We hope you had an opportunity to join the College Board webinar on Wednesday, March 29, 2023. Whether you could attend or not, many questions will likely come to mind in light of the change they announced.
What is Changing?
In a nutshell, College Board announced that starting in fall 2023, access to in-school test takers' names will be limited for Student Search name licensing. This change is due to the changing landscape around data privacy, specifically for minor-aged students.
So, what does this mean for student recruitment? And how can institutions adapt to this changing landscape?
How will Student Search name licensing limits Impact student recruitment?
The biggest impact is that colleges and universities will no longer have access to personally identifiable information (PII) of student data for students who take the in-school PSAT 10, PSAT, and SAT. Institutions will not be able to communicate with these students directly. In the past, many institutions used this data to create targeted mailing lists and advertising campaigns to reach potential applicants.
At this time, the change will not impact regular SATs, AP tests, or Big Future opt-ins. Colleges and universities nationwide voiced concerns regarding the potential impacts on marginalized student populations. Previously, in-school tests provided colleges and universities with opportunities to access student names for recruitment purposes. These opportunities enabled institutions to provide early information about institutions that may be a good fit for students in marginalized groups.
Institutions can still purchase by audience through the College Board Connections platform, which will be cohort-based and by region, as well as in test score bands. Schools will also have the opportunity to advertise on the platform; however, there is some skepticism about the reach and impact for smaller to mid-size private institution advertising alongside larger institutions with much greater brand recognition. College Board will host a series of webinars this summer to provide more information about the Connections platform.
At enrollmentFUEL, we understand the uncertainty this change may pose for our partners. With over 300 years of collective enrollment management experience, we also know it’s best not to put all your eggs in one basket. We have always been, and always will be, committed to helping you put together the best Student Search strategy by vetting and combining multiple sources and developing partnerships with additional name-buy providers. Our finely honed marketing and advertising skills mean you have an adept partner working alongside you to navigate the College Board Connections platform every step of the way.
enrollmentFUEL has several innovative SEM solutions, including Forensic Lead Generation, Look-alike Modeling, and a suite of digital marketing strategies. These solutions are designed to ensure that our clients' recruitment strategies don’t miss a beat.
Our Forensic Lead Generation strategy, for example, is a unique approach to lead generation combining data analysis with creative storytelling to uncover hidden prospects who may not have previously been on your radar. Look-alike Modeling uses data analysis to find prospects who are similar to your existing audience, while our suite of digital marketing strategies includes robust social media tactics.
We know this change will undoubtedly spark many questions and want to assure you that the entire enrollmentFUEL team is here to help you navigate the updated policy. If you missed the webinar or want to view it again, click here to watch the recording.
What should you do next?
- Communicate the updated policy to the highest levels of leadership at your institution
- Work with a Student Search partner who has developed partnerships with other creative name buy sources
- Consider a strategy that is heavy in digital, particularly focused on non-list-based sources
- Ensure your voice is heard: address any issues resulting from the updated policy at conferences, state councils, and national associations like AICU in Massachusetts, CICU in New York or TICUA in Tennessee
Despite the new policy’s potentially significant impact on student recruitment strategies, institutions can still create effective campaigns using innovative SEM solutions like those enrollmentFUEL offers. By thinking creatively and adapting to this change, institutions can still attract the right students and build a diverse and dynamic student body.