Going through the college admission process is hard enough given the amount of competition that exists out there.
Even worse are the games that clever marketing executives at these colleges and universities bestow on unsuspecting students.
In this article we will take a look at some of the common tactics a lot of colleges are using on unsuspecting students.
The Junk Mail Dance
Many schools have been mailing high school seniors across the country last-minute admission pitches. In some cases, these students are getting bombarded by college literature that can appear to be overwhelming and at times misleading. For example, in one case a student who had already been denied admissions continued to receive letters stating that the school felt he was a good fit for their college.
The VIP priority applications
Some colleges and universities send out what they term either VIP or priority applications. These invitations show up in emails as well as in print form and come prefilled out with much of the student's information.
At times the fees for applying are waived making these offers very enticing to a student who is receiving it. However, these applications are not for the benefit of the student, but for the school as we will see next.
Why these schools would be sending out these letters?
It comes down to marketing and the need to position the school as a preferred choice in the mind of consumers. If a college or university can get more students to apply, they can also reject more applicants.More rejections make the institution appear more selective.
The point is that many schools send marketing materials to many students that they have no intention of accepting. Therefore the key take away here is your student should never apply to a school simply because a college appears interested. Instead, stick with schools that represent solid academic and financial matches.
The dreaded waiting List
Another tactic that is growing in popularity is the use of a waiting list by colleges and universities. A recent poll of 369 universities showed that 45% of those sampled are now using waiting lists.
According to the NACAC, schools admit less than a third of applicants on their wait lists. Furthermore, many of these students on the wait list are strung along long past their actual cut off with little chance of actually getting in.
For example, according to College Board statistics, Princeton University, offered 1,248 applicants positions on its wait list and ultimately accepted only 19. Georgetown University offered wait list invitations to 2,170 applicants, but admitting only two applicants.
Why do schools do this?
This strategy is used by the schools to protect their admission yields. If a school accepts fewer students in the first round and then move more applicants to a wait list, they can preserve their exclusivity.
Furthermore, some schools also use the wait list for students of alumni and VIPs rather than reject them outright, and thereby not hurt the feelings of some of their contributors.
As we have reviewed here college is a big business and it is being marketed to maximize market share. Parents and students need to be aware of what is real and what is designed simply to be for the benefit of the college.
At College Planning ABC our students avoid wasting their time with these distractions because we know what is real from what is just a marketing stunt.