I missed this important Brookings report from September:
Hundreds of higher education institutions are procuring algorithms that strategically allocate scholarships to convince more students to enroll. In doing so, these enrollment management algorithms help colleges vary the cost of attendance to students’ willingness to pay, a crucial aspect of competition in the higher education market. This paper elaborates on the specific two-stage process by which these algorithms first predict how likely prospective students are to enroll, and second help decide how to disburse scholarships to convince more of those prospective students to attend the college.
The report recommends that universities stop using the algorithms to assess likelihood to enroll or to mete out aid:
The stated goal of enrollment optimization algorithms is to incentivize enrollment at the precise maximum tuition (or minimum scholarship) an applicant is willing to pay to attend that college. Vendors unanimously market their enrollment management software in this way—saying they intend to allocate the “minimum amount of aid necessary to meet and exceed your [enrollment] goals.”