I was a high school junior in the fall of 1988. Soon after I took the PSAT, I was suddenly very popular. Not with my fellow students, but with universities. Mostly ones I'd never heard of. For a year, our family's mailbox was stuffed with packets and glossy brochures addressed to me, all from random colleges trying to entice me to apply.
I've never regained that level of popularity.
Trevor didn't take the PSAT (nor the SAT/ACT), but somehow the universities found him. He is experiencing his own popularity boom, which is mainly taking the form of emails. For the past year, he has been getting multiple emails every single day from colleges asking him to apply. He is also getting actual packets and brochures (and from one school, cookies!) in the mail.
After I saw him recycling the first several dozen mailed packets with barely a glance, I asked Trevor if I could start collecting them. When Mom is a scrapbooker, you just say yes without asking why. The pile was growing daily for the better part of a year. Some schools sent Trevor a single packet, while others have mailed things to him 5 or more times. Lynn University and Hofstra University have been particularly tenacious, with Tulane, Northern Arizona University, Eckerd, Washington & Lee, and the University of Alaska also showing high levels of persistence.
Trevor is not applying to any of these schools, but I thought it would be fun to have a page in the scrapbook documenting this tidal wave of solicitations. I removed duplicates, cut out logos and other interesting bits, and glued them onto a piece of white cardstock. There was no room for journaling or a title, but I think it speaks for itself:
If you didn't already notice it, look at the map of the US near the center of the page. I'm amused that a college in Missouri uses the tagline "In the middle of everything" to entice potential students. California is helpfully outlined, presumably to remind Trevor how far away he is from "everything."
Something else to point out: the cost of college is INSANE. Toward the bottom of my layout, you'll see that two different schools mentioned a $30,000+ scholarship for Trevor. In each case, that is per year... which sounds amazing until you realize that their annual tuition is around $50,000. It is particularly insane when you realize that in-state tuition at California's excellent public universities averages $14,000. So if Trevor accepted either of those $30,000 scholarships, he would still owe more than he would before scholarships at a higher-rated California school.
As application deadlines are almost here, I expect that the mail will taper off dramatically. I'm glad to have documented it in this small way. I really wish I could look back on which schools had sent stuff to me 35 years ago, at the height of my popularity.