Thursday, February 26, 2009

Academic capitalism: College Acceptance Letters Glitzy - Rejection Letters Brutal

In these economically perilous times colleges are more worried than ever that the most desirable students will reject them in favor of other suitors.

The response has been an upgrade in the acceptance "packages" set to students. As these get more glitzy the rejection letters (or emails!) are getting more brutal, according to an article today from the Associated Press and syndicated in Yahoo News.
AP: College admissions officers are jazzing up their acceptance notifications--sending out fancy certificates, T-shirts, tubes of confetti, or Internet links to videos of fireworks--in an effort to inspire loyalty and lock in commitments from today's fickle and worried high school seniors.

Some admissions officers say rising competition and the economic downturn are forcing them to devote more money and attention in paper acceptance packets. Worried that the economic downturn might scare some students away from private schools like St. Bonaventure, admissions director James M. DiRisio upgraded his college's T-shirt package this year.

Meanwhile, Rick Shaw, Stanford's director of admissions, says the college is trying to reduce waste by encouraging the 20,000 or so rejected applicants to take their bad news electronically, though it will send a formal letter if a student asks. "We are saving a lot of trees," he explained.

1 comment:

Amy Shuffelton said...

I hope faculty of those colleges sending out electronic rejection letters are prepared not to be piqued when students send an onslaught of emails rather than corresponding in the more socially gracious ways. In other words, it's annoying as heck to have students waste our time with email questions that they could easily ask in person or find the answers to themselves, but what do we expect, so long as we fail to teach them the social graces? I found this news interesting but rather discouraging too.