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About those mailings your kids have been receiving from highly selective schools...

tdy123tdy123 820 replies15 threads Member
edited November 6 in Parents Forum
https://www.wsj.com/articles/for-sale-sat-takers-names-colleges-buy-student-data-and-boost-exclusivity-11572976621

"Jori Johnson took the practice SAT test as a high-school student outside Chicago. Brochures later arrived from Vanderbilt, Stanford, Northwestern and the University of Chicago.

The universities’ solicitations piqued her interest, and she eventually applied. A few months later, she was rejected by those and three other schools that had sought her application, she said. The high-school valedictorian’s test scores, while strong by most standards, were well below those of most students admitted to the several schools that had contacted her."
edited November 6
44 replies
Post edited by skieurope on
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Replies to: About those mailings your kids have been receiving from highly selective schools...

  • sdl0625sdl0625 673 replies11 threads Member
    I had to laugh the day Harvard sent something to my son. Just because he did well on a test. There was no chance in any way , shape , or form, he was Harvard Material.

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  • natty1988natty1988 654 replies8 threads Member
    It's a shame that so many universities do that. But, then again you don't have to take the bait. Just like I said no to the person going door to door saying that my neighbors had black widow spiders and would I like their company to spray for spiders....

    That said, my kids did get a couple of brochures from real selective schools, we looked at them for fun then they went straight into the garbage.
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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 38787 replies2128 threads Super Moderator
    Yeah, I treated it just like any other junk mail we received.
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  • TiggerDadTiggerDad 1953 replies71 threads Senior Member
    Since the USNWR tossed out the selectivity rate from its rankings methodology, I wonder if these junk mails started to slow down at all?
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  • mountainsoulmountainsoul 69 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited November 5
    DD opted out of the CB College Search when she took the SAT. When she took the PSAT, we didn’t know students could opt out and she continued to receive college mailings based on that info. She didn't apply to any schools based on mailings. Her philosophy: don't call me, I'll call you.
    edited November 5
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  • CTScoutmomCTScoutmom 1948 replies9 threads Senior Member
    Our approach has always been to research, and apply based on that research. While this individual student didn't get in, there are most likely students with a similar profile who did get in, the these colleges do want some of them, just not all. And some of the students they admit might never have considered them without the mailing, because they had never heard of them. My daughter's interest in her top choice didn't come as a result of a mail, but a large college fair in New York, and she happened to have stopped at their booth.

    The other issue is people understanding statistics - if a group of colleges have 20% acceptance rates, applying to 5 of them isn't going to guarantee you acceptance at one of them, statistically you would have about 75% change of being accepted at one - but still have 25% chance of being rejected across the board.

    At this point we're actually more annoyed with the slew of mail from mid-level colleges we've never heard of - she should have opted out when taking her most recent SAP, but was probably already on the lists from her Spring testing. Her list is set, first 2 applications in, next 2 by the 15th, and final 3 on December 1, but which time she should have responses back from at least 3 of the first 4. Plenty of time to add others if necessary, but we started with a list of about 150 that met her main criteria and whittled down as we set other criteria (size, net price results, for instance).
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  • cafe22cafe22 5 replies1 threads New Member
    Yes, Chicago sent us so much, including a big (expensive) beautiful poster of the university, which we promptly threw out. My daughter did however save the letter she got from Harvard, and I’ve been instructed to “never throw that out”, lol.
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2354 replies45 threads Senior Member
    DD DID opt out when she took the PSATs and AP Exams, and we still get brochures from colleges for which we have no idea how they got her name and address.

    She did, however, give her info to five or six colleges at her school college fair. I'm wondering if one or two of them may have re-sold the info.
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  • Leigh22Leigh22 689 replies9 threads Member
    @Empireapple - thank you for pointing that out. I’m aware now, but at the start I had no idea how it all worked. I assumed that University of Chicago was sending so much personalized correspondence to my kid because they were interested. I had no idea how it worked and I know I’m not alone.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 4465 replies18 threads Senior Member
    It gets worse... I remember getting calls from other parents to compare what junk mail my kids got compared to what junk mail their kids got. That is when it all went into the trash. ✉️🚮.
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  • NJWrestlingmomNJWrestlingmom 1279 replies2 threads Senior Member
    It starts way before the PSAT/SAT. There's a reason they collect demographic info from elementary kids for standardized testing. It's all turned over and open season for the testing companies.
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  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1451 replies35 threads Senior Member
    TiggerDad wrote: »
    Since the USNWR tossed out the selectivity rate from its rankings methodology, I wonder if these junk mails started to slow down at all?
    I doubt it. Even though selectivity is no longer explicitly considered by USNWR, it still indirectly affects a college's reputation assessment (20% weight). It may also help improve a college's yield when a cross-admit decides what college to attend, selectivity may help sway his/her decision (an acceptance from a more selective college may be more valuable in his/her mind).
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  • overbearingmomoverbearingmom 151 replies12 threads Junior Member
    What I love is the first time mail my daughter got from Princeton this week. Never mind that she doesn't have straight As and her SATs are good, but not great. If you are considering Princeton, don't you have your ducks in a row by now? I guess you might be waffling about which ivies to apply to, but again, if that's in your sights, is mail really going to make a difference? But, then again, I remember some of the stupid reasons my college friends chose one school over another, so maybe...
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  • rphcfbrphcfb 239 replies0 threads Junior Member
    The sad part is there still are many, many HS students and parents who think those brochures mean they/their kids have a good chance to get in those highly selective colleges.

    I have tried to explain this to some excited parents. I don’t think they believed me.
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  • overbearingmomoverbearingmom 151 replies12 threads Junior Member
    ^^My daughter gets mail from her #1 choice telling her she is very important. I think it's not a reach school so she ought to get in, but if she doesn't, she's going to be angry on top of being upset.
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  • HamurtleHamurtle 2608 replies33 threads Senior Member
    edited November 6
    Chicago is the absolute worst. I don’t think they care much for trees.

    I don’t recall that the son’s current school sent out much junk mail, but he was on their radar after attending a local fair, so there was no need for them to send anything.

    The big shock was when he got mail from CalTech. There was no way he was getting in.

    The most annoying school when it came to mailings was Baylor. He got stuff from them telling him to apply even as a sophomore in college. And now that he’s a junior, Hofstra constantly sends him email asking him if he would like to transfer there.
    edited November 6
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