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Admissions professionals at graduate and professional schools face unique challenges when it comes to enrolling a class. You are often limited by small historical datasets and inconsistencies and nuances in the data tracking. You may experience extreme fluctuations in both the external market and your own internal strategies that can decrease the usefulness of historical data. Ultimately, graduate and professional school admissions officers must know how to move forward and make critical enrollment decisions with a whole lot of uncertainty.
Many admissions professionals dream of acquiring a tool that can predict the future and thus solve these problems (Who will show up on opening day? How much will they cost in scholarship dollars? What will be the average GPA or LSAT?). It is impossible, even with the best tools, to know precisely what’s going to happen in the future. We believe the key to building the best class possible in the graduate and professional school space is not about finding the perfect product (a Magic 8 Ball for admissions), but in adopting a process that we call ARROWS Strategic Projection Modeling.
We designed the ARROWS Modeling process with one thing in mind: to help graduate and professional schools build the best class possible cycle after cycle. As former admissions professionals, we worked with predictive modeling but found it was too data-reliant for our needs. We didn’t want something that spit out a scholarship strategy based solely on historical data and didn’t take into account the nuances of the market; the intricacies (and limitations) of our data; live market and applicant intel and updates throughout the cycle; the shifts in institutional goals and priorities that can happen at any time; our own wisdom, experience, and intuition; and good old common sense.
Strategic Projection Modeling is our process of using historical data, combined with market and other relevant information, to forecast future outcomes along a specific set of variables. It can help your institution formulate and meet admissions goals related to variables such as class size, applicant quality, net tuition revenue, and discount rate, as well as explore how these variables are impacted (and impact each other) based on the choices you make.
We understand that you need to be efficient and strategic in awarding your limited scholarship dollars. ARROWS Modeling offers a highly valuable decision-making tool and process to help navigate this and other challenges—helping you to develop enrollment and scholarship strategy; forecast enrollment outcomes; and monitor, track, analyze, and re-assess strategy throughout the admissions cycle.
Being able to make reasonable enrollment forecasts and informed admission and scholarship decisions throughout the admissions cycle is a standard best practice that should be expected from every admissions office today.
When you partner with Yellow Arrows, you’ll learn new approaches to:
We specialize in modeling for graduate and professional schools including law, business, engineering, and other graduate programs. We most often work directly with admissions deans and enrollment managers throughout the admissions cycle, while bringing in the dean, financial officers, and other key stakeholders as appropriate at critical decision points.
“At Yellow Arrows, we talk a lot about modeling as a creative process. Like anything entrepreneurial, the 'end' is unknown when you first set out. It is critical to understand how to move forward strategically even when—and especially when—there is pressure and fear and you don’t know the outcomes. We see modeling as a process of curiosity, exploration, and discovery, and our clients find it truly empowering to realize that there are always options.”— Abby Fitzgerald
ARROWS Modeling process is unparalleled. Our modeling tools are custom built for every client and are designed to be dynamic and change with the cycle. We don’t just take your data, plug it into our model, and see what it says you should do; we create a model based on your data and your institutional goals and priorities and then use it through the full cycle to help you shape your class. We partner with your admissions team to navigate the inevitable ups and downs. We focus on the immediate situation, while keeping the big picture in mind. We are experts at framing challenges so there are always clear options.
Too many schools make the mistake of hanging on to a rigid admission and scholarship strategy from the beginning of the cycle and then wait until opening day to see if it “worked” or not—so much opportunity lies along the way if you are trained to see the ARROWS at every point along your path.
“One of the most valuable things we do as your partner is look out for evolving opportunities and tee up options throughout the cycle. We understand that things change, and flexibility is key.”— Carrie Taubman