Sustainable Innovation: Colleges could earn $1M annually with the help of technology-enabled advising tools

Colleges and universities could earn $ 1 million annually by increasing student retention with the help of new educational support tools and approaches that make use of predictive analytics, a recent study has found. 

Colleges and universities could earn $ 1 million annually by increasing student retention, a recent report by RPK Group has found. The researchers found that new educational support tools and approaches that make use of predictive analytics can improve student performances and retention. 

The report analyzes the ROI (return on investment) of 22 colleges and universities participating in an Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS) grant initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Through this technology-enabled tool, colleges can cultivate more integrated approaches to student support services. iPASS solutions include tools and services that provide course and degree planning, coaching and career advising, student progress tracking, and early academic alerts and predictive analytics. 

The report advices higher ed institutions to refocus their efforts from spending to a return on investment perspective. A ROI perspective requires three fundamental shifts:

  1. A holistic understanding of resources
  2. A focus on unit cost
  3. A connection between student success and financial sustainability

Some of the key findings of the report are:

  • Institutions spent an average of $700,000 on iPASS activities, of which, more than half went to existing staff while only about one-quarter of spending was to purchase iPASS technology/software.
  • The cost per student over time would decrease as they have access to these advising systems
  • Retention could give colleges $1 million of revenue annually

The study concludes that universities that have embraced predictive analytics tools like iPASS have seen improvement in their advising processes and ultimately student retention. Moreover, additional focus on ROI and cultural sustainability are key to create sustainable innovation for student success.