Though high school students increasingly use the internet to search for information about colleges, fears of transmitting personal information over the web might be keeping a generation of computer-savvy students from applying to college online.

In a recent study, 41 percent of high school seniors who applied to college using a traditional paper form cited security concerns as a major reason they didn’t apply online. Forty-four percent of students feared their online applications wouldn’t reach the proper person in the college admissions office.

The study was conducted by Art & Science Group, a Baltimore-based higher education marketing and consulting firm, and financed by Embark.com, which offers information on higher education online.

“My guess is it’s a mixed fear about the internet and how the colleges will handle the information,” Richard Hesel of the Art & Science Group, told the New York Times.

Overall, 38 percent of students said they had filled out their college applications online or used a college or university’s web site to print out an application they then mailed—but only 7 percent submitted their applications entirely electronically.

To boost student confidence in online applications, Hesel recommended that colleges and universities provide an immediate eMail confirmation when they get a student’s application, and that they highlight their internet security measures on their web sites.