The college admission process can seem like a cat and mouse game, whereby the student is always chasing and trying to appeal to their colleges of interest. And, it is like that to some extent; we’ve talked a lot about Demonstrating Interest in previous blogs and why it’s important (read more here). But, there are times it can also feel like the colleges are chasing YOU. It’s a good thing, of course, but sometimes it can get a little overwhelming. Here is how to deal with some common scenarios.
Many students find their email inbox and physical mailbox full this time of year with packets of information, letters, invitations, etc. The first time you get a letter from a college, it’s exciting, like, “Yes! At least one college found out about me and maybe wants me!” But then your mailbox will get flooded and it can become overwhelming. Here’s what to do: throw away mail / delete emails from colleges you have no interest in right away. Don’t hesitate. Worst case, you throw away something from a school you later learn you love. Don’t worry! You can request another packet, take a tour, read about it online, etc. But if you keep all the “maybes” you could miss something from a school you really do love.
Don’t Miss The Good Stuff
As stated above, the reason you want to keep your inbox fairly clear is because you may receive some really important information and you don’t want to miss it. Colleges you are interested in may send reminders about deadlines, directions for scheduling interviews, or special invitations to campus events. These types of things are actually very important.
If you haven’t already, you will start to get phone calls from colleges. You are busy students and don’t have time to spend 10 minutes on the phone with someone from a college you have zero interest in. It’s okay to be polite but firm in your approach with the person on the other end of the line. “Thank you for calling, but I am not interested in __ College at this time.” Done. If it IS a school you love, chat with them for a few minutes, if you have any questions. But, if you don’t, politely tell them you have a tour planned, or already took a tour and don’t have any questions at this time.
Once You’re Accepted
We’ve discussed in previous blogs about why colleges work so hard to pursue the students they’ve accepted to ultimately “pick” their school. So, you will likely get emails, mail, etc with information about why their school is the best. It actually makes sense to read these things carefully. Attend “accepted student weekends”, visit the campus, read all the materials, especially if you haven’t yet made up your mind. It’s an important decision and you want to have all the information you can get. However, if you have already ruled out a particular college, it’s okay to let them know. Decline their offer of admission online or whichever way they ask you to do so. That way, they will stop contacting you, and your mailbox will be full with information you actually need.
I’ve found that students are checking their email less and less. However, it’s really important that you do so during the college admission process. You can miss out on important invitations, offers, and information if you don’t check it often. So make that a priority and use the tips above to make college mail and correspondence less overwhelming.