It’s in the Mail!                                                                                   by Patti Brugman

By Patti Brugman

         Ahh, getting mail… In the college business, snail mail still holds a certain magic. For the rising senior, getting brochures in the mail from colleges is cause for bragging rights: “Hey, I got a great poster from U Penn the other day.  What’d you get?” Brochures are also a great way to get a good look at the school that you just can’t get over the computer screen.

         If you did well on your PSATs or SATs and filled out the questionnaire when registering for your tests, you might automatically cue certain schools to start the sending tempting inquiries. You can also register to join any school’s “Contact List” which will put you in touch with the admissions office. There, you will input your name, address, e-mail, and area of study.  If you take the time to contact colleges on your list, you will really appreciate the e-mail and brochures they send you.

         The advantage of starting this kind of relationship with admissions personnel is that you are showing interest. When decision time comes, admissions officers often default to the students whom they know are most likely to attend their school. By showing interest in a school early, you will be in their database, which will give you a slight advantage (all other factors being equal) over students who are not.

         An added bonus is that students who register online may also receive offers to apply “free” to special, coveted programs. With that free application and early inquiry, comes the chance to receive more merit money or financial aid.  Your initiative can really pay you back!

         Once you’re on the list with prospective colleges, you will receive gorgeous, informative brochures that you can look through, file (in a box or bag) and go through again and again.  It’s the gift that goes on giving!  One student with a particularly creative flare, took all the fold-out pictures from brochures from her favorite schools and taped them to the back of the kitchen door.  Every time the door swung open, pictures of Wellesley in the fall, Georgetown in spring, Kenyon and Caltech on cloudless days swung by.  As time went on, those pictures were not only reminders of where she had applied, but gentle decision makers. Snow or sun? Crowds or the farm? Green, red, blue, pink—the colors were enticing.  With more research and a visit, the decision was easy.  While we would never advise any student to pick a college based on a picture, they do create an impression and suffuse a kind of magic.

In order to protect both your sanity and your computer, set up a special account and make your college communication a breeze. This is the time to change your e-mail address from “Fluff” to  A professional look is just what you need and a special account for college communication will keep you organized.  You can also link your professional account to your social account so that you’re sure not to miss anything. And if you ever want to unsubscribe to any school, just click the link.

         Just by registering at colleges that peak your interest, you will start receiving e-mail offers and gorgeous brochures in your mailbox.  Both will serve you well as you start on the quest for your Perfect U.

--All the best from PerfectFitCollege.Net   8/12