College applicants who fly under the admissions radar are causing headaches for admissions departments and putting themselves at a disadvantage, Lauren Meade reports for eCampus News.
Stealth applicants, who never contact a university before submitting an application, reflect a generation of students who can get a wealth of information about anything they need to know online, Meade writes. When it comes time to apply to colleges, stealth applicants simply conduct all their research virtually.
Why "U should apply!:)" is the wrong message for enrollment outreach
While it might seem like stealth applicants would simply be a pleasant surprise, in reality, the fact that they haven't engaged with admissions departments poses serious problems.
Jumping straight to the application doesn't allow admissions departments to get a sense of how stealth applicants compare in terms of engagement to students who have expressed more interest through campus visits, recruiting events, and other behaviors. Stealth applicants may be viewed less favorably than their more visible peers. This could even cause admissions departments to miss out on stellar applicants simply because they are less conspicuous.
Admissions departments can encourage stealth applicants to demonstrate a higher level of engagement through strategies such as including links on websites that allow prospective students to schedule meetings in-person or over the phone with admissions officers (Meade, eCampus News, 8/23).
How to capture stealth prospect applicants
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