How to Future-Proof Your Student List Strategy


How to Future-Proof Your Student List Strategy

2 Ways Cappex Candidates Are Evolving

By Brandy Palmer

Today’s enrollment leaders are facing an increasingly complex student list market.

Ever since the pandemic accelerated the rise of test-optional admissions, many students have continued to gravitate toward colleges with flexible testing policies. More than 1,800 four-year institutions have gone permanently test-optional and the number of student names available from traditional, assessment-based list sources continues to fall short of pre-pandemic levels. At the same time, student data privacy concerns have prompted questions about the future of student lead generation and what an optimal list source portfolio should look like in the years ahead.

Cappex Candidates

Leverage powerful predictive modeling and an expansive digital network to connect with qualified prospects who are more likely to apply and enroll.


fewer SAT and ACT testers in compared to pre-pandemic levels (as of March 2023).

Investing in the Future of Student List Sources

EAB has spent the past three years preparing for this moment, investing in platforms that can help you directly connect with Gen Z, regardless of when or whether they take a test, or whether they opt into a test provider’s database. One of those investments was Cappex Candidates.

Cappex Candidates are college-bound students who don’t yet know about you but match your institution’s search criteria. Instead of coming from assessment-based sources, these students are sourced using digital marketing-based tactics (including SEO, paid advertising, and more) and an expansive network of partner sites, such as test prep platforms, homework help sites, and more. Cappex Candidates have helped more than 500 partners diversify their lead generation strategy while reducing their exposure to future list source volatility.

Here are two key enhancements we’ve made to Cappex Candidates that will help our partners better identify prospects who are more likely to engage and more effectively manage their Cappex partnership.


growth in 9th-11th graders on Cappex between May 2021 and May 2023.


Increase in Cappex student acquisition investments between 2021 and 2023.

Cappex Candidates now leverage powerful predictive modeling to deliver more productive leads

With competition for students at an all-time high, enrollment professionals need better data to inform their strategy going forward. When done correctly, predictive modeling can provide objective insight to inform strategic decisions but is challenging for student list sources to pull off due to a lack of information about students’ college search behaviors beyond the sources’ reach.

Cappex Candidates will leverage a new predictive model to assess students’ college search behavior and predict their likelihood of applying to your institution.

In other words, Candidates are prospects who the algorithm has deemed more likely to apply based on a short list of key criteria, such as:

  • Your institution’s location
  • The student’s location
  • Academic profile
  • And more…

Earlier this year, we launched a pilot study to test the algorithm with 10 Enroll360 Solutions partners from 10 different states. The schools represented both public and private institutions with varying degrees of selectivity. We inserted 10,000-15,000 Candidates into each of their funnels and monitored their enrollment activity throughout the admission cycle.

In the end, not only were Cappex Candidates 65% more likely to apply compared to traditional Candidates, they were also 2x more likely to deposit compared to names sourced from The College Board.

Cappex partners will gain instant visibility into current Candidate volumes

Gen Z relies heavily on self-service tools to guide their college search. But students aren’t the only ones looking for self-service tools—enrollment leaders are too. Partners are increasingly asking us for real-time information that they can access on their own, at any time of day, in order to optimize their student lead generation strategies.

That’s why, alongside our predictive modelling approach, we’re also introducing the ability to access real-time estimates of your available lead volume. Through a new Lead Delivery Portal (to be unveiled later this year), Audience Generation partners will now have the option to view available Candidate volumes at their own pace instead of having to schedule a call or fill out a form and wait for an estimate. When doing so, they will be able to input their school’s customized search criteria and view the number of Candidates that match their school’s right-fit student profile.

As enrollment leaders navigate the complexities of today’s student lead generation landscape, we hope that Cappex’s new data-driven tactics and lead estimation capabilities will equip our partners with the tools they need to not only make informed decisions about this year’s class, but the classes of tomorrow as well.

There’s a better way to source high-intent prospects.

Connect with us to learn more about how Cappex Candidates can increase your ROI on student list purchases.

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