EAB, a major player in marketing and enrollment services for colleges, announced today its acquisition of Concourse, which created an alternative college admissions platform to increase access to higher education.
Under the Concourse system, students create a profile of themselves, with grades and other information that colleges would want to know. Students don’t apply to colleges, but colleges evaluate students and admit them on the basis of their profiles.
EAB announced its acquisition today, as the annual meeting of the National Association for College Admission Counseling starts in Houston, with several sessions about the new form of admissions.
Concourse is not the only player in this form of admissions. Sage Scholars, which has existed since 1995, is this year creating profiles of students that college admissions officers can use to review and recruit applicants. Some individual colleges are also experimenting with this admissions model, as are the state of Minnesota and the Common Application.
EAB, while not disclosing how much it is paying for Concourse, is a very large company with the resources to advance this form of admissions.
“The Concourse platform makes it easy for students to engage with interested colleges and receive multiple enrollment and financial aid offers within a few days of creating a profile,” said Chris Marett, EAB’s president for marketing and enrollment solutions. “Concourse also solves a major problem for colleges and universities, enabling them to diversify their student bodies by competing for these highly sought-after students.”
EAB already works with Concourse through the Greenlight Match program, which provides first-generation students and those from families with lower incomes the opportunity to create free profiles on the Concourse platform and receive offers of admission and financial aid from nearby colleges. EAB and Concourse launched Greenlight Match in the Chicago area. That pilot generated nearly 2,000 admission offers, combined with over $135 million in financial aid offers.
Marett said many colleges that work with EAB aren’t necessarily looking for a new way to do admissions, and that’s fine. Concourse has had the most success with colleges that generally serve low-income students. Its services have also helped foreign students get attention from colleges around the world.
Joe Morrison, CEO of Concourse, said he anticipates having 70 colleges work with the company to recruit students this fall, compared to 10 last fall. He said EAB brings resources that will allow for faster growth. But he said all of Concourse’s staff will remain involved and will work remotely.
James Steen, vice president for enrollment management at Houston Christian University, said he is pleased with what he’s seen of Concourse. In particular, he said the technology was impressive.
“I thought it could get weird and wonky,” he said, but it was intuitive.
Houston Christian plans to recruit this year, using Concourse for the first time, in Houston and Dallas.