CarMax is the largest used-car retailer in the United States and provides vehicle financing through its CarMax Auto Finance segment. CAF is located in Kennesaw and serves more than 500,000 customers.
Beginning spring 2015, the CarMax Auto Finance Analytics Scholarship fund will go to students enrolled in KSU’s Master of Applied Statistics program or students seeking an undergraduate minor in Applied Statistics and Data Analysis.
Twelve students will receive $2,000 each this academic year
and 12 students $2,000 each in the 2015-16 academic year. Students awarded with the fund this year are eligible to receive it again.
Students of the program will learn to design large studies, work with statistical software, analyze data sets and effectively communicate to scientists in other disciplines.
Program Director Lewis VanBrackle said the programs have an excellent job placement rate. Graduates have gone on to work in a variety of fields such as engineering, medicine and education.
Mark Anderson, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, is enthusiastic about the partnership.
“Advanced analytics is a field that permeates all aspects of our everyday life,” Anderson said. “In the connected world that we live in, data is everywhere. Effectively using that data to make our lives better is the goal of analytics.”
Angie Chattin, president of CAF, said the division is also looking forward to the partnership with KSU.
“Turning the data into actionable strategies that improve the world in which we live takes talent,” she said. “We are excited to join Kennesaw State University in supporting students who are applying their talent specifically to the field of data analytics and applied statistics, and look forward to their future contributions.”
The scholarships are merit-based, requiring undergraduates to have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 while graduate students must have a 3.5 minimum GPA. The scholarships can be applied to tuition, fees, room and board and other academic expenses.
The university has 80 graduate students in the Master of Applied Statistics program and 200 undergraduate students enrolled in the Applied Science and Data Analysis minor.
The CarMax Auto Finance Scholarship fund will also support a series of “Lunch and Learn” sessions starting Sept. 10. These sessions will show students how CAF uses predictive data and advanced analytics, skills learned in these programs, and will discuss career opportunities with CarMax.