Our Story

We are dedicated to helping you achieve your campus goals.

Here’s the deal. Your students and communities are online, engaging in conversation about your campus every single day. Prospective and admitted students ask questions, seek advice, and work out whether you’re a good fit for them. Your alumni talk about their experiences with you, and how their lives progress after they leave campus. Your staff and faculty share and discuss their work. All of this conversation is immensely valuable to informing your campus strategies. The question is, are you listening to it? 

That's where we come in. And we bring the power of social listening.

At Campus Sonar, we find and analyze your online, public conversation across social media sites, news sites, forums, and more. Then we work with you to interpret it, pull out insights, and provide strategic recommendations that help you understand and protect your brand, monitor topics that require timely action, identify opportunities for meaningful audience engagement, measure campaign effectiveness, use social data to answer questions, and much more.

We are not a software company.

As a group of higher education loyalists and complete nerds, Campus Sonar is a specialized social listening agency for higher education—not a software company. We’re a service for campuses who see the strategic value in social listening but lack the time, money, and expertise to implement a social listening program on their own. We leap a lot of the hurdles for you, and avoid the potential problem of investing in software your teams struggle to use effectively.

While we really, really love data, we know you need more than just data points to make your greatest impact. You need the story the data tells you, and that’s what we provide.

Our client work is customized to what you need.

Because we’re not just software, we’re not one size fits all—our work with clients is extremely customized. We’ve hired and trained the best in this field and built efficiencies in our listening and research methodology so we can focus our time on building personalized services for our clients.

We’re committed to product innovation.

We use best-in-class software and practices that encourage exploration and adoption of new analysis techniques. We’re nimble and able to flex product development based on what we learn from our clients and other industry innovators. We continually push the boundaries of social consumer insights research because we expect to be the best and most innovative not only in higher education, but across the entire research industry.

We’re strategic partners for your team.

As your strategic partner, we strive to be a meaningful contributor to your team—as if we were right there on campus with you. We’ll even bring the donuts.

Our History

Liz Gross, Campus Sonar CEOCampus Sonar is a division of Northstar Education Services, LLC, an affiliate of Ascendium Education Group, an education solutions company that has been a trusted campus partner for 50 years. Beyond our extensive history and expertise in higher education, Ascendium Education Solutions (formerly Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation) has been at the forefront of social listening. Dr. Liz Gross designed a social media program that recognized the importance of online conversations as a source of intelligence, not just as a factor in follower count or engagement rate.

The inspiration for Campus Sonar came after years of speaking and writing about the strategic impact social listening can have on colleges and universities. It became clear that social listening was a difficult program for campuses to implement on their own. After a lot of research and planning, Ascendium Education Solutions realized they could help campuses develop their own social listening program. 

Campus Sonar launched in October 2017—and we're still evolving! Want to know more about our story and social listening? Download The Higher Ed Social Listening Handbook.

About Ascendium

Ascendium LogoOur parent company, Ascendium Education Group (formerly Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates), is the nation’s largest federal student loan guarantor, a leading postsecondary education philanthropy and a provider of student success services for postsecondary institutions. Ascendium, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, provides information, tools and counseling to help millions of borrowers nationwide avoid default and keep the door to re-enrollment open. Ascendium’s philanthropic mission is to elevate opportunities and outcomes for learners from low-income backgrounds so they can better achieve postsecondary educational and career success. To learn more, visit ascendiumeducation.org.