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Where does the college mail come from?


Replies to: Where does the college mail come from?

  • chb088chb088 Registered User Posts: 895 Member
    We got a letter from Swarthmore today which basically said they got our name and address from college board. College Board doesn’t give out scores but they do give out percentiles so that’s why your S is getting more than your D.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 31,976 Senior Member
    D2 didnt score well on the psat. But she did check pre-med. She got lots of mail, including from Chicago .

    D1 conveniently avoided the unsolicited mail from the usual suspects. At the time, she was thinking law school but instead of choosing that, she checked 'legal studies.' Hoo-boy. She got postcard mass mailings from trade tech colleges, cosmetology and stewardess schools, etc. Pretty amusing. And from all sorts of 4th tier colleges. And phone calls from those.

    They're just mailings. Unless you requested a package, don't be fooled.
  • NicoleGreenNicoleGreen Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
    We haven’t found the mail too bad. Maybe it’s the region we live in, or maybe she ticked or didn’t tick the right boxes, but she hasn’t received an excessive amount. In addition, most of the mail she has received has been from either local schools or schools she has looked at or visited or ones with similar profiles to those. She files the ones she cares about away and tosses everything else. We’ve not really seen any ridiculous mismatches.

    Email, however, is a completely different beast. It’s the emails that kill me. I’ll go into daughter’s email to look up something for her, and I can’t ever find what I need because it is lost among the hundreds of spam mailings from colleges. Things like “Hurry Priority Housing closes tonight at midnight” or emails announcing scholarship deadlines she doesn’t qualify for. The thing is these are all from schools she didn’t even apply to. Glad to know she can reserve housing for a school she didn’t even get into!
  • MeddyMeddy Registered User Posts: 481 Member
    edited January 23
    @chb088 We just received something from Swarthmore today, too.
    I imagine some of the elites, have a target market, but as we all know, most of those wont even get in.
    We saved all of the marketing materials D18 received and after she committed to Amherst College, we had a small bonfire in the fire pit to celebrate. We will do the same for the little sister. I mean,come on. I have to enjoy this last trip down the college search aisle <:-P
  • rickle1rickle1 Registered User Posts: 1,599 Senior Member
    Interesting when you start breaking it down. S20 (better academically from a metric viewpoint) received tons of mail from top schools and not much from schools below the USNWR top 50 or so. D17(current junior) is starting to receive equal volumes as S did a few yrs ago, but from a much lower (simply by rankings) level of school. So it must have something to do with test scores, passing AP exams, etc. As someone pointed out, he didn't have a snowball chance in ... getting in to some of those schools. Certainly qualified academically and could handle the work but not the 1500s SAT to get in 50% range.

    Part of the marketing approach is to raise awareness and increase app count so they maintain their ridiculous admit percentages and therefore maintain their rankings. It's a big game (or more appropriately put, a big business). They know these borderline students have virtually no chance but they want the app count high. Would be interesting to see admission stats solely on applicants with X metrics. They would still be quite competitive but those single digits would likely increase as I'm sure a large chunk of the gross applicant pool is nowhere near the stat pool of admitted students. Yes they decline lots of perfect scores but there must be way more 1450 applicants (because there are).
  • milee30milee30 Registered User Posts: 1,913 Senior Member
    edited January 23
    "Part of the marketing approach is to raise awareness and increase app count so they maintain their ridiculous admit percentages and therefore maintain their rankings."

    Which ranking system still uses admit percentages or number of applications in their calculation?

    USNWR doesn't include number of applications, admit percentages or yield, but since there are so many different rankings, maybe some others do?
  • rickle1rickle1 Registered User Posts: 1,599 Senior Member
    Can't point you to specific rankings (although I've seen some that include admission rate in their overall formula with varying percentages- I just don't remember which ones).

    More specifically, my point is:

    School X receives 10k apps and admits 1k for 10% admisison rate. In reality, how many of the 9k had a real chance? Nobody knows with holistic approach but they have to immediately weed out a large %. let's guess it's 50% due to being lesser qualified. They marketed to many of these kids. They received apps increasing their headcount, but they were never serious admit candidates. So, in this scenario, you could make an argument that the real admit rate is more like 20% (of the real admissions discussion pool). The marketing they do certainly affects application #s.

