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The new tool colleges are using in admissions decisions: big data


The same big data techniques that are transforming other industries are seeping into the college and university admissions process to help predict whether students will succeed and graduate.

“This is the kind of stuff that savvy parents, students and college counselors know about,” said Bruce Poch, dean of admission and executive director of college counseling at the Chadwick School, a private school in Southern California, and former dean of admissions at Pomona College.

The point is simple: to increase graduation rates by using big data to identify the kinds of students who, experience has proven, are most likely to stick around.