Allow colleges to identify number of unfinished/partially completed college applications

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  • Idea
  • Updated 1 year ago
  • Not Planned
As a system, we (the colleges) don't have the ability to compile or access data on "applicants" who start an application but fail to complete.  We know (from multiple previous requests for partial application data) that during the application, specific identifiable applicant data is covered under FERPA regulations and thus, cannot be released to the colleges. 

What our college is interested in is the non-identifiable data (the raw numbers) of how many applicants attempt to apply but don't complete.

Breaking this down further, it would be helpful to know and understand where exactly these applicants stop in the process (which page and/or section). 

Please let me know if this is possible.
Photo of Craig Connor - Saddleback College

Craig Connor - Saddleback College

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Posted 1 year ago

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Photo of Merrie Wales

Merrie Wales, Official Rep

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This request has come before the CCCApply Steering Committee several times in the past; and each time it does it gets deferred for several reasons. Ultimately it goes back to interpreting student privacy and who "owns" the data at certain points in time. 

Before, during and after application submission, of course, the student owns their own data. 

During the application process, through the privacy policy, terms of use, and the Consent and Submission page information, CCCApply provides information to the student about what is collected, stored, and shared with other educational entities during the application submission process, if they consent, by CCCApply, a project of the CCCCO, which is a State entity. 

Until they consent to allow us to collect, store and share (and they do have a choice by the way) and confirm that the data they are providing is true and accurate under penalty of perjury - CCCApply - again, a project of the CCC Chancellor's Office - which is a State entity - is allowed to identify that an application has been started and never submitted, and we can tie it to the student because they have already completed a CCCID account - but we can't look at or touch the actual application data until they give us permission (consent and submit). Colleges, on the other hand, can NOT even know that an application is in-progress, that is a violation of the student's privacy. (Crazy? Well, let's call it inconvenient and unfortunate).

So...colleges cannot contact the student before they submit an application. Is there value in spending development dollars and resources to develop a process for notifying students that they've started an application and never finished it? Maybe. But again, the college can't reach out to them personally. Is that still valuable? Maybe. IF this was to resurface as a change request (I encourage you to do it if you want to pursue this) - the outcome would be something like this: CCCApply would sweep the system on a regular interval (? how long? Every 10 days? Less?) and shoot an automatic (generic) email to the owner of the in-progress application and remind them that it has not been completed or submitted. It would all be done automatically, and anonymously, to the email address of the CCCID holder. 

One final note (caveat): The last time this came up and was shelved (not declined, but shelved until CCCApply is integrated into the new Student SErvices Portal environment) the Portal was not even started yet. It may be a good time to bring this to the table as part of the Student Services checklist environment; meaning, a notification would appear in their checklist alerting the student to an unfinished app. 
Photo of Craig Connor - Saddleback College

Craig Connor - Saddleback College

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Ok, just thinking outside the box here.  When you state that "Until they consent to allow us (you) to collect, store and share and confirm that the data they are providing is true and accurate under penalty of perjury" now brings up a question of semantics.

Can this consent disclaimer (requiring user acceptance) be moved to the front of the application to work around this?  I would think this would be an easy solution.

Thanks again.
(Edited)
Photo of Merrie Wales

Merrie Wales, Official Rep

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That is certainly one of the things the Chancellor's office is entertaining.