Swag box from a college?

I just received a nice “swag package” of sorts from a Top 50 LAC.

The package contained a personalized letter encouraging me to apply ED II, some school merchandise (hat/pennant, etc.), some candy, and a fee waiver.

I visited the school a few months ago, and when I did, I had a conversation with my AO. However, I’m surprised that I made that large of an impression.

Considering that the school has an acceptance rate of around 30-35%, should I take this to be an attempt by the college to drive up their yield, or does a package like this mean they genuinely want to see my application?

I want to say “both,” but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.


It’s marketing, pure and simple. Read nothing else into it.


Let me guess. It was from Tulane? Don’t get caught up in the marketing or get flattered. This school is trying to increase their number of applications so they can turn more down. They prefer ED2 since it will increase their yield and the can admit less through RD.

Haha, it was not Tulane.

Tulane isn’t an LAC, for starters.

It’s a liberal arts college that doesn’t have a huge marketing presence….they had only sent me one or two pieces of in the past.

There are several scenarios that can play out, but they all lead to giving power to the college instead of you making the best decision for you.

While it can be flattering to get some of the items, there were definitely some mailers
that left us wondering what the point was, and what were the marketing people thinking.

ED2 helps them drive up application numbers, lower acceptance rates, and potentially lock you into a binding agreement.

Most colleges have the ED2 and RD applications to review at the same time. So they can weigh their yield. ED2 admits helps them plan for the fall semester and strategically admit and waitlist from ED2and RD.