Strange mailing from Andover

<p>DC received a priority mail package from Andover today (Jan 21), with a letter from the Dean of Admission, encouraging DC to apply, along with the viewbook, course catalog, etc. (We have never requested info from Andover).</p>

<p>Letter was dated Jan. 19. Text of the letter includes a sentence that states "all applications materials are due Jan. 15."</p>

<p>Strange . . .</p>

<p>I just heard from a friend who received a similar package from another well known school this week - viewbook, letter explaining the admissions process, etc. Their child's application had been submitted the week before!</p>

<p>I recall that a few years ago (five!) my son had started the application process and dropped it...and got a similar letter, long after the deadline, telling him it's not too late to complete the application. In fact, when I saw this topic, I immediately expected it would be about this sort of correspondence. You might get the impression that, "Hey! They already know about me and they're impressed. They really want me to apply so they can admit me," although, of course, that is utterly ridiculous since they're too busy reading actual applications to be making value judgments about non-applicants. (dodgersmom's friend can speak to that.) Anyway, deep down, you don't need to ask around to know it's a final form letter they use before purging you or your child from their database...but maybe it takes a little while to come around to that on a conscious, self-aware level. And maybe someone can explain what value it adds and why they think it's worth the postage.</p>

<p>Good logic, D’yer Maker. But the strange thing is we shouldn’t be in Andover’s database at all. Have never contacted the school, or requested info - and this is the first time we’ve ever heard from them.</p>

<p>But wait - we did attend a Ten Schools Organization event more than six months ago. Perhaps the mailing is related to that. But you’ve got to admit the timing is a bit off!</p>

<p>They probably need more applicants to improve their admit rate and claim year-over-year gains which are hard to come by given the economy. It’s just a final marketing call to boost their admit stats.</p>

<p>Jolley - So do you think schools send those out just to say they have more applicants? Weird, I would think they like not having more applications to read, but I guess it makes sense numbers wise. Do you think that means applications are down this year?</p>

<p>We got the same letter, I think on Wednesday of last week. Thought it was weird and threw it in the trash.</p>

<p>The Andover AO that came to our region last year made a great sales pitch and many kids believed it and applied and almost all of them were rejected. These sleek sales pitches induce unsuspecting, gullible teens to apply only to be rejected. And the school goes and claims Aha we have the lowest admit rate which makes it more attractive to more gullible teens in future. This is a vicious cycle perpetuated by relentless marketing. Travel</a> Schedule</p>

<p>There was a wonderful article written a while back on just this topic. It was written by a college admissions counselor who confessed to spending the entire first half of her year telling prospective candidates what a great fit they were for "college x" . . . just so she could turn around in the spring and reject them!</p>

<p>Someone posted a link to this article a year or two back in the parents' forum, but I've just spent almost an hour looking and I'll be darned if I can find it. Perhaps there's another oldtimer lurking around who remembers the thread and could provide a link . . .</p>

<p>^^ Maybe this one?</p>

<p>Reed</a> College | Admission | Reed College Admission Office</p>

<p>Nope. Close, but no cigar! :)</p>

<p>This definitely goes on for colleges. My child, who graduated from BS last year, received contact from colleges after the application deadlines from schools she requested info from but decided not to apply to. This included Ivy league schools as well. They definitely did not need additional apps with their low admission rates so I was surprised at the time. I didn't know that some BS did this as well.</p>

<p>Dodgersmom: how about this?


Here's how Rachel Toor describes her former job as an admissions officer at Duke in her new book, Admissions Confidential:</p>

<p>I travel around the country whipping kids (and their parents) into a frenzy so that they will apply. I tell them how great a school Duke is academically and how much fun they will have socially. Then, come April, we reject most of them.


The university devotes a considerable amount of money and effort to recruiting BWRKs ("bright, well-rounded kids") only because denying them boosts the school's selectivity rating. Although Toor seems disillusioned by the task of pumping up application rates, she also seems to believe that some measure of a school's worth can be found in the number of students it rejects.


