The College Search

Will Signing Up for Admissions Mailing Lists "Out" Test-Takers to Colleges?

Question: When you sign up for mailing lists (bubbling in that dot) while taking the PSAT or SAT, do colleges get your scores? I always thought colleges only mailed information to people above a certain score. If not, doesn't signing up for these mailings defeat the purpose of Score Choice? Now, colleges will know you took an SAT/PSAT on that date and will wonder why they didn't get a corresponding score for that date!

Fear not. Colleges do not receive your scores from the College Board unless you specifically order Score Reports sent to them. If you sign up to get onto mailing lists when you register for tests via the "Student Search Service," then colleges will receive your name and contact information if you fit whatever profiles they have requested. These profiles may include a test-score range but will often also include other factors, too, such as where you live, your prospective major (if you chose one), your racial/ethnic background, your athletic or extracurricular interests, even your religion.


Once your name lands on a college's list, you will probably receive propaganda from that school, but I assure you that admission officials don't check to see who isn't on a list. They are definitely not going to know if you took the SAT's and your scores didn't reach their benchmark. Moreover, if your name does get on their list after you've taken the SAT, but then you don't submit the corresponding test scores due to Score Choice, they are not going to check for this either. In other words, opting to receive mail from colleges will not violate the privacy that Score Choice can provide.

However, if you do decide to register for Student Search and later change your mind, you can have your name removed from consideration. (I doubt that this happens very often, but at least the option is out there.)

There are plenty of things to keep track of and to worry about as you go through the college admissions process, but I promise you that this isn't one of them!