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Got Email?

Friday, December 20, 2019

In an era of non-stop texting, instant messaging and SnapChat, for our students email is soooo 20th-century.  

While email remains the preferred mode of communication in the professional world, it seems our Generation Z would prefer to keep things briefer.

Because Email

The importance of juniors learning to get with their email account begins to accelerate once the college process kicks off. Frequent touch points with one's email account begin to take on new importance. Standardized testing registrations; financial aid application notifications; and not to mention actual decisions rendered by colleges, typically arrive through an email platform. A high school junior or senior's daily touch point with their email account becomes important. At least 3 - 4 inbox visits per week is my recommendation for even the most email-phobic teen.

Too Much of A Good Thing

Ironically, part of the reason college applicants are squeamish about opening their inboxes is the overwhelming amount of communications generated by the colleges themselves. Kiddoes often comment on the hyperactivity on the part of schools stuffing their inboxes with solicitations imploring them to apply.

Email Etiquette

Even though youngsters prefer the ease and spontaneity of the quick text, now is the time to learn how to manage the realm of  to/from/subject lines.  Email communication is how most in the professional world interact with colleagues, clients -- and prospective employers.

Just as formal telephone skills were once a fundamental element in professional communication, the same stands today when we talk about email.

Be A "Wide Receiver"

As colleges have been observing the strange but growing disconnect with applicants across this "old-timey" platform of email, they are resorting to seeking permission to make contact via text message. For some high schoolers this could come as a welcome blessing, while for others an intrusion into what feels like a personal domain.  And let's not forget that not every student is in a position to own a cellular device with a texting plan.

Managing Inbox Overwhelm

Kids might consider opening a designated "college process" email account to separate out the personal stuff from the college mailings.  Now there will be no excuse to miss notifications about essentials such as scholarship awards or missing recommendations or test scores. Until communication technology evolves yet again, keep that email inbox front and center. Don't want to miss those important notifications from the Dream School, do you?

Marla Platt, M.B.A. is an independent college consultant based in Sudbury, MA through AchieveCoach College Consulting, providing personalized guidance to students and families throughout the college planning, search and admissions process. Marla is a professional member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association and NACAC and can be reached via

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