Opening the Black Box: Analytics and Admissions

Chris Peterson, Admissions Counselor for Web Communications; First published in The Chronicle of Higher Education blog Head Count on Jan 23,2013

Chris PetersonOne morning, shortly before we released admissions decisions for the Class of 2016, I received an e-mail from an applicant.

“No one from MIT checked my link included in the application,” it read. “I just checked my Google Analytics account. No visits from Boston [or] Cambridge. I am sure that I have been rejected. Feeling hopeless and helpless.”

Every year an increasing proportion of our increasing applications contain a link to some digital supplement: a project tumblr, a YouTube video, a Flickr album of artwork. The contents of those supplements often round out the student, adding dimensions that our very flat applications lack. But while we gladly accept the supplements because of the insight they add to the applicant, the analytics that often come embedded in the supplements also add insight into our process...

Read complete blog post in The Chronicle of Higher Education