Advice for Juniors, Advice for Seniors, Advice for Sophomores

TTYL: Why not use Short Cuts in College Admissions Communication?

Written by Deb Zatkowski


We live in a world of quick communications, text messaging, acronyms and short-handed ways to express ourselves because everyone is so busy!  This usually works, and especially so when people can receive emails on their fitness devices and stay glued to their phones.  Some of this quick communication is also part of the admission process as more colleges contact students via cell phone to send their own text messages and stay in touch in ways that reach students.  Most of the time it is good.


There are other times, however, when it is important for students, and perhaps some parents, to be reminded that traditional communication is also important.  For example, it is important when sending an email to write in complete sentences and avoid abbreviations usually reserved for texting.  Use proper capitalization and punctuation. You do not want to create any misunderstandings or miscommunications when, at the heart of the communications with admissions officers, is your college application.   
Keep in mind these simple, yet important rules when communicating with admission officers, teachers, counselors and others involved in the college admission process:

  • Write in complete sentences
  • Use standard English, not text-speak or abbreviations
  • Use proper capitalization and punctuation
  • Don’t assume a personal, casual relationship

Admissions officers know what BTW and LOL mean, and they appreciate a smiley face emoji as much as anyone else, but it is unwise to use these short cuts in admissions communication.  If you are sending a thank you note to the person who interviewed you, proper grammar and English conventions will be as appreciated as the actual note!  


Remember that any communication you have with the admissions office may become part of your application file – an informal, casual, text-speak email you dashed off might eventually be something read along with an essay you worked on for weeks.  Don’t let one lapse in judgment undo all your hard work!