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Student voices: Unhappy with dishonest letters

Do you have an upperclassman in high school? Are you an upperclassman in high school? If you answered yes, then you definitely can agree when I say that some colleges literally treat us like a consumer, trying to figure out which product to purchase rather than choose an education. Likewise, some colleges treat me like I am the queen, sending me various emails, pamphlets and most notably, calling my home late into the night.

Well, I am flattered. But as I have essentially narrowed my college choices to three, respectful schools, I cannot help but vent about some of the ridiculousness I have faced in the past few years regarding colleges' constant pestering towards me.

1. If you are a college that is located in some far-away region of the country, I am not going to come visit you in my free time. Yes, it's true: most of my college mail comes from universities in faraway lands that I am completely unfamiliar with -- Alabama, Maryland and Montana, to name a few.

2. Please do not make your emails' subject lines so misleading. I get about 50 college emails a week, and sometimes they are extremely informative and beneficial to my decision making. Often times, however, they are extremely misleading.

This may be an extreme claim, but creating subject lines to mislead students seems to be almost unethical and leaves me extremely confused most of the time. For example, many colleges I have never emailed, let alone shown interest in, will send me emails with subject lines similar to: "Re: Your financial plan" or "Re: Your application status." I never emailed them in the first place, but they try to be tricky and lead me into thinking that I have, and even that I have started an application when I haven't even been on their website. To me, this is a gimmick that degrades the school and makes me feel like an object of their manipulation.

3. Do not send information to my house addressed to a different person. Just this week, I got a letter in the mail that was supposed to be sent to someone else from a college, yet it included my address information. Obviously, these letters are sent to thousands of prospective students, but the mix-up was just another reminder of the impersonal, mass-production of sales pitches some colleges employ.

Of course, on the other hand, I am extremely thankful that many colleges take the time to recognize me and acknowledge how hard I have worked in high school through their mailings. However, some colleges have crossed the line from being informative, to creating impersonal tactics of persuasion that make me feel like I am being targeted to improve their reputation and receive payment, rather than genuinely caring about my need to make an informed decision on my education and future.

Marnie Sciamanda is a senior at Rosemount High School. Her column appears every other week.