Hobsons Now Delivers a Comprehensive Suite of Student Support Services from K-12 through Post-Secondary Education

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 augment Hobsons’ existing advising and admissions tools, creating a unique all-inclusive portfolio of student support from grade school through graduate school.

“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,” said Stephen M. Smith, president of advising and admissions solutions for Hobsons. “We can 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 in college advising, Hobsons is increasing its investments in advising and admissions, aiming to provide a comprehensive, seamless transition for students to discover their strengths and interests, explore careers, and create education plans, then persevere until they succeed in getting their degrees and launching their careers.”

“Hobsons is the industry leader in admissions, enrollment management, and college and career advising solutions, so we are thrilled to join an excellent team with a shared mission to maximize 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 efficiently scale their student success programs 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 personalized 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 recognized through its suite of student success solutions, which are used by more than 2,000 higher education institutions. These include Hobsons Radius™, a robust platform for managing the student lifecycle from initial inquiry to admissions to completion, 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 school or 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.”

Starfish was advised by Spurrier Capital Partners, a technology-focused M&A firm based in New York. More information about the acquisition can be found at

About Hobsons

Hobsons is the world’s leader in connecting learning to life. Through our unique advising and admissions products, 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.

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