Research in Higher Education

, Volume 47, Issue 8, pp 935-956

First online:

A Predictive Model of Inquiry to Enrollment

  • Cullen F. GoennerAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, University of North Dakota Email author 
  • , Kenton PaulsAffiliated withDirector of Enrollment Services, University of North Dakota

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The purpose of this paper is to build a predictive model of enrollment that provides data driven analysis to improve undergraduate recruitment efforts. We utilize an inquiry model, which examines the enrollment decisions of students that have made contact with our institution, a medium sized, public, Doctoral I university. A student, who makes an inquiry to our university such as by returning a request for information form, often provides far less information than is available from applicants. Despite this fact we find that characteristics of the student, as well as geographic and demographic data based on the student’s zip code are significant predictors of enrollment. Accounting for uncertainty in our model’s specification, we find that we are able to predict out of sample the enrollment decision of 89% of student inquiries. We also demonstrate how these findings can be used to improve marketing efforts.


predictive model recruitment geodemography specification uncertainity