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C'est la Z

Email or USPS

USPS is in financial trouble. That's been pretty well documented recently. Most reasonable people will recognize that the USPS is both an important service and while it receives no taxpayer support would be profitable were it not for the GOP imposing unfair and unrealistic pension funding requirements in 2006.

Although I'm an ardent supporter of the post office and feel that privatization of such an important intuition would be criminal today I want to talk about some small repercussions of so many things going to email rather than snail mail. Small in the greater sense but maybe pretty big to the people affected.

Back in the old days college acceptances went out via old fashioned paper mail. It took a bit of time but it was super reliable no matter where you lived. Nowadays I'm pretty sure college acceptances are still sent out via USPS but you can also find out online. That's terrific. The potential issue comes up for opportunities that are only announced via email. This is the case for my program and also for a number of other college and university honors program that I'm aware of. Part of this is certainly due to timing as the window from getting applications to confirming participation is very small but it's still unfortunate.

This past year, I've had a few cases of bad email addresses. For one reason or another I had to reach out to a candidate only to get the email bounced back. This isn't really horrible as I've always been able to hunt down a correct address either through Hunter or through my friends teaching at the high schools. The real problem is that students don't always read or see all their emails.

I had a student who applied for my program with an active email but their high school school somehow sent over to Hunter one that the student didn't use. Had I not caught it by chance that student who's now with us and doing great wouldn't be. In another case I was talking to a student who by chance new another student who we offered a seat but never took it. It came up in conversation that this kid was very unhappy at the college they ended up going to. I asked why they didn't take our offer to be in the Daedalus program. We later found out that the student never saw the offer. It either went to a non-used address or a SPAM filter or was just buried in the inbox.

This is a problem. Not so much for those of us running these programs - we're going to fill with qualified, deserving students. Rather for qualified and deserving students who miss out on the chance.

When something goes out via USPS we can be fairly certain it will at some point in the near future be in the hands of the intended recipient. USPS is really good at that. With email, we can't always be sure.

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