USF admission should go paperless route

Many businesses and schools are going the paperless route to save not only money but the environment. MIT, Yale and the University of Pennsylvania have decided to no longer send rejection letters to applicants who check their admission status online, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

USF has adopted a paperless system for transcripts and applications, but rejection and acceptance letters are still sent through the mail — and as University admission standards rise, there are more applicants and more rejection letters to send.

Online rejections will also save time. Students will know their admission status as soon as their application is processed and will no longer have to wait for the dreaded envelope in the mailbox.

Dean of Admissions Jeff Brenzel said to the Yale Daily News that Yale made the decision to cut the “significant expense” of printing and mailing more than 20,000 rejection letters first class. Accepted students and students placed on the wait list will still receive letters, as well as rejected students who fail to check their admission status online. Brenzel said more than 95 percent of applicants this year checked their status within 72 hours after it was posted online.

In addition to saving money and paper, Penn had another concern. Dean of Admissions Eric Furda told the Daily Pennsylvanian that rejection letters were discontinued because “it adds insult to injury because students read the news online and then see it again in print.”

The transition must be handled carefully. The University of California-San Diego learned that the hard way when it sent out acceptance e-mails the day before April Fools’ Day. According to the Union Tribune, only 18,000 students were admitted to the university, but the e-mails were mistakenly sent to all 47,000 applicants.

USF should always be interested in new ways to help the environment, and switching to electronic rejections will save trees. Fewer letters sent also means more money saved, and the economic downturn has made saving money all the more important. Students can already apply to the University, register for classes and order textbooks online — electronic rejections are the next logical step.