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.