Jessica: When Nicole Ederer was a sophomore in high school, lots of colleges started reaching out to her.
Nicole Ederer: You feel special in a sense that they’re targeting you.
Jessica: Over the next year, some of the most respected schools in the country flooded Nicole with letters and emails, inviting her to apply.
“There was mail every day for Nicole. We had huge garbage bags full.”
Jessica: Thinking she had a great chance of getting in, Nicole’s family spent about $900 on applications. Both Duke and Columbia sent her so much mail, she thought it was a sure thing.
Nicole: I got rejected and it was a sense of shock.
Jessica: Mimi Doe helps families navigate the college process. She says schools are getting aggressive in their marketing to students.
Mimi Doe: Students are encouraged to apply to a college even if their scores and grades aren’t in range.
Jessica: But Columbia University said in a statement, ‘We only reach out to students who would likely be competitive for admission.’
Marketing has helped boost applications to record numbers, which means more students are competing for each spot and colleges are rejecting more applicants than ever.
Mimi: They want to appear more selective.
Jessica: Duke reaches out to about 30,000 potential applicants each year, but there are only 1,700 spots in the freshman class. So only about six percent actually make it. The university said in a statement, ‘Our publications have helped us attract one of the most exceptional groups of undergraduates in the world.’
Jessica: Even though Nicole didn’t make the cut, she is excited about going to the University of Maryland in the fall, and she is warning the next class of high school seniors not to read too much into their mail.
Jessica Kumari, Channel One News.