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Where does the college mail come from?

TimeFlies2TimeFlies2 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
I am a parent of boy/girl twins. They attend public high school. They have both taken pre-ACT and PSAT, but neither has taken SAT or ACT yet.

Suddenly, we are receiving a lot of unsolicited college mail. The weird thing is that S20 receives about 3 times as much as D20. Does anyone know how the algorithm works? Where are colleges even getting their info? From the College Board? 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.

Does this mean colleges want boys more than girls lately?
Does it mean anything at all?
Today S20 received 9 pieces of mail from random colleges. D20 received 3. Weird.
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Replies to: Where does the college mail come from?

  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 14,707 Senior Member
    Did your son have higher test scores than your daughter?
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 73,779 Senior Member
    edited January 22
    Just an FYI...it’s marketing junk mail...and doesn’t mean at all that the schools are “interested” in your kid, or even that your kid has the potential to get accepted.

    They probably checked a little box when they took the PSAT.

    Just get a box, and put all the mail in it. Then recycle. Our kids got tons of mail. One started getting it after 8th grade and hadn’t taken any standardized tests.

    We just viewed it as entertaining junk mail.
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 12,224 Senior Member
    edited January 22
    The combo of the higher PSAT and his being male probably is the reason, unless they took different classes and entered all that into the PSAT form (some kids do, some don't).

    While it doesn't mean a lot to get marketing materials, they do target them to kids who may qualify academically and who meet certain criteria they may be looking to get more of.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 73,779 Senior Member
    “May”....let’s just say that both of our kids got many mailings from colleges that they didn’t have an ice cube chance in hell of getting accepted to.
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 12,224 Senior Member
    True. But my two got mail from very different colleges based on very different academic records and ECs. CB loves kids to fill out all their classes, interests and of course uses their scores if the kid checks that "send my info to colleges" box.

    Getting mail of course doesn't mean a kid is getting in (especially when it comes form one of those sub-10% admit schools), but colleges don't waste their money if they can avoid it, either. Look at the UNC lawsuit right now - they send marketing mail to x race kids from x state with x scores but not y race unless in a different state, etc.

    That mail IS targeted, to varying degrees. It would be ridiculous if it weren't given the tools available.
  • browniesundaebrowniesundae Registered User Posts: 131 Junior Member
    My twins received tons of mail too. We saved some to burn in the firepit on May 1. They read very little of it - most is useless. That said, my son DID miss applying for a scholarship for his major at the school he ended up attending. When we asked a classmate how he knew about the scholarship, he said it was in a mailing (but that was after acceptance).
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 4,173 Senior Member
    I don't think U of Chicago follows that assumption of not wasting money @OHMomof2 ; )
  • SJ2727SJ2727 Registered User Posts: 838 Member
    My D didn’t get a lot of unsolicited mail from reaches (with the usual main exception of Chicago), but she got a LOT of stuff from colleges that were totally off her radar where in many cases she would have been eligible for significant merit. Although these weren’t of interest to her, I can imagine such mailing might be useful to some students in raising awareness of possible places to get merit...especially those not on CC!
    The volume of incoming mail went up noticeably after a good ACT score (compared to a fairly average PSAT score where she hadn’t prepared at all for the exam.)
    There was exactly one college that she received unsolicited mail from that she applied to - Tulane (ended up pulling the app before she got a decision).
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 12,224 Senior Member
    @momofsenior1 I almost said that!

    But the truth is my D got Chicago mail (over and over and over again) and my S did not. So even it targets mail somewhat :)
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 10,176 Senior Member
    I told my kids not to check the box or give any info after the oldest got all that mail.

    College do this to convince more to apply so their selectivity rankings improve. It doesn't mean anyone will be accepted. Just that your scores met a benchmark. The mailings are basically meaningless.
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 4,173 Senior Member
    Good advice to not check the box. The novelty wore off after the first week.

  • MaterSMaterS Registered User Posts: 1,778 Senior Member
    It is never mentioned on CC but maybe one of your classmates punked you and sent your info to the college.

    Some places buy cheap lists of names. My son was still getting mail from a test prep site eight years after he earned a perfect score. Our zip code has plenty of students that pay big money to boost standardized test scores. Maybe it works for them.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 73,779 Senior Member
    Our son was still getting undergrad info from colleges after he got his masters.

    It’s impossible to stop this stuff!
  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 2,876 Senior Member
    It is a good time to teach kids about sharing data for free.
  • mathKidsmathKids Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    S20 also receives lots of mail and e-mails these days. What's rather interesting is that lots of his mail comes from the very same zip code. When you get three envelopes with the same stamp on the same day, it makes you wonder how much "coincidence" it is. In his case it's an agency (in VA) sending out mail in college specific envelopes for colleges in NY.

    Some of his college e-mails refer to his PSAT, and I am quite sure this contributed to the recent craziness. Many of the unsubscribe links lead to web pages that have extremely similar look and feel. I think he has noticed 3 or 4 of different designs. It's entertaining but completely meaningless otherwise.
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