Mailing Run Wild

<p>For some ungodly reason, my son has received probably 12 different mailings from the University of Chicago over the last year. At least that many, possibly more. Some schools have sent a couple mailings, many have sent one, but no place else has done anything like this.</p>

<p>It's become a joke here, practically, as the next one comes in we find ourselves cracking up.</p>

<p>OK he did fairly well on his PSATs, but fact is he would not get into U Chicago, likely would not succeed there if admitted, and wants to stay close to home. He has never expressed any interest in the place, to them or anyone else.</p>

<p>Are they that desparate to reduce their admit %??
We are in Westchester county NY, are they making some big regional push??</p>

<p>I'm just scratching my head at this point. But they've killed a lot of trees over him for nothing. Somebody in marketing there ought to fix this.</p>

<p>Anyone else experiencing this?</p>

<p>In NJ here; there is NO WAY my daughter is a competitive candidate for UChicago…we have received oodles of mail from them, including a priority app thingy…hehehehe; it’s given us a good laugh around here…</p>

<p>and, no, even if her grades were higher, UChicago would not be an appropriate fit for her.</p>

<p>monydad - we are in Fairfield County, CT and we used to have a joke at our house about all the uChicago mailings my son used to get. We surmised that it was because of his PSAT scores as well. In early December, my son said, “hey dad should I apply to the University of Chicago?”. I said, "sure, what’s another $75 (only half in jest). Uchicago was not on my son’s list originally. That list changed from summer of sophmore year until his last application in December of his senior year. That application was for UChicago. He applied to many schools, some rejections, some acceptances, some nice merit awards as well. In the end, he decided on UChicago as he felt it was the strongest school amongst his acceptances. What a great fit. he’s a third year, loves it and is doing extremely well. You just never know about these things as they are happening.</p>

<p>I have the same experience with drdom. my dd had never dreamed of UofC, not on her list. Consuler comment was “its like Columbia” and the under tone was “How dare ya!”… At the end, she throw in an app without even visiting. She was waitlisted, but UofC became her first choice and she worked at it until she got off the list and finally visited after acceptance at the end of May. Now she is doing fine, at least from the last night phone call, knock on the wood…</p>

<p>You never know…:)</p>

<p>Hmm…there’s a priority app? That seems really strange to me. We didn’t have one last year, but maybe Nondorf is really stepping up the marketing this year.</p>

<p>Haha priority apps…</p>

<p>Nondorf is trying to get the admit rate down while getting the name of the school out. It’s a somewhat necessary step for a school whose reputation has faded to sub-Ivy League status despite the fact that its quality is higher than about half of the Ivies. Anyone browsing CC knows that too many students throw an app at Chicago while saying “I know I won’t get into any Ivies, but how about Chicago?” A few years ago when I was applying, people thought that Vanderbilt was a better school than Chicago. Good times…</p>

<p>So yes, the mass mailings are silly, sure, but how else are you going to get the word about Chicago out? You get a cool advertising campaign (and despite the mass mailings, you have to admit that Chicago has some cool stuff), send mail to everyone and their brother while being the best non-tech EA school, and sit back and watch the show. It’s a good strategy, and it’s precisely the reason why Chicago’s admit rate is going to fall to 13-15% this year. More importantly though, Chicago is becoming less of an obscure name, and might even reach Ivy-League status in a couple of years among the general population.</p>

<p>WashU used to beat Chicago by a mile in the mailing quantity department, but I guess not anymore. Chicago was a pretty heavy mailer even when my kids were applying. The thing was, the Chicago mail pieces were much more substantive than other colleges’ materials. My kids generally liked them, and I thought they were pretty well designed to appeal to students who might like Chicago and to turn students off who wouldn’t appreciate the atmosphere there. </p>

<p>I have a sense that they are getting more generic in their appeal, however.</p>

<p>Note: Westchester County NY and Fairfield County CT, and indeed the entire Northeast Corridor – that’s a core market for Chicago. Tons of applicants and tons of students from there.</p>

<p>I’ll be honest though, there is something undignified about it that I would not expect of U Chicago. To me they are sort of “cheapening” their image to a level more resembling a school maybe 300 miles to the southwest. Which, by the way, has only sent one or two items just like the others.</p>

<p>The Northeast applicants are no less appealing to other schools, but other schools are not conducting themselves in this fashion.</p>

<p>This is not something particular to the northeast. We have the same experience with Univ of Chicago in Texas.</p>

