Impersonal acceptance from a college


Who says that students who go to big colleges get treated impersonally, like they’re just numbers? Norris Dawson (names changed to protect the innocent) for one.

The parents of Dawson, a prospective Anonymous State University student, recently got a letter from the school that began:

“Congratulations on 999-00-9999’s admission.” (The number used in this story has been changed.) The letter, addressed to Norris’ father, Jeff Dawson, added that as a parent “you will be a partner with the university in encouraging 999-00-9999 to succeed.”

The father’s reply: “Thank you for offering our son, 999-00-9999, or as we affectionately refer to him around the house _ 999 _ a position in the ASU class of 2020. His mother, 001-22-4MOM, and I are very happy… .”

Peter Smith, director of undergraduate admissions, said the impersonal letter was a glitch in a batch of several thousand letters sent to prospective students.

In the first five, the computer picked up the student’s Social Security number instead of the name. Those were planned to be discarded but inadvertently were mailed, Smith said.

“We don’t know how it happened.” he said. The mother of at least one other prospective student informed the school that she’d received such a letter, said Smith. He could not recall her name.