April 18, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thousands gather in Amherst Commons for 23rd Annual Extravaganja -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sexual violence is not ‘normal’ -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One year after Boston Marathon bombings, UMass doctor Pierre Rouzier continues passion to help -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photo Slideshow: UMass United Rally -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Yourself Tested at UMass -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass football continues move in new direction in annual Spring Game -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Library labyrinth targets stress -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There is nothing to debate about global warming -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass hits the road to take on LaSalle -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse looks to extend winning streak against Richmond -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive latest McCormack Executive-in-Residence -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Got a little Irish in you? -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass doctoral student awarded Soros Fellowship -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass Dressage Team discusses the lesser-known sport -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Canelas: Things worth watching in Spring Game 2014 -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘The Walking Dead’ finale resurrects a dull season -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Five places to study at UMass -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

UMass tennis team battles injuries as season comes to an end -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What’s in an envelope? One school bets on your enrollment

Courtesy of Fahrzeug

It’s the spring of your senior year of high school, and you come home every day eagerly awaiting that coveted acceptance letter from your top choice school. You visualize the bold letterhead with your school’s logo on it, plan out in your head how you will tear open the manila and know your fate.

One college is seeking to exploit this paradigm to bolster enrollment, and it’s using a rather unique, innovative method to make prospective students feel like it values them. The University of Dayton, in Dayton, Ohio has begun sending accepted students’ admission letters using UPS and DHL express envelopes. The theory goes, according to a Sept. 10 article in the online college news magazine Inside Higher Ed, that students will feel valued by the school and therefore be more likely to enroll.

“We are saying you are not going to be junk mail to us,” said University of Dayton Vice President of Enrollment Management Sundar Kumarasay in the article, “We’re sending a message that you are important.”

The university does not pay for priority mailing, the letters are sent through the United States Postal Service, but the envelopes are made to look just like UPS and DHL envelopes, with help and contracts from the two companies.

The Roman Catholic Liberal Arts University accepted 300 more students than it expected for this year’s class, with 2,065 freshmen, and it has seen a rise in student visits and applications. Kumarasay gives the envelopes credit for enticing new students, but gives the university’s programs and education credit for enrolling them.

The added cost of licensing fees for using UPS and DHL are not much in end, because although tens of thousands of letters are still sent out, the envelopes have increased Internet usage by stirring interest, explained Kumarasay.

One recent Dayton enrollee was not sold, however.

“I think the whole thing’s a little cheesy,” said University of Dayton freshman Shannon Lees. “They seem full of themselves, [Dayton] isn’t Harvard.”

The international studies major and Chicago native said Dayton is a “family school,” with a lot of legacy students, and that she thinks “they would appreciate [the envelopes] more,” than her.

Lees received a certificate with her acceptance letter, something she could “hang on the mantle,” but she says she would rather just a plain letter, something classic and not a gimmick.

Patrick Callahan, a University of Massachusetts spokesman, said the flagship campus of the UMass system will not be looking to a Dayton-style model to attract students.

“We don’t do anything like what Dayton is doing,” said Callahan, “we don’t have any plans to do so in the future.”

Although UMass does not use or plan to use an envelope gimmick to increase campus interest, the school’s admissions officers are not complete strangers to plans such as Dayton’s.

In a Sept. 5 Boston Globe article, UMass Amherst Chancellor Robert Holub said that UMass sends out certificates for financial aid scholarships, calling the strategy a “marketing tool.”

“Instead of just saying, ‘You have a $6,000 scholarship as part of your financial aid package,’ we say ‘Congratulations! You’ve been awarded a Chancellor’s Scholarship for $6,000, and you get a certificate to hang on your wall,’” said Holub in the piece.

Sam Hayes can be reached at sdhayes@student.umass.edu. Sam Butterfield contributed to this article.

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