College Myth: Colleges That Send Me Mail are Likely to Accept Me

Many students assume the colleges which send them marketing materials in the mail are their best options. This isn’t necessarily true. In fact, some colleges send out millions of pieces of mail each year (not very targeted). Other schools only send out very little. Bottom line: being on a college mailing list does not necessarily mean you’re more likely to get accepted.

The college mailing list 

Photograph of college mail sent to prospective students. If you're on a college mailing list, they're more likely to accept you, right?

Look familiar? Photo via Flickr.

Colleges buy names from companies like ACT and College Board (SAT, PSAT) in bulk, often building lists of millions of students that they will later contact.

These colleges may know your basic information, which you provide when filling out paperwork for these tests, but they don’t necessarily know enough to know which students are a good fit and which are not.

In fact, it’s not uncommon for students to receive information from colleges where, if they applied, they would not be accepted.

Likewise, many smaller colleges and universities have less budget for marketing by mail. They may only be able to contact a few thousand students, which means that many others–who may be a great fit–could never hear from them or even know they exist.

Be proactive in finding colleges you love

There’s a chance that colleges, where you would be a great fit, won’t contact you directly–so don’t limit your college search to those that send you mail. Instead, be proactive and find colleges that interest you, rather than expecting them to find you.

College Raptor uses the information you provide to give you smarter college matches. Don’t be afraid to consider a college that you’ve never heard of or who have never sent you mail.

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