Inbox(∞): Colleges flooding my email

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Colleges send plenty of propaganda, but their messages lack anything that catches my eye.

I opened up my e-mail the other day, and I was downright shocked. It wouldn’t surprise me if more than 80 percent of my messages were spam from colleges.

“Eric, you’ve impressed us.”

“A student like you, Eric.”

“Eric, click here to claim your gift.”

I’m sick and tired of colleges clogging up my e-mail account, not to mention the hundreds of letters they send through mail. I get five to 10 e-mails from colleges on any given day, on top of at least two or three through the mail.

It’s not just the sheer amount of e-mails and letters that I get that bothers me. They don’t even try to get my attention in a unique way. Granted, I probably wasn’t going to open the letter or message anyway, but shouldn’t they at least try?

This whole finding-a-college process seems pretty one-sided. Students and colleges both offer each other things the other wants: colleges give students an education while students make up colleges’ reputations. Throughout my whole high school career I’m supposed to distinguish myself for colleges, but from these letters it doesn’t make it seem like colleges are trying that hard to distinguish themselves for me. I would actually be interested in the emails or letters they send me if they had some points that distinguish themselves. Send me something concrete, not just their own opinions of themselves; some statistics of standardized test scores or third party quotes of the college would be nice.

At least in the letters I receive, all the colleges want is for you to take some “find out what college is right for you” test, which are the most monotonous things in the world, or just go to their website so you can look at pictures of their “beautiful” campus and “diverse” students and faculty. I mean, really, from the pictures they put up, I’m convinced that every college looks the same.

Then there are the colleges that try lure you in with gifts. “Eric, your TCU bumper sticker is still reserved; fill out this, this and that to claim it.” Great, 30 minutes of my time so I can get a crappy bumper sticker. If you’re going to try to bribe me with gifts, make it something that I’ll actually like. I would gladly take a survey of fill out some forms if they offered football or basketball jerseys.

I guess one way to get around this problem would be to just unsubscribe from all of their mailing lists, but with hundreds of colleges, it would take way too long. And marking the e-mails as spam only solves half the problem: you’d still be flooded with letters.

These colleges get your information from the CollegeBoard (SAT and PSAT) and ACT.
Because every college requires you to take one of these tests, there really is no way to prevent your information from getting out to the colleges.

If anyone has any other ways, believe me, I’m all ears. But for now, I guess I’ll work on deleting these messages.

Eric Zoellner