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Email and the College Applicant


Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Email originated in 1971 as an interoffice communication and a way to avoid leaving detailed messages with human assistants; this was also before the era of answering machines and voice mail! Email didn't really become a "norm" until the mid-1990s.


In the 1990s at the University of Tennessee, there were text-based walk-up computer terminals where you could login to check email. On a busy day, you might have 2 emails to read.

Today, email is flooded with spam and the current generation of high school students show almost no interest in the communication medium. The challenge is however that email remains a key communication tool of the college admissions process.

1. Your personal email address (that you use when applying to colleges) should be appropriate - something with your name or initials. Words like "sexy," "spawnofsatan@" or anything involving words like "baby" or "hot" are not ideal. (And yes, spawnofsatan@ was a real email for someone who applied to a religious institution - definitely not a GEC student.)

2. Information about admissions decisions and emails to check your admissions portal will be sent to the student's email address they included when they applied.

3. And while we're on the topic, get your student used to checking email. When they enroll at their chosen college or university, they most likely will agree (electronically) to a statement that EMAIL IS THE OFFICIAL FORM of university communication - for things like bills from the bursar, advisor communication, registration, and more.

4. Many times we will have students report that they haven’t “heard anything” from colleges after they have applied. This is highly dubious. Colleges have built highly responsive systems to stay in touch with students (and parents) before and after an application has been submitted. Chances are there is an email sitting in their spam filter.

This is a LIFE SKILL your student needs to learn NOW.

Admissions decisions will not be sent via TikTok or carrier pigeon!


Not working with us yet? Feeling stressed by the college search process? Let's chat.


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