Stephen Smith, HobsonsAt Hobsons, we want to be the student’s trusted advisor, developing solutions that connect learning to life and helping students maximize the value of their education. Our goal is to start early and guide students through a lifetime of education decisions, from grade school through graduate school.

That’s why I’m so excited to announce that Hobsons has acquired Starfish Retention Solutions. This investment expands our portfolio of advising and admissions solutions, enabling a culture of student success that begins in K-12 schools and transitions seamlessly from high school graduation through college admission to college completion and beyond.

Less than 60 percent of students who aspire to earn a bachelor’s degree actually graduate from a four-year program within six years. Completion and transfer rates at community colleges also remain low, particularly for low-income and minority students.

We can do better by helping college students connect with the people and services they need to plan and achieve their academic goals, and then launch their careers. Making these connections possible and meaningful is what the Starfish acquisition is about.

Hobsons + StarfishWhy Starfish?

Over the last eight years, Starfish has established itself as a leading voice in student success, and has been recognized by the White House and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its excellent work in helping institutions improve college completion rates.

The patented Starfish® Enterprise Success Platform™ helps nearly 250 colleges and universities efficiently scale their student success programs so that more students can make informed academic and life choices to achieve their academic goals and finish what they start. The platform 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 them with resources such as tutoring. The Starfish platform helps institutions deliver personalized support for students, and assesses which services and interventions are working to keep students on track.

Most important, Starfish delivers results. Higher education institutions using Starfish have documented improved graduation, retention, persistence, and course completion rates. Institutions also credit the Starfish platform with enhancing cross-campus collaboration, breaking down data silos, and fostering a culture of data-driven decision-making.

In addition to a proven software platform, this acquisition brings to Hobsons talented individuals who are passionate about our shared mission. I’m pleased to welcome many new members to Hobsons who will continue to support Starfish clients while helping us to realize our long-term vision across the Hobsons portfolio.

By adding Starfish’s expertise in higher education and its unique capabilities to our current solutions, like Naviance® and Radius™, we can improve individual student outcomes and deliver greater insight to the more than 10,000 schools, districts, colleges, and universities we serve around the world.

Working together, we can help students throughout their educational careers, whether they are sixth-graders building solid educational plans based on their strengths and interests, high schoolers choosing right-fit universities, or college students persevering to complete their degrees.

At Hobsons, we’re proud to help empower millions of students to create and navigate their education and career paths, focusing on what they are good at, what interests them, how they learn best, and who they want to be.

The addition of Starfish advances our mission to help students make informed decisions about their education and to enable educators and families to provide better support and guidance every step of the way, from start to finish, from grade school through graduate school.


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