College Recruiting Junk Mail

<p>DS is a hs sophomore who took PSAT for the first time in October. He is being bombarded by letters and e-mails from all kinds of colleges.... some top tier- Duke, Swarthmore, Carnegie Mellon... lots of state schools, and small LAC's.</p>

<p>Do all students who "check the box" on PSAT get all these mailers, or are they targeted to certain demographics or certain range of scores? He earned decent sophomore scores, but nothing earth shattering.</p>

<p>I've been getting the same things ever since taking the PLAN and PSAT's; they've been getting rreally annoying lol. I'm a Sophomore as well.</p>

<p>Haha my dad was the same way. "hey look you got a letter from this school. Maybe you have a chance!" Lololol no, they don't mean crap</p>

<p>^Yeah the emails pretty much don't mean anything. My brother got a ton from all sorts of schools. I never checked any boxes and didn't get any, it was great. The only mail you want are the acceptance emails.</p>

<p>Those mailings are marketing, nothing more.</p>

<p>They are marketing, but they are targeted. College Board sells colleges names and contact information of students who "check the box". The colleges order names based on demographics - geographic location, test scores, etc. </p>

<p>Colleges will definitely cast a wide net with that kind of marketing, so you may not be their "core" demographic, but they don't want to miss anyone so they'll widen the search to start. </p>

<p>FYI, you can always contact a college and tell them to take you off their mailing list if you're definitely not interested. It costs them at least $2-3+ every time they send you something, so they'll appreciate the call!</p>

<p>The good news is that the mailings (at least the physical mailings; I assume email too) stop after senior year. The schools don't keep sending, unlike so many other companies.</p>

<p>My son is a sophomore and has received the college junk mail too. He thought by checking the box on the PSAT that he might hear from some interesting schools that he had never thought of. He did receive mail from a great many schools that neither he nor I had considered, but none of them so far have appeared to offer anything, at least in the mailing, to pique his curiosity. </p>

<p>As an aside, I was quite surprised to find that Swarthmore is so heavily engaged in marketing. We have gotten quite a bit of snail mail and emails from them, probably more than from any other school.</p>

<p>They can be a way to start "analyzing" the differences in the schools. You'll see that about 80 to 90% of the view books have the same sort of pictures (students on the lawn, in the lab, on the stage, etc) but it's the differences that are revealing. The schools generally know who their competition so they'll be trying to emphasis their differences or how to compensate for perceived weaknesses. Usually the difference you pick up on don't matter, but there have a few times that they revealed something we hadn't considered. </p>

<p>However, if you don't bother to look at the viewbooks, you aren't likely to be annoyed at information sessions on campus visit days when people ask questions that are answered in the viewbook.</p>

<p>I don't understand why no-name colleges from far away spend so much money sending out mailings that tell you almost nothing about the college. If I've never heard of your college, and you want to be considered, send me something more than a form letter or a postcard.</p>

<p>My D is at Harvard ,and we still get mailings to boost her SAT scores !</p>

<p>My D is also a sophomore who took the PSAT in October and is also getting tons of junk mail both in her inbox and in the mailbox.</p>

<p>They provide a little service. It brings up a name. And my D has heard of none of these schools. "Hofstra? Where's that?" So at least it provides a springboard to discuss topics surrounding college searching that we need to go over.</p>

<p>And they do seem to be somewhat targeted. All are from within 500 miles or so * and none arriving (so far) from Harvard. lol</p>

<ul>
<li>Oops, I forgot, one came from Flagler in Florida.</li>
</ul>

<p>I got plenty from Ivies, so they definitely don't mean a thing as far as admissions goes. I ignored all of mine except for the nice magazines some mailed to me, and I knew which schools I wanted to apply to without the mailings.</p>

<p>The other thing you can probably guess is that the fancier the mailing you receive from a school, either the richer the school or the more closely you lie to their ideal demographic. A postcard is the cheapest way to contact a student by mail; a viewbook the most expensive. </p>

<p>Some schools do their first round of mailings as just a postcard to see who responds and then will send out other communications in later rounds.</p>

<p>A few have included a login to some online app that is supposed to identify what type of major or career.</p>

<p>I know it's all a marketing gimmick but has anyone tried it?</p>

<p>Any use at all?</p>