How do students expect institutions to use their data? Ellucian found the answer

How do students expect institutions to use their data? Ellucian found the answer

By James Willey on Monday, March 6, 2017


Recently, Ellucian announced the results of a student-focused study that highlights what today’s modern student expects in exchange for sharing anything from high school transcripts to shoe size. Students are savvy users of technology and comfortable sharing their data, but they expect more from schools when they do. Just like the apps on their phone, they expect colleges and universities to utilize their data to improve their life.

Our customers know there is great opportunity to use student data and analytics—from attracting the best and brightest students to improving retention and helping them graduate on time. However, there is a divide between how colleges and universities are currently using student information and what students value most.

From application to graduation, we know that students give colleges an incredible amount of their personal data, and this study showed that they want schools to use that data to optimize their college career. Of the 1,000 2-year and 4-year students participating in the study, almost all (98%) said they want their school to use personal information to improve academic processes, such as:

  • tracking graduation requirements and progress (62%)
  • selecting and registering for courses (59%)
  • scheduling academic advising sessions (53%)

Additional survey findings include:

  • Students see great potential for personal data to improve the college experience. Eighty-two percent believe the personal information schools collect will transform the college experience in ten years.
  • When students were asked to pick an institution best able to use their personal information to improve their experience, a college or university ranks #1 (42%), ranking ahead of a doctor’s office (23%) and a financial company, such as a credit card or bank (12%).
  • Like experienced consumers, students want universities to be efficient with their data. Almost all (93%) modern students expect they should only have to provide their personal information to their institution once, with 53% agreeing strongly.
  • Students are willing to provide more information to enhance their college experience. In fact, one in four students said that they would provide their least favorite childhood photos if it improved their chances of getting admitted to an institution.

Meeting student expectations

More than three quarters of students (77%) actually believe schools should be using more of their personal information to enhance their college experience—both inside and outside the classroom.

To help colleges and universities meet these expectations, we have launched Ellucian Analytics powered by Ethos, designed to support the modern campus from recruitment to graduation. With Ellucian Analytics, administrators and faculty will be able to utilize a collection of guided, role-based dashboards and reports, which are supported by over 9,000 data elements from the Ethos data model.

Learn more about what students think of big data on campus:
Download the full report today

Learn more about Ellucian Analytics, powered by Ellucian Ethos.

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About the Author

James Willey

James Willey

Senior Vice President of Product Management, Ellucian

James serves as SVP of Product Management with responsibility for the Ellucian Ethos Technology Platform and continues to focus on innovative solutions that help a unified community positively impact student success.