Shifting the Conversation

The University of Illinois needed answers. They wanted to know what motivated applicants when making the biggest decision of their life - choosing which post secondary institution to attend.

Seeing early warning signs of declining in-state student enrollment, the University of Illinois wanted insight into why applicants were declining their offers and enrolling at other educational institutions.

Academica worked closely with the University of Illinois to uncover what those applicant motivators were by administering The University/College Applicant Study (UCAS) and the Acceptance Declined Study (ADS). Research revealed that the cost associated with postsecondary education was significantly hindering potential students in attending the University of Illinois.

These insights initiated conversations and started a dialogue between key stakeholders about how to solve the financial barrier and drive future yield growth. The result was a financial aid modelling project focused on applicant needs.

UCAS and ADS research results pinpointed an opportunity for the University of Illinois and shifted the conversation. That conversation continues today, as the University of Illinois is making great strides to increase financial aid support and drive future enrollment growth.

Our responsibilities:

  • trend analysis¬†
  • applicant research
  • applicant/decliner profile
  • environmental scan
  • student panel


  • Increased state funding and new financial aid packages

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