How to Lower the Impact of the ‘Stealth Applicant Problem’

For admission offices across the country, the “stealth applicant problem” has three prongs. First, it’s difficult to communicate with a prospective student when you don’t know who they are. Second, it’s difficult to plan a class when you don’t know who the potential applicants are. And, third, it’s difficult to know how engaged a student might be if he or she doesn’t fill out an inquiry form, make a campus visit, or otherwise get in touch.

Capture Behavioral Engagement (CBE) alleviates all three of these difficulties.

Through identifying students who are engaged with a school’s website, CBE brings these students out of stealth mode and enables admissions counselors to know who these students are and communicate with them individually.

Through progressive identification forms, Capture identified for its partner schools more than 13,000 students who went on to complete an application. Totaling about 340 prospects per school, these are students who otherwise would have been stealth applicants during the recent recruitment cycle.

In other words, Capture identified about 9 percent of all of our partner schools’ apps before the students even applied.

CBE also enables the school to market to a student based on their interests without knowing who that student is. Across all our schools, more than 800 stealth applicants clicked on dynamic content before they applied.

CBE also enables schools to measure the level of engagement of these students through the Capture Affinity Index. The average CAI of these students is 86, or more engaged than 86 percent of all visitors. That means these students were very engaged, but the school just didn’t know who they were — yet.

By bringing students out of stealth mode, by marketing to them based on their interests before you even know their name, and by gauging their engagement with the school, CBE makes the stealth applicant problem a thing of the past.

By John Foster, Senior Data Analyst, Capture Higher Ed