Welcome to Rye Country Day's Economic Blog. Here you will find perspectives by students taking Economics at Rye Country Day School. It is meant to be a forum where students can openly express their ideas and take positions on relevant economic issues. I urge everyone to participate in presenting their own ideas in an open manner so that we can all learn from each other. Regardless of whether you are currently taking Economics, everyone is invited and encouraged to comment on articles and get involved. Feel free to e-mail me, Alex Osborne at alexander_osborne@rcds.rye.ny.us , with comments or suggestions.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Featured Entry - College Spam


As I think back on the past year, there have been very few constants. However, one thing I could always be sure of was having one or two pieces of mail from colleges waiting for me at the Post Office. I've narrowed it down to there really being three types of this mail. The first is a greeting, a hello, an introduction. This type obviously makes business sense from the college's point of view as it increases the number of students who are aware of the college's existence (something very important if the college wants people to apply). The second type also makes sense, follow-up mail from colleges that I have expressed an interest in. The third, however, makes, to me, no sense whatsoever, second, third, fourth, fifth, or even sixth mailings from colleges that have never heard from me at all. Yes, by now I know their names, but their incessant mailings have hardly made it more likely that I will apply there. As I toss my sixth piece of 'college spam' from Hood into the recycling, I wonder just how much money must be wasted with all of these mailings. Perhaps this is one of the reasons for the high cost of a college education. The solution seems, to me, to be simple, to only send one piece of mail unless interest has been expressed. The money colleges will save from this practice will more than make up for the handful of students they might possibly miss out on.

- Philip Waller

4 comments:

Christian said...

Yea, I’ve found it strange that random colleges I’ve never heard nor have any interest in, often send me over a dozen or more mails. The simply answer to this puzzling mystery is that they figure the more people they send mails too, the more interest they raise, and ultimately to more people they can get to come. In addition, people’s names have strange ways of getting on mailing lists. College Board, Common App, and various other websites are just a few of the culprits. I wonder though, if colleges didn’t send out so much span and junk email, how much money could they really save?

Chelsea Gaulin said...

I don’t know what’s worse?! The College Spam Letters or e-mails! I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t even count them to be able to provide a number. I also receive the massive bulk of College spam, for which I rarely even open the letter. I have an older brother, and I asked him about the amount of emails he received last year, and it seems to be nowhere near my total! I don’t think we're the only ones noticing the money they could save on postage. However, I feel slightly violated that I get so many emails from colleges. I mean come on, at least make the effort to send the letter. E-mail couldn’t be lazier! Oh, and I most defiantly have a bone to pick with all these on-line applications we fill out. Isn’t our information supposed to be privet and on a direct need-to-know basis? What’s that about?

Hayley O'Neil said...

I hate college spam. There is nothing more annoying than having my mom say "Hayley, there's mail for you", me getting all excited, then let down as I stare at yet another envelope from yet another unknown college that if I wasn't interested in before, I am definately not interested in now since being inundated with spam mail just makes me mad. I never thought about the college's end of it- they are actually spending money to send me this letter, which is the worst economic investment ever since in my case they are just annoying me and actually decreasing my interest. Colleges should save their money and not send out those mass spam mailings; to me, a simple email with the name of the college in the 'subject' column would be perfect, so if I think I am interested, I can open the email, and if not, I am not annoyed and I just press delete.

Ivan K. said...

I wonder why more colleges have no made the switch to send emails over letters. I mean, sending emails makes a lot more sense. For one thing, it does not involve the expenses of sending a letter, saving the colleges money. Second, it arrives at its destination much faster than a letter would, spreading information about the college much quicker. Also, the fact that it is relatively simple to delete and, at least to me, less bothersome than a letter, it would reduce the annoyance factor. Finally, sending emails is just a much easier process than letters. It would be interesting to know the logic behind colleges still prefering letters to emails. I personally have recieved spam letters from colleges, but I have never gotten a spam email.