Colleges, Universities nationwide enrolling in the power of predictive analytics

Market Leader SPSS Helps Higher Education Improve Student Retention

CHICAGO, IL, May 7, 2007 -- As hundreds of thousands of college students nationwide hand in their final exams, pack their bags and head off campus over the next several weeks, higher education administrators, busy number crunching next year’s budgets, will be left to ask: how many will return to campus in the fall?

At a growing number of universities across the country, administrators and student recruiters are turning to the mathematical science of predictive analytics to better forecast student retention and enrollment. In fact, SPSS, Inc., a leading global provider of predictive analytics software, has seen its number of higher education customers grow by more than 40 percent in the past two years including for this type of institutional research.

Educational institutions large and small, from coast to coast, such as University of Nevada, Reno, Colorado State University-Pueblo and University of Northern Iowa, are deploying predictive analytics to identify and retain at-risk students. Using attitudinal and behavioral data, school officials are able to identify susceptible students even before they consciously ponder dropping out. These predictive capabilities also enable colleges and universities to appropriately distribute student advising resources and arrange preventative assistance.

Thulasi Kumar, director of information management and analysis for the University of Northern Iowa, says his administration relies on the power of predictive analytics to more accurately determine enrollment figures for the coming semester and school year.

“By more accurately predicting return enrollment of students, we have better control on budgets and expenses,” Kumar said. “Just as important, we use the predictive technology of SPSS to take proactive measures to ensure the majority of our students return to campus in the fall. That’s what’s important to the university and at the top of the list for parents and students, as well.”

Added Bob Valencic, higher education programs manager at SPSS, “In higher education today, student enrollment is pivotal in obtaining financial support from the public sector. In many cases of attrition, the student has either displayed behaviors or revealed attitudes that have preceded the decision to leave. By determining predictive patterns underlying these behaviors and attitudes — and using analytics — universities can take immediate action and considerably decrease student attrition.”

SPSS has been deployed at thousands of colleges and universities for nearly 40 years in a wide variety of disciplines. These solutions also assist faculty and administrators in several key areas, including instructing students in using analytical tools, administrating institutional research, creating scholastic writing and conducting survey and scientific research.

About SPSS

SPSS Inc. (Nasdaq: SPSS) is a leading global provider of predictive analytics software and solutions. The company’s predictive analytics technology improves business processes by giving organizations forward visibility for decisions made every day. By incorporating predictive analytics into their daily operations, organizations become Predictive Enterprises—able to direct and automate decisions to meet business goals and achieve a measurable competitive advantage. More than 250,000 public sector, academic, and commercial customers rely on SPSS technology to help increase revenue, reduce costs, and detect and prevent fraud. Founded in 1968, SPSS is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. For additional information, please visit

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Christina Preiss, (312) 651-3437

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