Unless you attended in the past couple of years, college looks a lot different than it used to. Admissions officers have long considered a wide range of factors when considering a prospective student’s likelihood of academic success—GPA, SAT scores, performance on standardized tests, demographics. It was more difficult to quantify and track students’ academic progress once they were in the door. The analytic insight that can be yielded through the mining of student data is changing that. As detailed in an article at The New York Times, big data is helping universities determine when a student is going off track, reordering curriculum, and to tutor students who have fallen behind. With only 31% of students at public colleges receiving bachelor’s degrees within four years, universities are betting that data mining and analytics will help students figure out earlier whether their chosen major is the best fit, ensuring higher academic success rates in the long run.
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