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The Nerds Are Taking Over

The Nerds Are Taking Over

Look, if the disproportionate use of bow ties didn’t give it away – the nerds have taken over enrollment management.  Much like the revolution that unseated professional poker players, the rising leaders in our profession are those for whom “proficient” in data analysis don’t even begin to describe their skill level.

Ours is now a profession best served by people who understand statistics and probabilities and can synthesize a mountain of data into intelligent actions daily.

At enroll ml, we talk about the potential impact of increasing from a yield rate of 15% to 18%.  By investing in the yield process, colleges can impact a 20% year-over-year increase in new student enrollment.

That’s an achievable increase, but only if you invest in your admissions team and point them to the right students.

Of course, we’ve always known that increasing yield will be impactful, but we keep seeing the yield rate drop a little more each year.


Because we needed the right tools, and in many cases, the right nerds, to identify the right students for counselors to work with.

It’s more than just “call people who didn’t submit a FAFSA.”  In almost every case, by the time you realize they haven’t submitted the FAFSA, they’ve already moved on to another college.

Instead, you need to develop a system to identify when students stop engaging with your college the right amount – when their email engagement rate starts to drift when too much time goes by before they are active on the website, etc.

One question we get when we talk about finding those three extra students is, “can you tell us who the three students are?”

If only we could!

We can’t tell you who they are, but in our model, our nerds have identified where they are.  For our clients, we break down students into enrollment probability buckets, least likely on the left and most likely on the right.

For each client, we can assess the enrollment probability of each student, put them in the appropriate bucket, and then direct the admissions counselors to the right students.

In this case, the three extra students this college is looking for are in the yellow bucket.  Those are the swing students that will make or break the class.  Currently, their probability of enrolling is somewhere around a coin flip.  Counselors can work with those students to increase their probability, finding the three students and changing the results of your enrollment cycle.

You can do this in your office, too.  Just be sure to be nice to the nerds that build it.

Teege Mettille
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