Colleges are spying on prospective students by tracking them across the internet

New rules that were announced September 14th now prohibit colleges from using data from the FAFSA to see which Colleges students have applied to. Earlier this month NACAC voted to prohibit colleges from directly asking as well. Colleges were able to use this data to see how many colleges students applied to and which ones. They were also able to see the order listed. This was helpful in giving them data to guesstimate how many students would accept their offers and even which students didn’t warrant an offer/acceptance.

It would be wrong to think that with these new rules Colleges aren’t apt to use other tools to gather data and information from your students. Some schools tally how many times an applicant visits its website. The more visits, the more likely that student is to attend. Logging students internet-wide browsing is also being explored.

The reason colleges are doing this is students are applying to more colleges than ever before. This hurts the colleges yield rate and makes it much tougher to determine which applicants actually plan on attending.

This information came from an article on Quartz. Here is a link – Colleges are spying on prospective students by tracking them across the internet

What can you do? You should make your students aware of these practices. One smart thing they can do is to clear out their cookies on a regular basis which makes it much harder to track them. Students at the top of the class probably don’t care but students on the borderline due to their grades, SAT score, etc. need to be aware of every advantage to make sure they get into their school of choice. Students applying to 20 colleges may be doing the best thing for them but if they have 1 or 2 target schools on that list they may be hurting their chances of getting accepted if the college knows they applied to that many.