Confessions</a> of a Prep School College Counselor - Magazine - The Atlantic</p>

<p>Periwinkle - </p>

<p>Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Yes, that's it.</p>

<p>And it's so reassuring to know that I can rely on CC community brain cells when my individual ones start to fail me . . . :)</p>

<p>I remember going to a Duke information session. The admission officer was very up front about the crap shoot. She said how many applications they received -- I don't remember the number but my son elbowed me and said, "They're bringing in a cool million in application fees even if they give out a few hundred waivers" -- and she said, "Of those, only about 5-10% aren't qualified to be Duke students, so our job is figuring out which of the rest of the group to send letters to." </p>

<p>I think, on one hand, this is a great reality check. On the other hand, I suppose you could say that she's telling the group that pretty much everyone's got a shot, so why not roll the dice?</p>

<p>He didn't apply. He had been to campus a few times and had done Duke TIP and was really interested, despite being a lifelong UNC fan in sports, but when the tour ended, we were at the end of the big circle on West Campus and there were buses to take students to other parts of West Campus and back to East Campus. He stopped me, said, "Look at this. Look at all these buses. They've got numbers. I can't deal with buses. Let's go."</p>

<p>And that was the end of that.</p>

<p>I always loved it when a college visit resulted in a college being scratched OFF his list. That's when I thought there was progress and the trip was worth it. Visiting colleges that you (or your child, as the case may be) think you're going to like and ending up liking them has its benefits...but it happens too often to be a meaningful thing.</p>

<p>The real action is when you visit a college and say, "Nope. This isn't for me because...." There's much more gained from understanding the things that blow a college out of the water because there are so many great colleges to choose from and you'd be happy at any one of hundreds of them so your job is to figure out which few from that large group you're going to send applications to.</p>

<p>That's right. You see what I did there: turn the tables! It's your choice, not theirs.</p>

<p>I am not willing to be as cynical yet. In my DC's middle school, none of teachers we asked for recommendation letters heard of Exeter. Half of them were aware of Andover mostly because of two Bushes. Boarding schools are more a New England/East Coast thing until recently. We are grateful that these schools make the effort to travel around and introduce BS to the rest of the country.</p>

<p>I'd like to believe that this isn't happening too much in the BS system. However, I am now second guessing one interview with a very engaging admissions officer who emphasized how much he wanted my child to apply to his school. I guess we'll all know whether he was genuine or not come March 10th.</p>

<p>We attended a ten-schools event and my husband thought we were supposed to sign in. So even though I was introduced as an alum of one school and parents were told I had a daughter at another (and yet another Adcom figured out who I was on CC) -- you guessed it - most of the schools sent me letters as if I were a parent just now exploring BS for my kid.</p>

<p>It happens - though the letters might imply they think that students who attended the meetings are highly motivated and give them some wiggle room on the deadline?</p>

<p>I'm a parent of an Andover freshman and a HS senior. I believe boarding schools send mailings and talk up the school to a degree- nothing like the craziness that goes on at the college level. The common app has made it extremely easy for colleges to rake in the $- especially ones that don't require supplements- and applied versus admit statistic numbers. The boarding schools do not have a common app that is so generic and they don't make the same kind of revenue either-just don't have the numbers. I can tell you that besides Massachusetts and NYC, most of the students come from all over the country and around the world. Additionally, I was totally shocked to learn that PA recruits kids who take early and score well on the SATs (for John Hopkins/Duke programs). I also know 3 boys who were recruited from sports- FL, MN, and MO. so, it could have honestly been a mailing glitch because part of the school's mission is: "students from every quarter". (regardless of cost because they are the only needs-blind boarding school in the country) Having said all that, I'm not totally naive- so it could be a bit of both.</p>

<p>I'm not surprised to learn that Andover recruits kids who take the SSAT early and do well. At Andover day, the Deputy Director purports that they look at everything else first and the SSAT scores last, but with the average they post as 94% on Boarding School Review, sumpin' not right. Again, I am just a parent, but to me it appears that Andover in particular wants kids who score well/top on the SSAT. Maybe it's an indicator of future performance on the SAT. If they didn't weight the standardized testing so much, the average would be more in line with other top HADES and GLADCHEMMS schools.</p>