The child of a friend of mine, who has applied to the University of Delaware, got this e-mail on 2/26 from the UD coach of the varsity sport he/she participates in. (It is not a major sport and the child isn’t a highly recruited athlete, though he/she is probably good enough to play at UD). Here is the e-mail, which doesn’t mention the person’s name or say anything personal (that is, it’s a form e-mail):
“Congratulations! You have been admitted to the University of Delaware for the fall of 2010! I’m letting you in on this great news a few weeks before any other students have been notified so that you can make your decision to attend Delaware now. Official acceptance letters will start being mailed March 15th, so be patient it’s on its way! If you plan on attending Delaware please let me know by March 25th, if not before.”
This strikes me as sleazy. I guess there’s no problem with informing the applicant early, but I have a problem with the pressure to reply by 3/25, when most top colleges don’t reveal their decisions until 4/1. There’s an implication that the student might give up their spot if they don’t reply by 3/25, which is not true but which a naive high school student might fall for. And in general the pressure is out of line.