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Application Essays Can Help Students Get Into College. Could They Also Predict Their Success?

In higher education, predictive analytics often draw from data that an institution has readily available about its students: grades, attendance, online school-related activity, and even historical and demographic information. EdSurge reports that one university is trying to incorporate unstructured data—in particular, college admission essays—to predict how likely a student will persist and graduate on time.  However, it could be at least another year before East Carolina University begins designing interventions around admissions essay and other unstructured data. “Our approach to this is pretty slow and deliberate,” says Mitchelson. “We are bringing this along at a pace that makes sense to the campus.”

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