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How do colleges select students for priority applications?

PinotNoirPinotNoir Registered User Posts: 2,554 Senior Member
edited October 2009 in College Admissions
My son has received two invitations to apply using a priority application that waived his application fee and promised a quick turn around on a decision. I don't think either school was one that he approached, and he usually does not check the box on SAT's to share his info with colleges. So I'm wondering - how did these schools find him? He's already made his school list and is almost ready to press the submit button on all of them, so he doesn't need any more of these priority apps, but I've got two more sons a couple years out from applying to colleges.

I'd really like to know how to make more schools aware of each of them and get more priority apps - it's so nice to not have to pay the $50, and to get an answer really quickly!
Post edited by PinotNoir on

Replies to: How do colleges select students for priority applications?

  • frugolafrugola Registered User Posts: 115 Junior Member
    A lot of the colleges sent S priority apps simply because he requested info. Some i think bought info from the ACT. A couple I noticed sent priority apps close to visits to his school. Some, i don't have a clue. It is nice having no fee, and for the kids a lot of them can skip extra essays and extra recs. S hadn't considered Drexel before, but when priority app arrived in e mail, he filled it out and got accepted within 2 weeks. Now we're waiting for financial info and will consider it equally with the other colleges he had already picked out.
  • Grcxx3Grcxx3 Registered User Posts: 2,072 Senior Member
    My son has received several of these (including Drexel) - no fee, no essay, quick answers, priority housing - but unfortunately.....none from any of the schools he's interested in! :(
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,539 Senior Member
    I was told that SAT and ACT provide lists to colleges with the info of students who have certain score ranges. These schools aren't told your child's specific score, but they're told "This list of students scored between 2000-2400." (or something like that).

    The same thing happens with the PSAT. We actually found out that DS1 was a NMSF because a scholarship letter came from a college the day before our son was "officially" told by his school.

    For both sons, we did apply to a few a these "free apps," just as safeties and/or to see what they would offer. We chose the free offers from schools that our sons wouldn't mind attending - Tulane, SLU, etc.
  • fineartsmajormomfineartsmajormom Registered User Posts: 1,191 Senior Member
    we have had dozens, literally dozens. High score and he did x the box to share his info. I find them intriguing; S generally ignores them. I have forwarded him ones from schools with major that he is interested in but so far, no action on his end. I get tempted to fill them out myself, particularly the ones that also dangle merit aid in the email or letter. LOL. Unfortunately, he is not even remotely interested in attending school in Alabama, Arizona or Louisiana.
  • applicannotapplicannot Registered User Posts: 4,366 Senior Member
    I got a lot of these as well - at least from a dozen colleges - but with the exception of Tulane (I almost filled out that one!), I'm not the least bit interested in any of the schools.
  • PinotNoirPinotNoir Registered User Posts: 2,554 Senior Member
    So, the consensus seems to be that the priority apps are mostly the result of checking the "share my info with colleges" on the SAT - it that pretty much it?

    Is there any downside to checking that box?
  • N&MsMomN&MsMom Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    My D received one for Mount St. Mary's University in MD. She visited last fall during an Open House and liked it well enough. She thought she might apply as a "safety."

    She received the priority application about a month ago and sent it in. Yesterday, she received her acceptance letter and also that she had received their Presidential Merit Scholarship.

    It's nice to have one in her pocket and didn't cost a thing.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,539 Senior Member
    So, the consensus seems to be that the priority apps are mostly the result of checking the "share my info with colleges" on the SAT - it that pretty much it?

    Is there any downside to checking that box?

    No downside.

    Yes, many of the free apps end up in the trash. But, people should pick out a couple and apply and see what you'll get offered. Typically, these are "auto offers" (based on stats), so you're not preventing anyone else from getting one.

    DS2 was only interested in applying to The University of Alabama (after seeing it so many times because his brother goes there.). But, I wanted him to apply to more than one school. So, he agreed to let me do 3 of these free EZ apps (Tulane, SLU, and Drake). Took no time at all! Within a few weeks, he had around $250k in scholarship offers, plus his two offers from Bama. LOL

    BTW....anyone who has a child that isn't interested in applying to any southern schools (like Alabama or Tulane) is really missing out. Both are awesome schools. Visit their websites, do the online tours, check out Bama's Super Suites for residential housing! The 4 different Honors programs in Bama's Honors College are very good, (Two are very elite). Bama should at least be safety for those who'd get a great OOS scholarship.

    An OOS student who posts here on CC recently wrote: "UA is recruiting for the best and brightest students nationwide. For many students, it is the money that first interests us in Alabama, we visit, and then we get hooked."

    I very much recommend visiting the campus if you can. If that's not possible, go thru the website.
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