College Recruiting Fever
Everbody and his uncle want to shower our Petya, a rising high school senior, with scholarships, essay tips, loans, and college enrollment offers.Â At least thatâ€™s what you would be led to believe if you took a look at his e-mailâ€™s inbox.
In the subject line, this is what I see:Â â€œCollege Essay Secrets No One Else Will Tell Youâ€, â€œGet Expert Help with Your College Applications!â€, â€œThe Official SAT Question of the Dayâ€, â€œ______ University wants to get to know you better!â€, â€œHow Do Other Students Pay for School?Â Learn from Themâ€,Â â€œPetya, ______ College Might Be the Match for You!â€, â€œYour Education Funding from Sallie Maeâ€, â€œ2 New August Scholarship Winners!â€, â€œFree Tuition Opportunity for Allâ€, â€œThe #1 Network for College Sports Recruitingâ€â€¦.
Lest we get carried away, I realize that these are ads, pure and simple.Â Maybe he fit the preferred profile of being athletic, earning a high GPA, and participating in lots of community service extracurriculars.
Case in point:Â he also receives a number of e-mails about dating services, face lifts, Alaskan cruises, and Lasik surgery, which provide a good dose of reality therapy and let us know that the marketers have no idea that they are not targeting an octogenarian woman at the same cyber-address.
Since the kids are at camp, I decide to discuss the e-mail offerings with Benedetto.
Moi:Â Â Â â€œHow do other students pay for school?Â They work their tails off, thatâ€™s how.â€
Him:Â Â â€œDidnâ€™t your parents pay your way?â€
Moi:Â Â â€œUm, that would be a NO.Â Donâ€™t you remember me taking off time to work and then going back to school?Â Â I donâ€™t believe in debt.â€
Him:Â Â Â â€œThen youâ€™d better delete the e-mail from Sallie Mae.â€
Him:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â â€œThatâ€™s Fannie Mae for home loans.Â This is Sallie Mae for student loans.â€
Moi:Â Â Â â€œI donâ€™t care if itâ€™s Suzy Mae or Lulu Mae.Â Where did they get these names?Â If itâ€™s an expensive school, heâ€™s not going there.Â Why start off your adult life $100K in debt?Â And whoâ€™s Freddie Mac, anyway?â€
Him:Â Â Â â€œHeâ€™s related to Steve Jobs and the Apple empire.Â Actually, I think Petya may like the idea of an Alaskan cruise,â€ he mentions, scanning the inbox.
Moi:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â â€œGood, think of it as your graduation present to him next summer.Â Send me someplace warmâ€¦.â€
Him:Â Â Â â€œIâ€™m sure heâ€™ll receive an e-mail offer sometime soon.â€
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