October 14, 2014

74% of Schools Have A Student Retention Problem [Infographic]


Here Are The Results Of Our Student Retention Software Survey

As follow-up to our blog on student retention systems, we surveyed educators and IT managers at academic institutions worldwide about their plans and experiences with student retention software. We received over 300 responses, most (70%) from four-year public and private institutions in North America. The vast majority (73%) view student retention as an issue at their school. Somewhat surprisingly, despite the high proportion of schools viewing retention as an issue, only 52% currently use a student retention system, although another 25% say they are planning to implement a system within 3-10 years.

The most popular student retention systems are from Ellucian, including their Degree Works, Colleague Student Planning, Student Success, and Course Signals. Internally-developed systems are next most used on campus. Social media plays a key role, as 82% of schools report using or planning to use social media in their student retention efforts. Other student retention software ranking high in the survey included Starfish Retention Solutions, Redrock Software,  EBI MAP-Works, Campus Labs, Hobsons, Pharos, SmartEvals, as well as the retention suites from Blackboard. Pricing, quality, and vendor support are the top three decision factors in selecting a student retention system.

As with almost all educational software systems, integration is a major concern. Most schools using the software (74%) integrate it with their Learning Management System (LMS) or their Student Information System (SIS). Other concerns about retention software include: faculty and staff may not yet see the value (52%), the data may be misused (22%), and the software may depersonalize student advising (21%).

The Value and Drawbacks Of Student Retention Systems

The most-mentioned benefit of student retention systems is that they increase contact between students and advisers (77%). They also connect students with the resources they need (70%), and enable early intervention for struggling students (69%). Indicative of lingering skepticism about the systems, only 58% of those surveyed feel that the systems actually increase the graduation rate.

The biggest drawback to the systems is the high cost (43%). The two main reasons cited for not implementing a system are simply no need (29%) or lack of awareness of the systems (29%).

The Future

There is a clear sense that student retention systems will grow in  popularity and usage in the future; a resounding 97% feel that to be the case. We also asked about a related category of software, student recruiting systems. The survey reported that 80% of schools are currently using or plan to use recruiting software to assist them in the admissions process. One study found that the cost of recruiting each enrolled student is $2,432, indicative of the recruiting software ROI, and good fodder for a future blog.

Here’s the full infographic:

Student Retention System Infographic

Higher Education Student Retention Survey Results. An Extreme Networks infographic. Click on image for full size infographic.

About The Contributor:
Bob NilssonDirector of Vertical Solutions Marketing

Bob Nilsson is the director of vertical solutions marketing at Extreme Networks. In this role, Mr. Nilsson leads the Extreme Networks strategy and programs for vertical markets including Healthcare, Higher Education, K-12 Education, Federal Government, and Hospitality. He has over 30 years of experience in marketing IT systems to Global 1000 companies worldwide. Before joining Extreme Networks Bob was VP Marketing at Clear Methods. Prior to that Bob held senior marketing positions at Digital Equipment and HP. Bob holds an SB degree in EE from MIT and MBA from Columbia Business School.

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