Are You Smarter Than A College Admissions Department?

As you know, we’re knee-deep in the college search over here. We’ve had some great experiences so far, and some not-so-great ones.

Recently, the older boy and I got him all signed up with a couple of the websites that are sort of like “scholarship clearinghouses”. That’s probably not a good name for them; I made that up. What happens is, you sign up and create a very detailed profile, and these websites will do the scholarship searching FOR YOU, which is more awesome than you can even imagine if you’re sitting there watching Nickelodeon with your younger kids at this moment. Back in the olden days, we had to look for scholarships the hard way, and it took forever.

Anyway, one of “added bonuses” of these websites is that colleges sift through them for prospective students, and will bombard a college-seeking young person with e-mails about how they should definitely check out their school.

In the middle of a recent e-mail blast from about twenty schools, I read one from a school that is in one of the states the older boy has deemed “Okay for perusal”, and was disgusted when I got to the end:

“To learn more about *insert name of school here*, our majors, or your possible fit, I encourage you to give us a shout out. You may also go online to the *insert name of school here* sight and register for additional information at *insert link here*.”

Did you spot the typo? I bet you did.

I know that everyone makes mistakes; I make them all the time. But really, is it just me, or do you agree that a college admissions department should generally scour any and all marketing tools that are sent to prospective students for potential errors? Just sayin’.



  • Mom24

    I completely agree. It's not professional at all. I'm noticing the same thing here with letters from teachers. Sad. It's hard to get my kids to realize good grammar and spelling matter when they see mistakes everyday.

    You must have better luck than we have. We signed up with one search company and it's been terrible. Constant bombardment with scholarships that have nothing to do with Rebekah. I've started just routing it right to SPAM. *sigh*

  • Melisa with one S

    Excellent point: I guess it would be ignorance of the correct word choice, on both my part AND the college! haha

  • Jason

    I also don't think the use of the term "shout out" in a college's correspondence is very professional. I realize they want to seem younger but it just sounds and reads as tacky…but that may just be me.

  • Melisa with one S

    Ooh, I should clarify that one, Jason. The website that this came through (which I won't name at this moment because I'm going to do a post about it) is VERY, very "unstuffy" and non-traditional. It is completely "teen-centric" and VERY casual. So the "Shout out" thing didn't bother me, though I agree with you: in more traditional types of correspondence it would be totally uncalled for…

  • PJ Mullen

    The services they have these days to help students find scholarships and even streamline the application process for college are great. I had to hand write most, if not all, of my applications.

    It is kind of tragic really, then again I haven't had any faith in college recruiters since I was told I'd never get into my number one choice for school by the admissions officer of another school. Since I am a vengeful sort, I made sure to fax him a copy of my acceptance letter the day I got it.

  • Baby News

    As a Tech Writer, things like this drive me insane. They should have some kind of editing process in place.

  • LceeL

    Pet peeve. Your/your're, there/their/they're sale/sail/sell. (Yes, there ARE people that pronounce 'sell' like 'sale' – so they spell it wrong). And site/sight. Which I see WAY too often.

  • BeautifulWreck

    Not surprised. When my daughter was in school (homeschooled now) every week a note was sent home about the upcoming weeks events and every week their was misspelled words. Sad.

  • Dea

    I cringe. It burns!!! It's too painful for words! I saw it immediately.

    Shout out is grammatically incorrect anyway….lol.

    And in listing our pet peeves – might I add two/to/too and its/it's to the list??

    For all us grammar police – might I suggest Eats, Shoots, and Leaves? Fantastic satiric book about grammar. 😀

    (I was an editor on the paper. I see misspellings and grammatical errors glaring at me in books, newspapers, and supposedly official letters from supposedly learned people. Nice.)

  • sandra

    Ugh. You would think someone would check or notice.

    I received a message from a guy promoting his business: 'Once you send me the info, the card will be printed with your name and a expiration day. I will contact you when there ready so you can pick them up.'


  • Tara R.

    Funny thing is if you made that sort of error on a resume or job application, chances are it would get tossed.

  • Otter Thomas

    I'm with Sue. The use of shout out threw me off. Things like this website make me both mad at my misfortune of being born too early and happy that I won't have to work so hard for my kids.

  • Mrs4444

    I agree 100% (loved your title, BTW). Tonight, I noticed that a restaurant's menu had "blue cheese" listed. Come ON!

    Is that the FW site? (just curious-we're getting on this this week, too.)

  • Michelle

    Wowww. That's such a cool option now. I can't wait to see what they have when the wee ones are in the position to search for this stuff.

    And YES I see the typo, and since I eliminate resumes from consideration when they have those types of errors, I'd have a hard time going to that school when there is such an oops.