Receiving and hating college junk mail

The average number of e-mails sent to a sophomore high school student. Colleges send this kind of junk mail to garner interest in their schools.

On average, I receive around 10 e-mails per day, so I was surprised when my Gmail had 25 e-mails. Most of these e-mails were junk mail sent by colleges in order to entice me to attend their school.  After taking the SAT or PSAT, schools buy the names of students within certain score ranges and then send these students mail to help them choose what college to attend.  Most of these E-mails tell the student to reply to the E-mail with their information in order to receive a copy of some sort of aid for college.  The colleges then use this information to send the student more junk mail, in the hopes that the student will pick their school.

This junk mail is met with mixed reactions, as some students enjoy the attention, while others criticize the incessant spam.  “At first it was pretty interesting to see what schools would contact you, but after your 30th e-mail or so, it gets a little tiresome. However, I did find the e-mails from small, obscure, and/ or private schools useful and insightful. The more options for college, the better,” said Lauren Bullamore, sophomore.

Most of the larger pubic schools that send e-mails to students offer guides and other devices, while smaller private schools typically send more information about the school, admissions and costs.  For example, larger schools such as Ohio State sent me a 1 page letter about a guide, while a smaller college called Macalester sent me 2 packets containing information about the admissions, student housing, scholarships, and majors.

“I think it’s better to research colleges yourself without the influence of their biased recruiting strategies,” said Andrew Norton, sophomore.  Many of these e-mails are trying to simply make their college sound like the best, and make every other college sound horrible.  Colleges do this is by sending you guides to help you get into the “best” colleges, which are almost always biased towards their school.

For example, Rhodes College sent me an e-mail telling me they were the best and that they would give me a guide that would guarantee my acceptance into any college I wanted.  This is obviously an exaggeration and is going to be biased towards Rhodes.

“It’s better to ask your counselor or people you know to get insight about college. When tons of colleges send you mail, you don’t really get anything out of it because there are so many you just stop paying attention,” said Kelly Brown, sophomore.  The people you interact with daily will know you better than some admissions officer at some random school that just bought your name to spam your e-mail.

“I’m afraid to open my email now because I know it will take me at least 10 minutes to find anything that isn’t college related… it was kinda great though to see an email from a college saying ‘Kathleen, can you get any smarter?!’” said Katie Arney, sophomore.  This is an example of a biased message coming from a school.

Colleges only know your name and your test scores, and from this, they think they can judge whether you would be a great fit for their school.

Even though I gave my e-mail address to colleges, that doesn’t mean they can send me junk mail.  I asked for information about colleges, not for offers of biased information that I don’t want to read.  Yes, I can always unsubscribe, but I don’t want to have to do that 400 times over the next year.  Colleges might be advertising, but massive amounts of ads won’t make me want to go to your school any more than I do.


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