|Schools are using tracking technologies to hit enrollment targets / Photo Credit: sirtravelalot (via Shutterstock)|
As American schools experience a shrinking pool of applicants, college admission officials are resorting to using tracking software to hit enrollment targets, said Lola Duffort of Vermont’s online news platform VTDigger. Laurie Weingarten, an independent college admissions consultant based in New Jersey, explained, “It seems like the majority of colleges are tracking students, and the tracking becomes more prevalent and sophisticated every year.”
At Northern Vermont University (NVU), officials have contracted for a second year with Kentucky-based firm Capture Higher Ed. Capture’s services helped NVU drive up enrollment in its new business industry program the past year as the school’s officials delivered targeted information about its offerings to potential applicants, according to the dean of enrollment and marketing Mike Fox. School officials noted that Capture helped them to spend their recruiting resources strategically.
Sylvia Plumb, a spokesperson for the college, said, “It helps us to know which students we should concentrate on so that we’re not spending time on students that aren’t showing interest.”
Duffort outlined how tracking technologies work. When a user visits a website, a cookie, a small data, is installed on a user’s computer. The cookie allows the website to recognize the user, compiling a history of their browsing habits on the site “over the course of subsequent visits. Companies like Capture match information that prospective applicants voluntarily give to the site along with anonymous visitor data, enabling admissions officials to create detailed behavioral profiles of students before they apply.