Noodle Reports: Education lead generation sites often give harmful advice to college-bound students.
Lead generation is an advertising practice used by hundreds of websites, most notably in higher education. These websites claim to help students by providing tips and free tools to 'match' students to schools. However, lead generators are specifically created and designed to collect a student's personally identifiable information and sell that information to the highest bidders. More often than not, these websites mislead students into choosing the wrong schools. It's not uncommon for a college to pay these websites between $20 to $150 per lead.
The real problem with lead generation websites is the lack of disclosure. Students rarely know that the 'searches' they are conducting on these websites and forms they are filling out are in fact advertisements. Here are some helpful tips on how to steer clear of lead generation traps.
1) Be wary of websites that emphasize a 'Request Information' button in their search results.
2) Avoid websites that only include online and for-profit colleges in their search results.
3) Only provide your personal information in forms of websites you trust. Make sure to look at their terms of service and privacy policies.