recruiters should be sent to the school with the worse score, because the school with the better score will already produce more applicants.

Following this argument to its logical conclusion, schools would consider sending their recruiters to the least productive high school on the list, possibly in Barrow, Alaska, because high schools closer to them will produce more applicants.

Recruiters for our partners are not likely to be effective in Barrow, Alaska.

Recruiters are most effective when they work in receptive environments. Schools with lower (better) scores are likely to provide more receptive environments for recruiters from our partners.

Every admissions office is being asked to do more with less. The way to do that is to be smarter in prioritizing time and money. All of our search-consulting partners already have access to a machine-learning predictive models that prioritize the right names to purchase. They also have access to a dedicated advisor with years of experience in the industry — someone who can make sense of the results.

This adds another piece to the puzzle, guiding you where to spend your limited time and budget for high school visits.

By John Foster, Senior Data Analyst, Capture Higher Ed