Yes, you were given a formal name at birth and you may be a creative individual who wants to express yourself with a unique email address, but suddenly you realize firstname.lastname@example.org might not be the most appropriate email address to use. Who is your audience? What impression will you leave on the admissions officer? Every bit of information you reveal tells the college admissions office something about you. I often ask students to think about how their grandparents might react to the address. It may be safer and more appropriate to use your school email address or create one that will be used for all your college correspondence.
Next, are you taking the time to create an email that will make a good impression and get your questions answered? After all, you don’t want to hurt chances of getting into the school.
You might be writing an email to an admissions counselor to ask for advice, check the status of an application, or just to get a bit more information. Here’s how to compose an email in a way that will not cause the counselor to hit the delete button, or worse, make the counselor reconsider an acceptance to the college.
Check for typos and grammatical errors.
Use standard and proper English and never use text message abbreviations.
Consider the following two examples:
- “hi i am interested in ur school can u send me more info plz.”
- “Dear (Name of Counselor), I am interested in your school and would like to receive more information. I appreciate your time and assistance. Best Regards/Sincerely, Your Name”. Or, if communication has been slightly more informal, a simple, “Dear (Name of Counselor), Thank you very much for the information! (Your Name)” is also sufficient.
Which one would impress the reader? The first one requires decoding, the second is straightforward and in plain English. It’s better to avoid using abbreviations at all, unless relevant to the school (Bachelor of Arts, for example, can be abbreviated to B.A.)
The simpler, the better, so be straightforward and to the point.
Maintain contact and always follow up with the admissions counselors.
The moral of this story, is this; remember that while you may have fantastic talents and skills to share, you may never even get a foot in the door with a freaky or funny email name like “shedevil” or “studmuffin”. While you never know how an admissions counselor perceives you before they meet you, you can control some of the variables they evaluate you by. Goofy e-mail names are just fine with your Yahoo buddy list but they are not appropriate during a college application process. Put yourself in the counselor’s shoes and think twice before you send that email!