Cuper Scooper: College wants me

Cuper Scooper: College wants me

Selene Rubino

I know because I got a letter. 

I have a guilty little secret and it’s called college spam mail.

After taking the PSATs for the first time, I began to receive fliers and brochures from various institutions of higher learning around the country, all of them flaunting school spirit and academic prowess. Who wouldn’t feel complimented? All campus grounds look appealing and every student looks happy and attractive, bursting with the self-confidence to succeed in life.

Some colleges even want to give me scholarships— scholarship opportunities, that is.

Then there are the fliers that try to trick me into believing theImagey’re college admissions guides. Sorry, “A Pocket Guide to Choosing a College,” but I don’t want to visit the Indiana University website for more “useful” information.

In general, these letters rely on flattery to get their points across. The University of Pennsylvania, for example, wanted to know “What qualities do you share with one of history’s greatest inventors, artists, and diplomats?” Well, we both want to go to UPenn, of course!

But wait a second. Why would U Penn— a school that rejects 83 percent its applicants, according to Collegeboard— need to advertise? Doesn’t it already have a huge selection pool? Even more applicants would only mean even more students rejected, unnecessarily and at the expense of everybody’s time. It is, I suppose, a great way to boost the prestige of the school.

Suddenly college spam mail isn’t so fun.

At the heart of all advertising is a tinge of exploitation that gets you to buy the product regardless of whether or not you should. The amateurish attempts of college admissions offices aren’t sophisticated enough to sway most teenagers I know; however, it’s not the execution that matters, but the intent.

If the goal of name-brand schools is prestige, where does that leave me? Say that I’m an average student with no particular interests. Isn’t it a bit cruel to get me to apply to a school where more than 80 percent of applicants are rejected?

Private colleges are acting like any other private institution in the United States: in their own self-interest. A larger selection pool does mean a better freshman class of students. Perhaps the point could be made that such competition increases the general quality of education. It just seems a little sad that, after 12 years of guaranteed equality under the public school system, we’re finally forced to grow up.