    Anecdotally, S received numerous large, full color, glossy brochures (very expensive) from HYP, Duke, Vandy, etc. No way he could get in to any of them demonstrated by he didn't. Got in to several great schools (call it the next tier) but being unhooked with very good test scores (but not exceptional - mid 1400s) and great grades / ECs was not enough. They are looking for something special yet they get a ton of "bluechip" kids like my son to apply (top 10 in class, class president, sports captain, All everything in HS). They do have room for those, but very limited as htey are looking for something exceptional. D is getting stuff from lots of 40%+ admit schools.
  • pishicacapishicaca Registered User Posts: 232 Junior Member
    While most of the popular rankings no longer use admit % or # of applicants in their calculations, these metrics can still have an impact on the "Expert Opinion" ratings (20% of the 2019 USNWR rankings). Those ratings are mainly a measure of academic reputation, so perceived selectivity can have an impact. I think this is why we continue to see the schools publicize their "most competitive class ever!" admissions results at the end of each cycle.

    As an aside, while the volume was annoying, we did become aware of some schools that we were not previously familiar with as a result of their direct mailings. I think there can be some value there for those of us who were not as informed on the scores of schools out there at the beginning of our search before we spent so much time mining the treasure trove of CC information.
  • NicoleGreenNicoleGreen Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member

    Definitely see what you’re saying. We too got mail from Vandy, and I think Georgia Tech. I’m guessing because geographically those are fairly close by. However, I am 100% sure daughter would not have gotten into either, not even close. There’s no way her grades, class ranking, or ACT would have even come close to cutting it, so they are definitely sending out to kids they know can’t get in.
  • MastadonMastadon Registered User Posts: 1,777 Senior Member
    We got a solicitation for one child after they had graduated!
    Glad they didn't choose that school :-)
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 10,525 Senior Member
    edited January 24
    My oldest got mail. My two younger ones didn't check the box or give info to College Board and got ZERO mailings or emails.
  • mikemacmikemac Registered User Posts: 10,337 Senior Member
    edited January 27
    Is this all based on PSAT data (S scored a little higher than D)? I don't know what other metrics anyone else would have for them.

    Think of it as just marketing, like the mail you get trying to sell you credit cards or vacation packages.

    Who knows why they mailed your kid? It could be due to scores. Maybe because of geographical diversity. Or it could be that you live in an affluent zipcode. Yep, they sell data parsed that way. See https://cbsearch.collegeboard.org/ and read what they say about the "Segment Analysis Search".
    Segment Analysis Service™ is a data-tagging service that helps admission professionals identify promising prospective students with information based on where they live and where they go to high school.

    In case the purchasing admissions dept finds that too opaque then the instructions at https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/pdf/college-board-guide-implementing-redesigned-sat-student-search-service-installment-4.pdf for filtering the data show a "demographic" tab that has "Family Income" on it. See page 12
  • twicemamatwicemama Registered User Posts: 208 Junior Member
    Sometimes colleges are also looking for religious diversity... If your child lists their religion (esp anything other than Christian), s/he will likely get multiple mailings from colleges looking for kids with other beliefs to attend....
  • bamamom2021bamamom2021 Registered User Posts: 224 Junior Member
    After a ton of mail with DD17 we advised DS to be an informed consumer. He didn't fill out any information about classes, income, grades, classes, etc and he did not give permission to share his information. It is hard because they register for these things themselves and every time it makes it seem like it is required that they fill out the demographic information. DS has higher PSATs and SAT scores and has only received information from the schools he sent his free score reports to - no unsolicited mailings yet.

    They charge for the tests, charge to send the scores, and gather/sell the information of minor children. Quite the business model.
  • thermomthermom Registered User Posts: 468 Member
    After D17 got bombarded with tons of email which completely overwhelmed and annoyed her, I am definitely going to have D23 (zoiks, I can't believe my baby is heading to HS next year!!) create a dedicated gmail address when the time comes so that the flood of marketing junk doesn't wind up killing her inbox. D17 didn't mind the snail mail so much because it was easier to ignore, and she did find out about a couple of schools she wouldn't have considered otherwise.
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