SBIR Phase II: An Innovative and More Effective Means to Manage the Communication Process Between Colleges and Prospective Students

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0956891
Agency Tracking Number: 0839300
Amount: $500,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: SS
Solicitation Number: NSF 08-548
Small Business Information
100 Crescent Centre Parkway, Suite 320, Tucker, GA, 30084
DUNS: 842215217
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Greg Perfetto
 (770) 255-0700
Business Contact
 Greg Perfetto
Phone: (770) 255-0700
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project proposes to commercialize a predictive modeling technology that automatically adapts to changing interaction patterns between providers of higher education (colleges and universities) and consumers (prospective students). Current methods produce only retrospective static models which, due to peculiarities of the higher education recruitment cycle, require at least a one-year lag between data acquisition and application to new prospects. As a result, data mining techniques have gained only limited popularity in college recruiting. The approach proposed here employs a proprietary adaptive modeling engine (AME) to leverage real-time transactional data from a CRM system and dynamically update scoring algorithms to predict outcomes. AME relies on a logical interface and unified dimensional data model to extract analyzable record-sets accurately representing the state of underlying transactional data at any time-slice within the system's effective-dated range. The integration of these key technologies allow relationship patterns to be identified in the recruitment process as they occur and scoring algorithms to dynamically adapt to changing patterns within a single recruitment cycle. It is believed that the changing demographics of college-going students will present a number of significant obstacles to the traditional college business model and could jeopardize the future financial health of many higher education providers in this county. The decade-long trend of yearly increases in demand, as represented by the number of new students entering college, comes to an end in 2009. In stark contrast to the 24% growth the market has experienced over the past decade, future enrollment numbers will remain stagnant overall, and in many localities college enrollment will actually decline. Furthermore, dramatic shifts are coming in the geodemographic, ethnic, and cultural mix of high school graduates that feed the higher education market. As competition for students increases dramatically in the face of rising attendance costs, dwindling endowments, changing demographics, and a decline in college-bound students, each college's ability to survive, much less prosper, will depend directly on its ability to identify, understand, and communicate with students in a more efficient and cost-effective manner. Those that are able to adapt this new landscape through the use of innovative tools like AME will flourish, and those who are unable to adapt will face an uncertain future of declining enrollments and financial instability.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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