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does everyone get a personal note on their congrats letter?

swattiehopefulswattiehopeful Registered User Posts: 84 Junior Member
edited April 2011 in Denison University
Sorry if this sounds pompous, but on my acceptance letter was a little extra note in blue ink saying "congratulations! I hope to see you "back east" this fall!" Do they do that on every application to help bring students in?
Post edited by swattiehopeful on

Replies to: does everyone get a personal note on their congrats letter?

  • summerstormsummerstorm Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    Maybe so...I got a note in blue ink that said "Congratulations on your admission and being named a "Carter Scholar!" I hope you join us!" I suspect they did write something for everyone, but it was a nice personal touch :)
  • Final4X5Final4X5 Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    Denison has been one of the most personal, communicative schools we have looked at. Little postcards and notecards throughout the process. I think that has been a wonderful touch.
  • Whistle PigWhistle Pig - Posts: 4,093 Senior Member
    Pump tons of $$ into marketing. Recruitment is king @ DU. And they are good at it.

    As for personalization, and this is not pleasant but is consistant, wait until registration or a student wants to take a summer school course @ the local community college. Won't be any personal note, and the news may not be nice.

    Not trying to throw water on the camp fire; just suggesting not to assume there's comprehensive carry-through on the selling personalization. We were forewarned about the substantial challenges of registration @ DU, and it has proven to be a pervasive reality, for ours and others. It seems to fly in the face of conventional wisdom of what might rightly be presumed of a small, undergrad LAC vs. the mega State U.
  • NEValuNEValu Registered User Posts: 146 Junior Member
    As for the OP, I think it really depends on the recruiter for your region. Ours, where they don't have that many students at DU, wrote a great personal letter back in 09.
    Speaking to WP's concern, I have to say that my son's first semester registration was stressful that way but, since then, it's been pretty easy for him. Classes in his film major are held for him by his advisor, and thus far, he's gotten into everything else, even in his more popular 2nd major, poli sci.
    Actually, my #1 son, at Carleton, had more trouble with registration overcrowding than my DU son. I'm sure it's somewhat luck and somewhat how popular the major is at the particular school. (Econ, my Carleton grad's major, is fairly renowned there.)
    I think the key is that chasing perfection in a college...or most anything really....is a frustration. My old lady advice: Research the choices and go with what seems best and then make the best!
  • Whistle PigWhistle Pig - Posts: 4,093 Senior Member
    Good perspective, and reality check that this is not a unique scenario to DU. And as noted, we knew what might be expected. The difficulty nearly always comes in the liberal artsy requirements ... soc, psych, communications! (this one's really tough), etc.

    And I'm not sure of this one ...but... ours might have caught DU at the proverbial "switching horses in mid-year" or something like that. I'd like to think so, and what I mean is that early on, the company line when she was a frosh/soph in trying to get into courses ..."sorry, but those are taken by upperclassmen, who get seniority. You know. You'll get your shot." And then when her "shooting time" arrived, the company line had shifted to, "Oh, sorry, there are 5 spots left in that class, but we have to save some for incoming frosh." Very frustrating, and after several personal meetings with the Provost and his designated Associate ... with lots of head-nodding, hand-holding, and seeming sympathizing ... nothing changed. The attempts at personally pleading to the prof is often greeted with, "So sorry, we like to keep this class to X# of participants to keep it Denisonianally personal. You understand. Maybe next year, since we only offer that course in the fall/spring."

    Now, on the surface, this seems like an educationally sound approach. But I'm persuaded it is DU getting "caught" attempting to attract and assuage their faculty, i.e. teaching and advising less and less. They recently cut back on the required teaching and advising load of faculty, that they might do more "scholarly" work. For 80%, pure baloney, make work, alleged publishing. The other thing that most don't recognize beyond the Provost's plan is that DU seems to have an inordinate number of visitng profs, another camouflaged effort to get students taught in the cheapest way possible.

    All of this is not to denigrate Denison. We got this in advance of saying yes. It is merely one observation of the age-old truth(s) ... there is no free lunch, even well-endowed colleges (and maybe women, too?) have their limitations, and/or we can't have everything. And maybe a few more.

    All in all, we've been pleased that ours has received a very decent, reputable education, and in the course of such, has learned both some toughness and ability to get through some of life's challenges, as well as allowing for a very good next step.

    Oh, and one other life lesson ... for her and her fellow students. For her: Voting Republican can be, or at least was a couple of seasons back, a rather lonely experience @ DU (and many campuses.) For her fellow students trying to find employment: Voting has consequences. And sometimes they can be very painful.
  • ZetesisZetesis Registered User Posts: 1,855 Senior Member
    They recently cut back on the required teaching and advising load of faculty, that they might do more "scholarly" work.

    Well, as a faculty person (not at Denison) I'd say amen to that. :)
  • Whistle PigWhistle Pig - Posts: 4,093 Senior Member
    Here's that you're among the 15-20% who do something meaningful with time taken from students. ;)

    While there are many fine instructors on many campuses, way too much playing in the sandbox, trying to persuade paying parents and donors why 5 courses a year is a monster load.

    The other major scam that DU academics and some other campuses are committing ...

