Warning for Parents New to The Process-Mailing

<p>We just got mail addressed to a child, Sara, who does not exist in our family! I have sons, but no Ds, LOL. It says that Sara has been selected as one the students in our area to apply for grants, scholarships, tuition discounts, low interest, and subsidized loans through their college assistance programs. How nice of them. Space is limited and we should RSVP immediately.</p>

<p>Yep I fell for this. Only once though and I caught on pretty quick ;) Their entire 2-hour presentation essentially boiled down to: "Pay us the $1000 fee and we'll help you fill out your FAFSA forms and give you a list of scholarships." Gee, somehow I don't think the scholarship list will be much better than FastWeb's. :p</p>

<p>Easy to get swept away. If one does not understand the process, or does not read carefully, one thinks that this is something very special that the student was chosen to attend. It looks like an invitation. It even says on the outer flap that it is a "special invitation for ----- and parents".</p>

<p>Don'tcha love getting mail that's supposed to be "personalized" and so obviously computer generated?</p>

<p>My son filled out a college app and when asked, "what name do you go by?" he put two names (i.e. "Eddie or Ed") We continued to get mail from that school..."Dear Eddie or Ed, thank you for applying", "Dear Eddie or Ed, we are pleased to offer you acceptance", etc.</p>

<p>I started calling him "Eddie or Ed".</p>

<p>I guess I should say his name isn't really Eddie, Ed, Edward, or any other derivation. I just used that as an example.</p>

<p>LOL, That is a great way to get a student to enroll! My son had many mailings with typos in his name, but never an acceptance letter! We are on some list with the name Sara, so once I see that name I know that the name was sold from somewhere. My S took in the mail today, and he brought it to my attention by letting me know that our invisible D, Sara, received an invitation.</p>

<p>On one of her AP tests, my daughter didn't fill the Scantron circles for some letters in her name darkly enough and they were missed by the computer. Her name was therefore recorded incorrectly. Linda is not her real name, but, for example, it would be the same as someone named "Linda Jones" being called "L Da Jones". For years, she received mail addressed to "L Da" !!</p>

<p>The advantage to having a mispelled name is that you will always know where it came from. I had a credit card once that had mispelled my last name slightly and to this day, whenever I receive mass mailings with that spelling I know who sold them my name!</p>

<p>Doubleplay.....the "dear Eddie or Ed" is very funny!! :D</p>

<p>I am constantly getting calls from many different people for Jenny (I don't have any daughters named Jenny) and after a while, I caught onto a pattern. All of the calls are related to colleges calling up "recruiting" Jenny, whomever she is (whomever filled out something!). So, now, when they ask for Jenny, I ask if it is college related and it always is (this list must have gone to a bunch of schools!...though frankly obscure ones.....and ones that call people up to tell them about it!), and they always say, yes, and I tell them that Jenny must be on some list but doesn't live here, though I have college kids, and to take the number off the list.</p>

<p>speaking of random phone calls for other people..
When I was a little girl, a new radio station opened up in our area and their phone number was exactly like ours except for one digit. We started getting phone calls at all hours of the day and night requesting songs and asking if they were "caller number ten" or whatever. My older brothers (teens) would say, "Hey, yes you ARE caller number ten and you've won tickets to the XXX concert!!! Come down to the station and pick them up!"</p>

<p>Evenually my folks got frustrated and we had to change our number, but it was fun for us kids while it lasted.</p>

<p>Re the "Eddie or Ed" story,</p>

<p>One night my son wasn't home and he got one of those "ambassador" phone calls from a student at that particular university. She hesitantly asked, "Is.......(pause)..... Eddie or Ed there??"
I couldn't resist responding, "No, Eddie or Ed isn't here right now, can I take a message?"</p>

<p>Wasn't there a documentary a few years ago where a man gave a false name to a magazine subscription office or something, and tracked the imaginary identity through various mailing lists?</p>

<p>I don't know how this happened but I actually got a college mailing addressed to <em>me</em> the other day! S2 was duly impressed.</p>

<p>My father called a woman's college with some questions when his first daughter was looking at colleges--this was about 20 years ago. The person on the phone took down our address (well, their address... I wasn't born yet) and information. Well, a few months later my dad gets a letter inviting him to an overnight program at the college, going to far as to say that he may meet his future roommate there! </p>

<p>Somehow my father's name (unmistakebly male) got entered into their database instead of my sister's name (unmistakebly female). </p>

<p>He resisted the impulse to attend.</p>

<p>When I was applying to schools there was one school that would send me two letters at a time. They were the same two letters. One would be addressed to (not my real name) "Ashley Smith" and the other addressed to "Ashlee Smith". I let it go on for a while but soon got tired of it so I finally called them and told them to stop sending the wrong one. Never got another to the wrong name.</p>

<p>My D bubbled her last name wrong on the PSAT. All of her college mail has something like "Susan Rmith" instead of Susan Smith--not a letter combination one would see. So far only one college has figured it out and corrected it. (Her email address on the same form contained her correct last name--so it should be obvious to any half awake real person out there what her name is. Problem is, real people are not sending out these mailings).
Anyway, we've taken to calling her by this unpronouncable name.</p>

<p>My last two jobs have been in Development for non-profits. Every once in a while I find myself faced with a name (in our database or printed somewhere) that I've never heard of or that's spelled weirdly or is unusual, but if you change something around it makes a real name. The question is, do you guess it's the real name and change it or not? I generally ask around to see if anyone knows the person or try to find a name listing somewhere else (phone book, online, etc.), but sometimes you just need to decide. Leaving the name as recorded tends to be the default. Although real people rarely do college mailings, many other mailings are done by real people who may not be able to correctly guess what's a typo or bad handwriting versus what's just unusual. </p>

<p>That's just my rant for the day--I spent Friday at work trying to figure out what someone's name was. I'm still not sure if we got it right. Given the name, we're not even sure we have the gender right. Oh well.</p>

<p>cor--I see your point.</p>

<p>I was amused because these college letters do contain my daughter's real name in another spot--often printed on the request for info. (I don't want to put D's real name here, but trust me, you'd easily guess this one). I think that the one (very small) college that corrected the name did have a real person working on the mailings. </p>

<p>Also amusing that D couldn't bubble her own name right--source of blond jokes and lefty jokes around our house. ;)</p>