Home > Educational Leadership > Colleges Fight Google Ads That Reroute Prospective Students

Colleges Fight Google Ads That Reroute Prospective Students

By Josh Keller

A few weeks ago, when Jeff Harmon searched on Google for North Arkansas College, an ad appeared next to the results that offered information about the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. Clicking on the ad took Mr. Harmon to collegesurfing.com, where he filled out a form that promised to send him material about Fort Smith.

Mr. Harmon isn’t really a prospective student—he’s Fort Smith’s director of marketing and communications. If the Web site with the form had been truthful, his information would have been sent to his admissions team.

Instead, he said he received a call 20 minutes later from an Argosy University counselor asking him if he would consider enrolling in the for-profit college.

Sites like the one Mr. Harmon found mislead students by advertising for one college and steering them toward another. The shell game, typically played by companies that sell names of prospective students to for-profits, makes it critical for colleges to carefully monitor how they appear on search engines.

Continued at: http://chronicle.com/article/Colleges-Fight-Google-Ads-That/128414/

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