right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

The College Board is licensing the personal data of students taking the SAT to colleges

Dave_BerryDave_Berry 492 replies2600 threadsCC Admissions Expert Senior Member
edited November 7 in College Admissions
"The makers of the SAT are licensing personal data about test-takers to schools for 47 cents each, and schools are using it to inflate their acceptance rates, according to the Wall Street Journal." ...

... "Schools use these lists to recruit students they know will apply but are unlikely to be admitted. By rejecting them, the school can claim a lower acceptance rate, which many see a signifier of a school's academic prestige.

A spokesperson from the College Board defended the practice of selling student data, saying it helps students 'start the important conversation with colleges.'" ...

https://www.insider.com/college-board-sat-student-data-colleges-to-reject-students-admissions-2019-11

edited November 7
20 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: The College Board is licensing the personal data of students taking the SAT to colleges

  • LindagafLindagaf 9372 replies501 threads Senior Member
    And this is yet another reason why the College Board might soon find itself making a lot less money.
    · Reply · Share
  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2344 replies43 threads Senior Member
    This explains why DD's high school encouraged them to get a separate "college application email" account as freshmen.

    If a quick flip yields a coupon for a free application, we might - might - hang on to the mailing. Otherwise, unless it is from a college already of interest, there's a good chance it goes into the recycling bin before it even gets inside the house.
    · Reply · Share
  • PetraMCPetraMC 786 replies5 threads Member
    Schools use these lists to recruit students they know will apply but are unlikely to be admitted. By rejecting them, the school can claim a lower acceptance rate, which many see a signifier of a school's academic prestige.

    I know this is legal and caveat emptor and all that, but I don't see how any college could view this as "best practices."
    · Reply · Share
  • homerdoghomerdog 5209 replies98 threads Senior Member
    Parents just need to tell their kids to either (a) opt out of the mailings when they take the test or (b) ignore all mailings from schools that they haven't signed up for the mailing list. S19 got letters from all Ivies last year based on his SAT score. Give me a break. All of his friends got them too. S19 told all of his friends that they don't mean anything! If schools can't figure out how to reach out more specifically to kids they are most likely to admit, then they shouldn't be reaching out at all. Sending mass mailings is just bad practice - getting hopes up for kids who just are not going to be admitted.

    I also hate the practice of deferring ED or SCEA candidates to RD if they have no chance. i know a handful of kids who were deferred at places like Yale and they were never going to get in.....yet they held out hope until late April for "Ivy Day" decisions.
    · Reply · Share
  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1448 replies35 threads Senior Member
    edited November 7
    College enrollment and admissions are often run by the same people. They're the marketing and administrative types, but the academic people. These marketing ploys have proven to work (at least on some people). Just take a look at UChicago.
    edited November 7
    · Reply · Share
  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34478 replies382 threads Senior Member
    Not new news.
    · Reply · Share
  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1107 replies16 threads Senior Member
    edited November 7
    Does this actually surprise anyone?
    homerdog wrote: »
    If schools can't figure out how to reach out more specifically to kids they are most likely to admit,

    They could, if they wanted to. But that’s not their goal.
    edited November 7
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78557 replies695 threads Senior Member
    edited November 7
    RichInPitt wrote: »
    Does this actually surprise anyone?
    homerdog wrote: »
    If schools can't figure out how to reach out more specifically to kids they are most likely to admit,

    They could, if they wanted to. But that’s not their goal.

    It is probably a goal, but not the only goal.

    Recruit thousands of additional applicants, get a few strong admits out of them that upgrade the admit class (compared to the marginal admits that they displace), and reject many more to reduce admission rate to look more selective.
    edited November 7
    · Reply · Share
  • homerdoghomerdog 5209 replies98 threads Senior Member
    There needs to be a national movement for kids to opt out when they take the SAT. Someone should make fliers explaining the the CB is selling the kids' info so that they will get mailings from schools that will then lure the kids to apply when their chances are next to zero...and then hand them out as kids walk into the SAT. Not everyone reads the WSJ and will see this. The kids who are most likely to fall for this are most likely NOT reading the WSJ or reading about this on CC.

    This whole thing really bothers me. I have a Common App account in my name that I've used to see supplements, etc., and I used it to look around when we were new to college admissions and S19 was a junior. I still have some schools on there but I haven't looked at it in a while. Today, I got an email (addressed to me) from Dartmouth saying "This is your place! These are your people!" So, schools are also getting info from the Common App. If I were a student getting this email, I would think they saw my info on the CA and think I fit there!

    This is just all kinds of wrong.
    · Reply · Share
  • PetraMCPetraMC 786 replies5 threads Member
    It's wrong but it works for them. Aside from the kids applying who have no chance, how many times do savvy families here and elsewhere look at the acceptance stats and draw conclusions that may or may not tell the whole story? They are dissected on CC in great detail every spring.
    · Reply · Share
  • homerdoghomerdog 5209 replies98 threads Senior Member
    Really? I don't think a school like Vanderbilt or Chicago need to send mailers to SO many kids in order to get who they want. The kids who can get into those schools, know who they are. These aren't schools they've never heard of. The reason they would apply after getting a mailer is specifically because they think they have a CHANCE. And they think they have a chance, because they got a letter...from Harvard! From Yale!

