• Beth & Tim Manners

Colleges Use 'Big Data' To Score Applicants

The Washington Post: "Colleges are collecting more data about prospective students than ever before — part of an effort, administrators say, to make better predictions about which students are the most likely to apply, accept an offer and enroll. Records reviewed by The Post show that at least 44 public and private universities in the United States work with outside consulting companies to collect and analyze data on prospective students, by tracking their Web activity or formulating predictive scores to measure each student’s likelihood of enrolling."


"Records and interviews show that colleges are building vast repositories of data on prospective students — scanning test scores, Zip codes, high school transcripts, academic interests, Web browsing histories, ethnic backgrounds and household incomes for clues about which students would make the best candidates for admission. At many schools, this data is used to give students a score from 1 to 100, which determines how much attention colleges pay them in the recruiting process."


"The vast majority of universities reviewed by The Post do not tell students the schools are collecting their information. In a review of the online privacy policies of all 33 schools using Web tracking software, only three disclosed the purpose of the tracking. The other 30 omitted any explanation or did not explain the full extent or purpose of their tracking ... Admissions officers say behavioral tracking helps them serve students in the application process. When a college sees that a qualified student is serious about applying based on the student’s Web behavior, it can dedicate more staffers to follow up."


26 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

A Parent's Guide to the College Essay

The first thing to understand about the college application essay is that it is unlike any other piece of writing a high school student has done before or likely will ever again. This is because it se

Selective Schools Value Elective Choices

University of Rochester: "Selecting only the courses that would be most impressive to a selective admissions committee would be fairly straightforward—choose the most rigorous ones offered at your sch

Academic Pandemic Dynamic: Don't Panic

We've been asked many times over the past several months: How do you think the pandemic will affect my college admissions chances? It was reasonable to anticipate that overall odds might improve becau