Hobsons Acquires Starfish Retention Solutions to Support Student Success in Higher Education

February 23, 2015

ARLINGTON, VA, USA – February 23, 2015 – Hobsons, the world’s leader in connecting learning to life, today announced the acquisition of Starfish Retention Solutions, the leading provider of student success and advising systems for higher education institutions. The Starfish® Enterprise Success Platform™ will complement Hobsons’ existing student engagement and retention service and enhance the organisation’s advising and admissions tool Radius™.

In the UK the Starfish® Enterprise Success Platform™ will complement Hobsons’ existing admissions products and services, creating a unique portfolio that will support students throughout higher education.

“Although retention in UK higher education is generally high compared to other OECD countries, nearly 19 per cent of students who enter higher education do not complete their qualification. Moreover, retention rates vary across institutions and between groups of students with different characteristics and backgrounds. The UK government has charged all HEIs with improving access to all groups and that includes supporting those students post enrolment so they achieve the best outcomes,” said Stephen M. Smith, president of advising and admissions solutions for Hobsons.  “We will help connect students with the people and services they need to persevere and succeed.”

Hobsons Chief Executive Officer Craig Heldman added: “With the addition of Starfish’s expertise and software platform, Hobsons is increasing its investments in student engagement and retention, aiming to provide strong foundations for student support and encourage perseverance through their tertiary education until they succeed in getting their degrees and launching their careers.”

“Hobsons is the industry leader in admissions, enrolment management, and college and career advising solutions, so we are thrilled to join an excellent team with a shared mission to maximise student success,” said David Yaskin, founder and chief executive officer of Starfish, who will assume a leadership role at Hobsons.

The patented Starfish® Enterprise Success Platform™ helps nearly 250 colleges and universities worldwide efficiently scale their student success programmes so that more students can make informed academic and life choices to achieve their academic and life goals and finish what they start. The Starfish platform already supports more than 4.5 million students each term.

Comprised of four modules, Starfish EARLY ALERT™, Starfish CONNECT™, Starfish ADVISING™, and Starfish INSIGHT™, the platform identifies at-risk students in real time, pinpoints areas of concern, and connects students with valuable services such as tutoring and mentoring. The Starfish platform helps institutions deliver personalised support for students and helps assess which services and interventions will keep students on track.

Hobsons works with more than 10,000 schools, colleges, and universities around the globe and is widely known for its comprehensive college and career readiness solution, Naviance®, which helps more than 7 million current middle and high school students connect what they are learning in school to their college and career goals. The software helps students identify their strengths and interests, explore potential careers, create individual academic plans, and find the right college match.

Additionally, Hobsons is recognised through its suite of student success solutions, which are used by more than 2,000 higher education institutions worldwide. These include Hobsons Radius™, a robust platform for managing the student lifecycle from initial enquiry through enrolment, as well as Connect®, which helps facilitate admissions communications, and ApplyYourself®, which streamlines the application process. With the addition of Starfish, Hobsons has secured its position as the leader in using state-of-the-art technology to create outstanding outcomes for students at each stage of the learning lifecycle.

“Our goal is to help deliver a more seamless advising experience for students,” said Smith. “Rather than starting from scratch each time they enter a new stage in their education, students using Hobsons’ solutions will develop greater insights into their interests and abilities while advisors at all levels with our suite of tools will benefit from a comprehensive view of students’ performance and goals.”

More information about the acquisition can be found at starfish.hobsons.com.
About Hobsons
Hobsons is the world’s leader in connecting learning to life. Through our unique advising and admissions products and services, we help more than 12 million students around the globe identify their strengths, explore careers, create academic plans, and find the right college match. We partner with more than 10,000 schools, colleges, and universities to better prepare students for success.