Maximize Return on Travel: Target Your Best High Schools, Zip Codes and Counties

Going beyond existing feeder schools and targeting new high schools and territories will be on the travel itinerary of Capture Higher Ed client universities this fall thanks to a unique feature of our application modeling. The newly minted TRAVEL feature — built on Capture’s industry-leading student search predictions — helps counselors find new feeder schools and fertile new regions to visit while optimizing travel budgets. 

The TRAVEL tool allows you to:  

  • Identify high schools where your counselor presence will have the greatest impact on generating applications, especially high schools your counselors haven’t visited before. 
  • Optimize travel decisions between otherwise comparable high schools. 
  • Prevent wasteful travel by targeting the best counties and going to multiple schools in a single trip. 
  • Make the most of your limited student representative travel budget. 
  • Utilize a customized, ranked list of all currently operating public, private, and charter high schools. 
  • Use a weighted, ranked prediction of the likelihood a county in which a high school resides will produce applicants for your institution.  

TRAVEL uses hundreds of neighborhood level factors to identify the geographic areas around high schools that are most likely to produce additional applications for your institution. What emerges is a ranked list of public, private and charter high schools across the U.S. that can help optimize the travel of your counselors and representatives. If your counselors are assigned counties as their recruiting territories, you can also get a ranked list of counties to target and plan travel to multiple schools in that county. 

High schools with better rankings are predicted to produce more applicants for your school on average, taking the travel distance to each high school into consideration.  

The Method 

Capture makes these high school travel recommendations by abstracting our machine learning-based student search predictions from the zip code level to the high school level. This is performed by locating all zip codes that fall within a tight radius around each high school, aggregating our search predictions for all zip codes within each high school’s radius, and then ranking the aggregated search predictions. 

New Travel Feature

High school data are collected by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES); public school data are pulled from the Common Core of Data (CCD) – Secondary School Universe Survey Data from 2020-2021; and private school data are drawn from the Private School Universe Survey (PSS) from 2019-2020. These data files provide the most up-to-date universe of school data in the US.  

This ranked list is intended to help you make optimized decisions when deciding between sending representatives to one high school or another. When in doubt, college representatives should visit the school or county with the better rank. Schools with better ranks are predicted to generate more applicants, and the physical presence of your representative in a better ranked high school is expected to have a greater effect on the likelihood that students at that school will apply.  

The new TRAVEL feature is just another way Capture is reinventing travel season for our client institutions. Do you want to find out more? Contact us today for a demo! 

By Rajeev Arora, Chief Product Officer, Capture Higher Ed