July 11, 2016
Capture Higher Ed

Capture Announces the Acquisition of Third Coast Analytics’ Intellectual Property for Financial Aid Optimization

New yield models offer individual student financial aid adjustments to reach enrollment targets

LOUISVILLE – Ky. Louisville-based student recruitment firm, Capture Higher Ed, has announced today the acquisition of Third Coast Analytics’ (TCA) machine-learning model development platforms for an undisclosed amount. This technology includes proprietary methods for adjusting financial aid dollars on a per-student basis to optimize enrollment yields. Also, this newly acquired intellectual property includes methods to assist selective institutions in setting financial incentives to reach demographic profile enrollment targets. Integration of this technology with Capture’s Envision platform allows Capture to provide optimized financial aid awarding strategies to meet the specific needs of current and new partners.

In conjunction with the acquisition of TCA’s intellectual property, Capture Higher Ed, has also announced today, the hiring of Senior Data Scientist, Peter Barwis. Barwis is former CEO of admissions analytics firm, Third Coast Analytics (TCA). Barwis is currently finishing his Doctorate of Philosophy, Sociology at the University of Notre Dame. Barwis will join Dr. Thom Golden and Dr. Brad Weiner in leading the cutting-edge prediction solutions offered by Capture’s Data Science division.

“We have prioritized the integration of TCA’s intellectual property into our Envisionplatform, and this technology will be immediately available to Capture’s partners,” said Dr. Thomas Golden, Vice-President of Data Science. “TCA’s customized machine learning models were instrumental in moving the industry forward, and we are very excited to build upon them. With Pete’s help, we are addressing what we believe to be a huge gap in higher education regarding antiquated predictive modeling – enrollment managers deserve better tools and we have built those to better meet our partners’ goals”

Higher Education institutions in fact are in desperate need of better enrollment tools. According to a higher education research firm Noel-Levitz, nearly 73% of 4-year private institutions are using a statistical model to help predict enrollment outcomes. But those predictions are grossly inaccurate as only 39% of colleges and universities actually hit their enrollment goals in 2015. In fact, in a recently published University Business study, one in four CFO’s believes their institution will close within 10 years.

“Now, more than ever, predicting enrollment is an integral precursor to university financial forecasting and budgeting,” Capture CEO, Steve Huey, notes. “It’s obvious to us that higher education needs more accuracy in their prediction products, because the current trajectory for many institutions is not sustainable. Pete led the effort at TCA to provide transparency, clarity and actionable results for their partners – so we are very excited to have him on board to help Capture do the same.”

Market research firm Forrester explains, “Businesses are drowning in data but starving for insights.” More and more admissions offices are looking for complex modeling or hiring data scientists internally to help them make sense of their enrollment trends to better predict how much financial aid is needed to hit their goals. Enter Barwis at Capture.

“As colleges seek better answers to old questions, the need for new tools built on cutting-edge analytic technology increases,” said Barwis. “Much of my work involves building the tools that make our partner’s work easier, more reliable, and more efficient.”

With the addition of financial aid optimization, Capture’s predictive engine, Envision offers: application, enrollment, and financial aid prediction; individual aid adjustments for maximizing enrollment yield; and individual aid adjustments for meeting class profile targets. The current patent-pending Envision engine: utilizes machine learning, is based upon data science; and perhaps most importantly, it re-learns the model every time new data is available. This allows Capture to provide the most current and accurate predictions available – a crucial change and opportunity for enrollment professionals.

About Capture Higher Ed

Capture Higher Ed is the world's best at using data and technology to attract, engage, and recruit mission-fit students. Capture leverages demographic, socio-economic, and behavioral data to deliver valuable insights for more effective and progressive student recruitment. Using an algorithmic approach, Capture maximizes meaningful engagement with prospective students at the most influential times in their decision-making journey, providing a better ROI to its partner institutions. Capture's patent-pending technology is built specifically for enrollment professionals, with real-time analytics and data visualization tools to easily monitor progress and measure the success of enrollment goals at any time. Headquartered in Louisville, KY, Capture Higher Ed has served nearly 75 higher education institutions across the country, and has been recognized by Inc. 5000 as a fastest-growing U.S. company.

For more information about Capture Higher Ed, visit:

Third Coast Analytics Company Overview

Third Coast Analytics (TCA) provides cutting-edge analytical services and products to college admission offices. We offer interactive predictive and descriptive data visualizations, customized machine learning models, and student-level recommendations to assist admission professionals in meeting their enrollment targets and budgets.

At TCA, we adhere to a strict set of research principles:

  • Transparency in methods
  • Reproducibility in results
  • Clarity in visualizations
  • Security in data management
  • Actionability in recommendations

The methodologies we use and analyses we provide can be readily applied and defended in academic environments.

TCA offers products and services to assist colleges in meeting their unique challenges at each stage of the admission funnel:

  • Prospect
    • Student Search and Name Acquisition
  • Inquiry
    • Communication Optimization Analysis
  • Applicant
    • Predictive Application Modeling
  • Admit
    • Yield and Financial Aid Modeling
  • Enroll
    • Reactive and Reproducible Reporting


My Role

As Data Scientist, Product Developer, and CEO at Third Coast Analytics, my work at TCA is multi-faceted. My roles as Data Scientist and Product Developer involve imagining, developing, and implementing the analytical products that TCA offers its partner colleges and universities. As more colleges approach TCA for robust analytical research, the need for efficient and scalable programming architecture increases. Much of my work involves building the programming tools that make this work easier, more reliable, and more efficient.  In my role as CEO, I develop the long term planning, budgeting, and strategic vision of the company, handle project management, and ensure our employees and officers have what they need to do their jobs extraordinarily well.