That letter in your mail box -- or inbox -- may just be your ticket to college (or to a free ride). The College Whisperer™ explores the possibilities...
Just the other day, The College Whisperer
™ -- also known as "Current Occupant" in certain postal circles, received
a piece of unsolicited mail. Not email, mind you, but actual snail
mail, at bulk rate, no less.
Keeping with my practice of opening
every piece of mail that crosses my desk -- and actually reading it -- I
sliced off the top of the envelope and pulled out what I soon realized
was an invitation to take a survey. Innocuous, and otherwise destined
for the circular file, until I saw, tucked inside the form letter, a
crisp, new $1 bill. [Now if I could only get my hands on a million of
such solicitations, I'd have it made! :-)]
Granted, the letter
was promptly discarded. The dollar bill, on the other hand... Well, I
consider myself just a little wiser and a dollar richer for having
opened and read what others would have simply thrown away. [I leave to The Ethicist
whether, knowing that I would never take the survey, I should have kept
the dollar, donated same to a worthy cause (charity begins at home,
doesn't it?) or returned the greenback to the sender.]
here is that you never know what you may find in the mail -- or email --
that may well help you in your college quest, let alone in your search
for money to pay for college.
A letter from a college offering
you the opportunity to apply fee-free. An email from a university that
considers you a perfect fit for one of its coveted programs -- together
with a sweet financial aid package to help you pay for it. A teaser from
one of the many scholarship search engines offering you a legit
opportunity to win thousands in scholarship dollars, simply by
completing an online profile. Why, you may even get an unsolicited email
from The College Whisperer
, giving you the inside scoop on the college application and admissions process. Hey, you never know!
You'll be getting lots of mail -- and email -- now that you're applying to college. After all, everyone from College Board
to the Common App
has been gathering vital information on you, then turning around and
selling it to colleges, banks, booksellers and retailers of extra long
You are on the list. Now, the opportunity to turn trash into treasure.
mail is easy. Take a few minutes to open every letter and read each
postcard. Most may be duds, but a few gems will turn up over the course
of the next eight months or so.
Email is a bit more tricky, what
with spam and a plethora of new viruses appearing daily in your inbox.
Sometimes it's not that easy to weed out the prospects from the
An easy fix, which will also make the task of
retrieving college-related email a breeze: Set up a dedicated email
account for all your college stuff. [Gmail
is a good bet, with little or no spam and virtually no clutter]. Use
this email address for all of your college communications, including
Common App, scholarship search engines and direct contact with schools.
track of important messages -- as well as potentially beneficial
opportunities -- will be a cinch, and you won't miss a thing that might
otherwise go astray in your general email account.
And while you're online, create, enhance and, by all means, clean up your online presence. Have a Facebook
By all means, you should. Just watch what you post or Tweet. Imagine
that you will be followed (dare we say, stalked?) by every college
admissions officer. If you put it out there -- and do put it out there
-- make absolutely sure that they will "Like" what they see!
key is to maximize what you already use every single day -- the
Internet, email and, though concededly less often, the United States
Postal Service. Turn what many consider an annoyance into an advantage
-- or, in terms of that which will prove invaluable in your college
quest and your search for the money that's out there to pay for your
college education, an annuity. In other words, when it comes to looking
for colleges (or narrowing down the list), applying to colleges and even
paying for colleges, leave no stone unturned!Plan. Prepare. Prevail!
Got College Questions? Ask The College Whisperer™. Write us at info@TheCollegeWhisperer.com.
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up-to-the-minute news, apps, info and insights on college applications,
admissions, scholarships and just about everything college, follow The College Whisperer on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/GetCollege
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