Thomas Golden

Most Kentuckians are familiar with the idea that our state’s elite college basketball teams have to constantly recruit to stay competitive. But they may be less familiar with the idea that colleges and universities of every kind are locked in equally fierce battles to recruit the best students to bolster their academic profiles.

This is where the Louisville tech firm Capture Higher Ed comes in. The firm partners with colleges and universities to help them increase the amount of high-performing, qualified students that apply to their schools. Capture has a client base of 40 colleges and universities, and uses behavioral data to boost recruitment efforts at these schools.

Capture says the schools that have used its services have seen a 47 percent rise in what it called the “decision-ready applicant pool,” and a 15 percent increase in out-of-state applications.

And now Capture Higher Ed has done a bit of recruiting itself. The firm has hired Thomas Golden to be its vice president of data science. Golden is currently the senior associate director of undergraduate admissions at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

During his tenure at Vanderbilt, Golden headed up a marketing recruitment drive that resulted in a 143 percent growth in applications to the school over the course of eight years.

Capture hired Golden on April 6, and he will start May 4.

Steve Huey, CEO of Capture Higher Ed, said in a prepared statement that Golden has a strong record of success in higher education marketing and research: “His leadership will be instrumental in advancing our new data-science division utilizing research findings from the latest behavioral marketing technology.”

Vanderbilt is generally considered among the elite American universities and was ranked 16th among American universities in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report, tied with Brown University. This was a small bump from its prior rank, 17, where it had been for five years.

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David Serchuk
David Serchuk is a staff writer at Insider Louisville. He is a former editor at, and an ex-reporter at Forbes magazine. He's written for NPR,, New York, Pittsburgh, Louisville and other publications named for places. He enjoys writing about business, music and other things as well.