The Washington Post, in a story on prospective student tracking at U.S. colleges and universities:
The admissions officer also received a link to a private profile of the student, listing all 27 pages she had viewed on the school’s website and how long she spent on each one. A map on this page showed her geographical location, and an “affinity index” estimated her level of interest in attending the school. Her score of 91 out of 100 predicted she was highly likely to accept an admission offer from UW-Stout, the records showed.
The piece hints at this, but the most pernicious aspect of the tracking–in theory, and almost certainly in practice–is feeding the data into financial aid algorithms. The yield management software in use by most admissions offices can spit back financial aid recommendations that, in many cases, offers multiples of demonstrated need–and in others nothing close.