    Making 3 credit courses now 4 credit courses. All w/o changing their original papyrus scrolled syllabi. And thus students take 4 courses vs. 5 in any given semester, too often doing precisely the same amount of work. Now, over 4 years? What that means is that a student has access to 8 - 10 fewer courses while paying MORE than they would have under the 3 credit models. That is a FULL YEAR's worth of course work no longer available to the student. a 25% reduction ... it's no different than the scam packaging at the grocery store ... 24 oreos in what used to be a 30 oreo package ... all for the very same cost ...or more. :eek:

    And it is totally stunning to me how many times we'd learn "class cancelled" for ... inclement weather, sick kids, conferencing, etc. etc. ... and not one single time was "class rescheduled" or made up. And the coup de grace? Up 5-7% EVERY year in cost ... not one year, but for the past 50 years. Even when CoL is 0, 1, 2, 3% .

    But it is what it is. Where is CPA when they are needed? ;)
  • montanamollymontanamolly Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    Hi Whistle Pig,
    Would you choose Denison again for your child? Do you feel that you have received good value for your tuition dollars, and do you feel your child will fare well after college? Will Denison's reputation help as they prepare for job/grad school? Some of your posts have a negative buyer beware tone, and some of the posts are positive. Daughter has been accepted, but we have not been able to visit the school. Has your student been happy, have they gotten a great education, and would you choose Denison again knowing what you know now? Any guidance is appreciated.
  • Whistle PigWhistle Pig - Posts: 4,093 Senior Member
    Let me set my schizophrenic personality and record straight in addressing your question. I definitely might! :eek:

    jk, honest.

    Yours is a great question ...at least for me, if not for others. A few thoughts ...

    The short answer. W/O a doubt, I'd push and pull my offsprung, at least the one who went there if not the one who did not, and urge looking long and hard at DU. I'm a BIG FAN of BIG RED! And the short answer to "why?" is simply ... value! Great quality @ great price in a great place. Way, way more up side than down.

    Now, this makes some assumptions beyond the child-specific and her gifts, needs, desires, dreams, hopes. It assumes a reasonable match in academic and extra-curricular interests w/ opportunities for engagement and a quality experience. In other words, if one is determined to be a aeronautical engineer from the get-go, 3-2 options be damned, I'd not recommend it. Or the more obvious ... I am a borderline NBA candidate. No Big Red! It assumes a student is beneficiary of the scholarship/scholar marketing strategy.

    Here's the "maybe" in my mind relative to your question. Having watched my student/child and her specific path and opportunities, and a few "lacking" of them, well, hindsight becomes very clear, doesn't it.

    So ...barring the blinding clarity of hindsight ... I'd definitely recommend DU. Mine has gotten a decent education with some glaring exceptions. Ex: They've got a few whack jobs teaching stuff like religion, soc, English. More specific, when given an assignment to right about a prominent figure in religion and being questioned "why" she'd want to write about C.S. Lewis? My gaskets blew! The freshman seminars are pure B.S. Perhaps w/ some exceptions, the topical thing is pure accommodation to the whims of professors and the silly trendiness of culture. Were I running the ship (I'm not), students would be taking a real lit course and modeling the Yale writing program. And w/ the issue of ever-limited course availability (again, a slight of hand accommodation for enabling faculty to teach less), it can be difficult to get substance. The real issue here? The Provost seems to be way too interested in being seen as a fellow faculty member instead of a kick-butt academic dean with a vision and cahonies to press the obvious. But sadly, he is a clone of many places these days. Another beef ... way too many cancelled classes and NEVER a make-up. Figure it out on a cost/class basis and consumers are paying some price here. Again, this is an academic leadership issue or lack there of. All in all, I suspect the President is simply too tired to push the envelope on issues like this ... and they would generate and require much grief.

    So back on track ...

    Looking @ outcomes more positively? Super education at a super net cost. Great exposure to a very diverse student body. (I know, that flies in the face of what others seem to portray. But kids come from all over the planet, and there are lots of children of great privilege, and lots of children of blue collar families too. The color issue ... well that is literally at every place. Not worth discussing. If that's a big deal, go to Howard or another predominantly black institution. Or even to many public institutions. Loads of options.)

    The great mystery for me is this ... why there is not more APPARENT school spirit there. I just have not sensed it. And the relative modest alumni giving suggests something less than rah rah. Maybe I just don't get it, or have bad info. It's not for lack of asking. They are pretty good at that, and I mean that as compliment. Maybe it is a function of past Greeks being chronically irked because the "good ol' days" of kegs and legs in the frat houses are history. I really don't know about this.

    Bottomline for me is that I'm not much of a romantic about the mess of our higher ed system, and sadly that's rooted in the entitled mindset and culture of the campus and more specifically the professoriate. I am at odds with much of the values nurtured among many young adults, struggling to find their own way, often lacking much grounding coming from home. It can be tough trying to find a courageous conservative willing to "come out" among his/her progressive faculty. Denison is no exception, imo. I'm very distressed about that big picture. But ...

    As far as DU goes? When one's gotta go, it's a pretty good place to grow. In ways. It is not perfect, but it's pretty darn good as an institution at which to spend 4 years. I might like it more than my student. But she's blossomed well, found her way even on lonely voting days, been able to cheer for Penn State w/o being beat up when they play the Buckeyes, learned to love the idea of Midwest, had some really fine professors who've nutured and guided her. She's gotten into some great grad schools, and in fact found the perfect one, it seems, had great academic success when measured by outcomes and honors, made some wonderful, true-blue friends, had leadership roles in work, play, and as a student, been burned enough to realize she can be naive and that others may not be quite so much so.

    So what else could she want? And she's still standing, graduating with a great degree from a great place that will always be hers now? What makes your question tough is the clarity of hindsight. It enables seeing the great things. And the rest, too.

    Again, I'm a big fan of Big Red. How can you not love a place that has a turkey buzzard as its school mascot!

    But it's not perfect ... none is. That's one truth I'm sure of.
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