Under the Radar: Stealth Applicants

By definition a stealth applicant is a prospective undergraduate student whose first recorded contact with an institution is the submission of an application for admission. For some, stealth applicants represent an untapped niche of prospective students for others it represents a group that is apathetic and disengaged. Either way, this pool of applicants are leaving admission teams across the country with a difficult task come decision time.

This ever-increasing group may not be avoiding attention by design but simply by coincidence. A recent Cappex survey shows “more than 50 percent of students who did not contact schools before applying said it was because it was so easy to find information about a college and to apply online.” An application is only one third of the equation. Colleges focus on

1. Make it Mandatory

Many schools are taking a hands-on approach by requiring applicants to engage in a two-way dialogue. For example Stella & Charles Guttman Community College, an emerging CUNY school in midtown Manhattan, requires applicants speak with an admissions counselor in order to be accepted. This is a sure fire vetting process to ensure the school is a strong fit for the student and vice versa. By no coincidence, Guttman boasts one of the highest retention rates among Community Colleges in the nation.

2. Deliver Convenience

Schools can also turn to innovative technologies that encourage communication between school and applicant to address this issue. The trick is to offer a utility that is either so convenient or useful the applicant is willing to communicate in order to use that technology. Teens want instant gratification a school can provide that at the cost of communication and information.

3. Value the “lyfe cycle”

At Quadlyfe, we use the term “lyfe cycle” when talking about the admissions process. The goal of identifying stealth applicants is to address every phase of this cycle: recruitment, enrollment and retention. To do so a school must:

- Identify attributes

- Establish personas

- Measure propensity to enroll and to stay

The primary focus of our CampusGlance product is to create conversations between the school and the applicant to collect this information in a manner that is subtle and effective. The over arching goal is to empower admissions and enrollment teams with the data necessary to make strategic acceptance decisions depending on the likelihood of the applicant to enroll and to stay.

To learn more about Quadlyfe, CampusGlance and how your school can start identifying stealth applicants please email cdowns@quadlyfe.com.