<p>I just have to say it: I know a couple people in the admissions office, and I absolutely and completely trust them not to be watering down the application process.</p>

<p>^^I think monydad is not talking about the <em>application process</em> , but the <em>selling process</em>, the marketing part, which does remind me of some the lesser schools mailings along with the state senator’s mailings.</p>

<p>I live in greater chicago and I noticed the significant mailings, too. There obviously is a patent push for getting the name out. We visited, and I thought that this was the trigger. I learned that there was a 100 million dollar U C grad donor for FA – doh! I am repeating what I read in the mailings : ) – maybe there was a big donor for mktg, too.</p>

<p>I found the quality of the materials sent to be of a style that would appeal to a uChicago student. Not the run of the mill material. It got my son’s attention. The quantity they sent I think was meant to be a kind of a joke almost, like, hey, notice me please. Whoever designed the campaign 3 years ago really knew what they were doing. I suspect that as the admission numbers change, the mailings will as well.</p>

<p>blah,blah,blah…I don’t mean to be disrespectful to those posting on this board…but my daughter is a regular classes, “B” student with an ACT to match…and you don’t think they are trying to “game the system” by getting as many people as possible to apply?</p>

<p>I get it. It is not the application process but marketing. My assumptions are that they buy the PSAT scores list or SAT scores list and target kids who might qualify. It is up to the student and parents to research the school and decide whether to spend the application fee. I think this is different than some top schools that send out letters of “pre-application” or letters to athletes stating that they would recieve some attention when it comes to their applications and are then rejected.</p>

<p>But when there is this volume of mailings to a student, some subset will unfortunately be duped into thinking this is some sort of indication that the university actually wants them. Hence be influenced to drop in a “hail mary” application where this would otherwise not have been the case. And yes, in that process a few minor miracles will happen, but for the most part they will become disappointed, used, acceptance rate reduction fodder.</p>

<p>I saw this before, when a neighbor kid was seduced into applying to my own alma mater in response to such a mailing, with the predictable outcome; I thought it was horrible of them. But at least that was ony one or two mailings, not twelve.</p>

<p>When they’re sending twelve, the purpose is no longer to inform or remind someone about the unviersity, it becomes more along the lines of the above, to induce applications due to creating false sense of being specifically wanted.</p>

<p>I cannot remember the specifics, but we received tons of advertisement from colleges. Drexel was one I notice the most, every week, there was a packet from that school. They also enticed my DD to apply with free app fee and wrote those letters hinting she will get merit scholarships etc. We all treated those ads as junk mail and went right into the Princeton Review book to pick what we wanted.</p>

<p>The thing is that we did vist Penn, but some how Drexel sent us the most ads, we merely passed its door en route to Penn. :)</p>

<p>he got another one a couple days ago.</p>

<p>DS2 just applied - and we too live in CT. I do see a big ‘push’ in this area, an attempt to attract those kids who might otherwise not have Chicago on the radar, or think of it as too much of a ‘grind’ type school. </p>

<p>DS2 has received lots of mailings - both those in response to his visit, those in response to his PSAT/SAT scores and some that appear more general in tone, such as the postcards. </p>

<p>I do get the impression that Chicago is looking for more bright/well rounded kids than I would have expected. DS2 very much loved Chicago, and very much views it, pending financial considerations, as his first choice. And, if Chicago is looking to draw from a fairly affluent, and generally intelligent pool, Connecticut is a rather good place to look for kids that would generally succeed at the IVYs but do not represent enough geographic and socio-economic diversity to secure that many slots of admission for schools in the geographic back yard.</p>

<p>I think my kids blacklisted. :)</p>

<p>S1, who is a second year at Chicago and thriving beyond imagination, had PSAT at <<<1% range. No marketing material at all from Chicago when he was applying to schools two years ago. </p>

<p>S2, who would NOT thrive at Chicago and will NOT be admitted there, nevertheless has an SAT score at top 2-3%, so if they go by the scores and such, he should be getting some stuff. NO. NADA.</p>

<p>In fact, both of kids got very few, comparatively speaking, mailings from schools. I believe we are living off the grid :)</p>

<p>Perhaps the horrible stereotypes developing due to the NJ Shore reality show is having a real impact!!! (we hail from NJ)</p>

<p>They do this to lower their acceptance rate. Chicago wants to seem like a selective school. More applicants = lower acceptance rate.</p>