Colleges email aggressively to recruit 10th-graders

This essay was first published in Newsday. My 10th-grader took the PSAT exam last fall. A few weeks later, we received an email from a prestigious college. No, not Harvard, but a decent, private, liberal arts school. I was thrilled. I thought, "She must have done very well on her PSAT." I told my daughter about the email, and then we were both thrilled.

Poor, gullible Mom.

Shortly after receiving that first missive, I began fielding a flood of emails from colleges and snail mail, too.

When we met with her guidance counselor to discuss her 11th-grade class choices, I asked about all the mail. She said this is typical. The schools get names from the PSAT registrations and begin to woo the college-bound.

Our counselor advised me to hang onto the materials until Isabelle is ready to begin her college search. So, I created a virtual folder for the email - up to about 75 unread at the moment - and set a basket on her desk for the paper brochures and envelopes.

It's looking a little overwhelming to me, all of these choices. But I feel we'll narrow it down in time.