At Hobsons, we believe every student deserves a chance at success. And no one understands this more than our clients, who work every day to make a difference in the lives of students in a real and measurable way. Through our annual Starfish 360 Awards Program, we are able to shine a spotlight on this great work and celebrate the accomplishments of those institutions that are leading the way in student success.

We’re pleased to recognize Columbus State Community College, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Helena College University of Montana as the 2105 Starfish 360 Award winners.

Columbus State Community College in Ohio implemented Starfish Early Alert in spring 2012. Overall, the Starfish platform has helped improve successful course completion at Columbus State by 4.2 percentage points since 2012. Among lower income students, who are often more academically at-risk, the improvement was 5.7 percentage points. Today, 85 percent of faculty, nearly 94 percent of all Columbus State students, and all advisors interact with the Starfish platform in some way.

Helena College University of Montana launched the Starfish platform in 2013, and saw a surprising outcome from a simple faculty survey designed to verify course enrollment. Students identified for non-attendance were able to connect with financial aid staff, receive financial literacy assistance, and revise their individual loan disbursements. In fall 2013 alone, it was determined that $238,094 of “unearned aid” was saved, and students have decreased their borrowing by nearly 40 percent.

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln credits the Starfish platform with fostering transparency and accountability for advising services, creating new collaborative partnerships, and enabling systematic and intentional tracking and support of student progress for time to degree. As a result, UNL is tracking measurable improvements in four- and six-year graduation rates, a decline in the number of students on academic probation, and increased service utilization by identified at-risk populations (such as undeclared students).

The Starfish 360 Awards Program is our chance to highlight a few of the incredible success stories within our client community. We are proud that the Starfish platform is helping so many institutions achieve impressive student outcomes.

We look forward to sharing the individual stories of each of these institutions with you throughout the year.

For more information on each of our award winners, visit our website.

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