(From The Washington Post) Faced with shrinking sources of funding and growing competition for high school graduates, some colleges are experimenting with personal data tracking in an effort to make better predictions about which students are the most likely to apply, accept an offer and enroll. Records obtained by The Post reveal at least 44 public and private universities in the United States collect and analyze data on prospective students, including test scores, Zip codes, high school transcripts, Web browsing histories, ethnic backgrounds and household incomes. At many schools, this data is used to give students a score from 1 to 100, which determines how much attention colleges pay them in the recruiting process.
Some privacy experts say colleges’ failure to disclose the full extent of how they collect and share data may violate the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal law protecting the privacy of student education records at schools that receive federal education funds. Moreover, these practices may raise a hidden barrier to a college education for underprivileged students in that these tools let administrators build profiles on individual students and quickly determine whether they have enough family income to help the school meet revenue goals.
More at The Washington Post
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