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Articles / Applying to College / Will Signing Up for Admissions Mailing Lists "Out" Test-Takers to Colleges?

Will Signing Up for Admissions Mailing Lists "Out" Test-Takers to Colleges?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | April 27, 2010

Question: When you sign up for mailing lists (bubbling in that dot) while taking the PSAT or SAT, do colleges get your scores? I always thought colleges only mailed information to people above a certain score. If not, doesn't signing up for these mailings defeat the purpose of Score Choice? Now, colleges will know you took an SAT/PSAT on that date and will wonder why they didn't get a corresponding score for that date!

Fear not. Colleges do not receive your scores from the College Board unless you specifically order Score Reports sent to them. If you sign up to get onto mailing lists when you register for tests via the "Student Search Service," then colleges will receive your name and contact information if you fit whatever profiles they have requested. These profiles may include a test-score range but will often also include other factors, too, such as where you live, your prospective major (if you chose one), your racial/ethnic background, your athletic or extracurricular interests, even your religion.


Once your name lands on a college's list, you will probably receive propaganda from that school, but I assure you that admission officials don't check to see who isn't on a list. They are definitely not going to know if you took the SAT's and your scores didn't reach their benchmark. Moreover, if your name does get on their list after you've taken the SAT, but then you don't submit the corresponding test scores due to Score Choice, they are not going to check for this either. In other words, opting to receive mail from colleges will not violate the privacy that Score Choice can provide.

However, if you do decide to register for Student Search and later change your mind, you can have your name removed from consideration. (I doubt that this happens very often, but at least the option is out there.)

There are plenty of things to keep track of and to worry about as you go through the college admissions process, but I promise you that this isn't one of them!

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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