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Admissions Decisions Go

Admissions Decisions GoSeveral years ago, Tufts began sending out admissions decisions by email, starting a trend that has caught on nationwide.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [11.28.01] The days of waiting by the mailbox for a thick envelope from the Admissions Office are over. With increasingly tech-savvy applicants and a large number of international students seeking enrollment, Tufts turned to email and the Internet to send out its admissions decisions -- initiating a trend that is just beginning to be copied nationwide by schools like Harvard and Yale.

"This is a medium in which students feel comfortable," Tufts' David Cuttino -- dean of undergraduate admissions -- told USA Today. "Every year, the level of talent and the ability of students working electronically grows."

The high-tech systems at Tufts' Admissions Office are growing just as quickly. What began as a test program use email to notify international students of acceptances has rapidly grown into standard practice at Tufts.

This year, the University will put its decisions on a password-protected website, which Cuttino says is a more secure method to notify students than just an emailed letter. A traditional paper letter is mailed to every student as well.

Since it was implemented, the new system has gotten high marks from students, especially international applicants who often have to wait a long time for their mail to arrive.

"We are dealing with students around the world," Cuttino told the Chronicle of Higher Education. "Mail is slower in some areas than others, and in some areas of the world there are mail strikes."

Even students who were not admitted to Tufts liked the electronic notification because they learned about the decisions quickly.

For the newest generation of college applications, the paper process probably won't be missed.

"Electronic notification is just one way the admissions process is moving online," reported USA Today. "[Cuttino said] students research schools, communicate with them, schedule campus visits and apply electronically."

And each year, the applicants are more and more tech-savvy.

"Each incoming class of students makes the preceding class look like technical Neanderthals," Cuttino told the Chronicle. "This is the medium in which they are comfortable."

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