Thursday, November 13, 2008

Self Reported Data, Take Another Look

November 17, 2008- 6’, 190, sandy blonde hair, likes long drives and loves Mexican food.

Well, for starters, my insides can’t handle chili. I’m prone to car sickness; even worse if I’ve had chili. And my hair hasn’t been sandy since my last vacation to Bermuda.

With the web, it’s easy to take some liberties when creating a profile – luckily for me, I met my wife long before online dating.

Today’s most popular social networks are using the same profile logic to match college-bound students with college admission officers. Now, in its first admission cycle, online enrollment marketing is proving to be a cost-effective media for finding prospects. Unlike the Facebooks and MySpaces of the world, new sites dedicated to college recruitment are flooding the market. Students log on and self report a profile, then colleges pay to meet them. Sounds ideal, right? Quick, easy, and to the point. No more 13 points of contact in the recruitment funnel. No more overflowing mailboxes. No more inflated costs per student acquisition.

If you’re a college recruiter, new studies highlighted in The Chronicle of Higher Education last week should make you think again. Subscriber’s can log in at:

According to The Chronicle, “The papers, being presented this week at the annual conference of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, found that many students paint a distorted picture when asked in surveys about their own academic success.”

Furthermore, “the papers' assertions have serious implications for higher education. Many education researchers rely on college students' accounts of their own performance because of the difficulty of collecting school transcripts and other academic records.” The student trend on how students self report data is now documented. But what if there were a way to populate these profiles with actual academic data from the student’s school transcript? In comes ConnectEDU.

We’ve built our model on a seamless integration with high school student information systems so the profiles of the students at our 2,000 high schools come from their high school, not their memory or their best intentions. There’s no more white lies when it comes to test scores, grades and academic performance, no matter how badly a student wants to get the attention of a college.

As we continue to hone best practices in building our network, we’ll continue to focus on the movement of data to help our students and our college partners make better informed decisions. Take a test drive of ConnectEDU’s Enrollment Marketing to preview the levels of verified data students make available in their profiles.

So while there’s no social network out there to verify whether or not I’m still at my high school wrestling weight (phew), in our student network you’ll always be sure that what you see is what you get when it comes to academic performance.

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