    Our high stat son got those letters and he never would get into those schools. From our high school, absolutely no one gets into Harvard, Yale, or Princeton unless they are either recruited athletes or legacies. I've gone back at least eight years on this and that's the deal. Don't send kids at our school letters saying you want them. That's false advertising to kids at the time they don't need that. I knew the deal and S19 didn't think anything of the letters but many (most?) people want to believe them.
    · Reply · Share
  • PetraMCPetraMC 786 replies5 threads Member
    edited November 7
    It's not about getting who they want. At least not totally, according to this article. It's about pumping up applicant numbers and having more kids to reject. The admit rate was important in the USNWR rankings up until recently and it's still important overall. People have complained about UChicago and Vanderbilt doing this for years.
    edited November 7
    · Reply · Share
  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2448 replies35 threads Senior Member
    Just tell your kids not to fill out the demographic, personal, and career type questions when creating ACT and Collegeboard accounts and/or registering for tests......many of those ?’s are optional. Also tell them to opt out of the collegeboard’s ‘scholarship search’......such BS.

    Selling/Purchasing mailing lists is a generally accepted marketing activity in many industries, but you don’t have to make it easy for them. Colleges sell each other their own mailing lists too.
    · Reply · Share
  • HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE 335 replies27 threads Member
    College Board seems to be making more money than for-profit businesses...

    In all honesty, however, I think it's really up to the students to apply or not and personally I've never taken any of the pamphlets, packets, or bling colleges sent me with more than a grain of salt.
    · Reply · Share
  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34478 replies382 threads Senior Member
    Not everything is about media ratings. Can't we have a few threads that don't repeat the same old shtick?

    Imagine how much more expensive it would be to need to uncover details about potentially great applicants by going from high school to high school, hoping to glean something. They visit now, but it's more a mktg meet. And they can't get to every hs in the country.

    I don't like this anymore than others. But nor do I like other targeted marketing via USPS. Or ads on CC or social media based on some thread or my googling.
    · Reply · Share
  • happymomof1happymomof1 29730 replies176 threads Senior Member
    edited November 7
    The College Board has been selling student data to colleges since at least the early 1970's. My undergrad college bought a small-ish sample list from the Student Search service for the HS class of 1973. That college was so happy with the geographic diversity and access to previously untouched student pools, that the list purchased for the HS class of 1974 was expanded drastically. Fully half of the students who eventually enrolled for my college graduating class of 1978 were from Student Search. We sucked so much money out of the financial aid budget that the college was more cautious in subsequent years. My college room mate and I would never have thought to apply to that place had we not received those personal (signed with a fountain pen no less) letters in the mail.

    All that said, the College Board rakes in so much money from this kind of thing these days that honestly, the SAT should be free to take. Better yet, the kids should be able to charge the College Board for the use of their data. :D
    edited November 7
    · Reply · Share
  • PetraMCPetraMC 786 replies5 threads Member
    I don't have a problem with colleges targeting students for recruitment. That's just good practice and might bring in some gems.

    What's questionable, if indeed true, is targeting students who have stats well below the range for consideration. Targeted for rejection, if you will.

    Why do that?
    · Reply · Share
  • homerdoghomerdog 5209 replies98 threads Senior Member
    Our S19 said that his proctor during the SAT made it sound like kids should fill out all of the questions and check the boxes to get info from colleges. I wonder if that's in the script? And that, unless kids know why to NOT give the info, they all just do it. Again, most of the kids who will fall for getting mailings from elite schools probably are not the kids who would know about the marketing angle and would not know to opt out.
    · Reply · Share
  • EconPopEconPop 215 replies5 threads Junior Member
    edited November 8
    I have to admit, with everything that is involved in the entire college preparation process, I can't gin up much frustration that my child received a few more pieces of mail from colleges.

    He receives mail from apparel companies, credit card companies, and coupon companies. Receiving extra mail from universities seems like the good side of a bad thing (junk mail.) If I can't teach him to ignore junk mail by age 17, I have bigger things to worry about than Ivies tricking him into believing he can get into their club.
    edited November 8
    · Reply · Share
  • homerdoghomerdog 5209 replies98 threads Senior Member
    @EconPop I get that but our kids go to a big public rigorous high school where kids are always competing against each other in a not-so-great way. When you go to school that day and kids in your calc class are bragging about getting a letter from Harvard, it becomes part of the discussion. Who else got that letter? Who is applying? I heard parents talking about those Ivy letters at XC meets. They were so excited their kids got them. Time to get on that Harvard app and hope for an interview. THAT'S why these are bad. I tried to talk the parents down. Told them to look at our school's history with Harvard (and the other Ivies). Told them that all Harvard knows about them is one score and almost everyone who applies there has that score. Most parents listened. Some did not and those poor boys spent HOURS applying to most ivies only to get rejected from all. I don't believe they would have applied to those schools if they had no received those letters.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity