Newslines–Students wary of applying to college online


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.

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