Why Do I Get So MUCH College Mail?
If you are a high school junior or senior, you may be getting lots of mail from colleges and universities. Your mailbox may be bulging with glossy, colorful brochures (like the ones we create here at Vanderbilt), and you may be wondering why…what did you do to receive all of that mail? What does it all mean? To help you sort this out, here are some ways you might have gotten on college mailing lists:
- Somewhere along the way, you’ve likely opted in to receive mail from colleges. Many standardized tests and surveys distributed in your schools include an option asking if you’d like to receive information from colleges, and you said “yes.”
- You’ve completed inquiry cards—either in person or online—for specific colleges and universities.
- You’ve clicked on specific colleges while browsing college search sites.
- You’ve emailed college reps asking questions.
Get the picture? It’s likely that you didn’t give a lot of thought to checking “yes” in some manner, giving colleges and universities permission to communicate with you. We’re glad you did!
That’s just the first step—what do you do with that flood of mail?
Many colleges and universities want to tell their story to students like you. Each institution has its own personality, location, academic offerings, financial aid programs, and admissions process. No two colleges are exactly the same, and each college wants you to learn about all of their offerings. We develop all kinds of communications to help you do your research—to determine if our institution might be a potential college match for you. These communications include print pieces mailed directly to you, as well as blogs, emails, tweets, Facebook posts, Snapchat takeovers by current students, and more.
We know that you are busy and we recognize that you might not be interested in every piece we send you… but we hope that you take the time to review the pieces that do interest you. I encourage you to…
- Use a file box or drawer for college brochures and related information.
- Save yourself time, and file all that mail alphabetically so when you decide you want to read about a college, you can easily get to the right materials.
- Actually read the brochures from colleges that interest you! The photographs tell a story, and the text adds detail.
- If you become more interested in any particular college(s), compare what you’re seeing in print to what you find on their website.
- Access the institution’s students—at Vanderbilt, you can easily use our contact a student page to email current students with your questions. Get the story straight from your peers who are living the Vanderbilt experience now!
- Re-visit the brochures over time as your preferences change; what you thought you wanted in college at the beginning of junior year might change as the college application process actually begins.
- Share the information with your friends, family, or high school counselor. In many homes, parents are an important part of the college search process—show them what you like! And be sure to let your counselor know too. Family members or counselors often have great insights for you to consider.
- When you have questions about a college, email or call the admissions office. At Vanderbilt, you should contact your counselor with those questions—we are here to help you sift through all of the information and pare it down to what matters most to you.
- Register for college visit programs that you are learning about through all of that mail.
And remember, if you are no longer interested in any certain college, you can ask to be removed from a college’s mailing list.
Why do you receive so much mail? Because colleges would like you to learn more about them, and in turn, we hope we’ll learn more about you!