Just for shits and giggles, I pulled out my old Kellogg ding letter. (I applied for admission for Fall 2000 as a college senior; Kellogg was one of five dings.) Kellogg has forbidden me from copying, reproducing, or forwarding their ding letter...oops, already did a little in my previous post. Anyway, I won't post either letter in its complete form, but let me tell you that they are dated five years apart yet they are nearly identical. What's up with that? The marketing gurus of the b-school world have been using the same direct mail creative for five years? For shame!
Ding letters really don't tell you anything other than you didn't make the cut. They are form letters with bad news. I'd like to see schools spice it up a bit. I realize they don't have enough time to personalize every letter, but maybe they could get a few more options in rotation.
Typical ding letter phrases:
"careful evaluation and consideration"
"superb quality of the applicant pool"
"not a reflection of your personal qualities"
"best wishes for future success"
Ding letter phrases I'd like to see:
"it's not you, it's me" (boyfriends/girlfriends have been using it for years!)
"yeah, right. nice try, thanks for playing"
"thanks for supporting our office fun day budget with your $200 application fee"
"if only you had climbed Mount Everest or cured herpes"
"the office pool has you at 2-to-1 odds for your local truck driving program"