Do Unsolicited Emails From Colleges Mean the Schools REALLY Want You?
I received two emails this week from colleges asking me to apply to their schools. One of them gave me a code to waive the application fee. My parents are saying "They must REALLY want you" and are encouraging me to apply. These are not schools that interest me. How would these schools know they "really want me" if they haven't seen my scores and grades yet? Should I apply? I have already applied to five schools and have gotten into one, but I haven't heard from my first choice yet.
When high school students receive unsolicited mail from colleges — including application fee waivers — these should be viewed as invitations to apply but not as an indication that acceptance is likely. If applications go up at any college or university, it means that the percentage of admitted students usually goes down. And both of these factors can help an institution appear more selective, and thus potentially to rise higher in popular rankings. So colleges can spend a lot of effort (and money) to encourage students to submit an application ... including those students who had never previously considered doing so.