How Do I Get College Brochures in the Mail?

Question: I was wondering if I can please get some brochures about colleges. How can I do that? Instead of going to the college, I want to receive them through the mail.

If you took the PSAT and indicated on your registration form that you would like to receive information from colleges, then you may already be getting material via snail mail or email. If not, the next time you sign up for standardized tests, pay attention to any questions you see that ask you if you would like to land on mailing lists.

Another way to get on mailing lists is to fill out forms that you'll find on many college Web sites. First go to the college's home page. Next, follow the links to "Admission" or "Undergraduate Admission" or "Prospective Students," etc. From there, you may have a bit of a treasure hunt ahead of you, but there's likely to be a link to a "Request More Information" or "Get On Our Mailing List" type of form.

For instance, at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, you'd click on "Prospective Students" and then will find a "Connect and Visit" option on the Admissions page menu. From there, you'll see a link to the "Request More Information" form at This is typical of many.

For the University of Arizona, you'd look for the "Future Students" link and and then you'll see "My UA/Request Information" on the left-hand menu.

If the Web site doesn't provide an online form (or you start to go nuts looking for it), it's usually easy to find "Contact Us" information on each college's admission pages. You can then either send an email or make a phone call and ask to be put on mailing lists. If you have special interests or needs --academic, athletic, religious, etc.--be sure to mention them. In the old days, most colleges offered only a catalog (a thick and often dry tome that listed all academic regulations and course descriptions) along with a "viewbook"--a glossy magazine-style publication, usually full of photos of diverse smiling students and their caring, sharing faculty mentors. But, today, colleges often produce separate brochures for many different aspects of academic and extracurricular life. (When I worked at Smith College, we had a publication devoted specifically to campus security, even though Smith is probably one of the safest campuses in the universe.)

With so much information now easily accessible on the Internet with just a click of the mouse, you may also find that much of what you need is readily available in Cyberspace. In addition, some colleges are cutting back on their paper publications to save trees (and money!). But if you prefer to receive tangible booklets and brochures instead of online information, there is still plenty of it to be had.

But one final word of warning: Just because colleges happily send you materials in the mail, don't automatically assume that they really want you ... they may simply want you to apply, which can drive up their "Selectivity" ratings if they eventually turn you down. So make sure you check your profile (GPA, class rank, SAT's, ACT, etc.) against each college's statistics to see if it's likely to be a "Reach," "Realistic," or "Safe" choice for you.