And some students say the new electronic rejections—some of which are little more than "Admissions decision: Deny"—feel much harsher than the traditional letters enclosed in ominously thin envelopes...
Some student posters on collegeconfidential.com have complained that after all their hard work on essays, electronic rejections can feel especially brutal. A Rice University rejectee said he felt awful when he logged on to read "Admissions decision: Deny" and then got what he called a "hard, cold" formal rejection in the mail. A Stanford rejectee said that school's preference for electronic rejections aggravated feelings of worthlessness. "They say they won't be sending you an actual letter because that would only make it worse. Ha ha like I didn't cry enough," wrote one poster.
This story also mentions some of the sillier things colleges do for those they've accepted (confetti, t-shirts, congratulatory videos, etc.), but you just have to wonder at how self-involved someone would have to be if they're upset about receiving a "hard, cold formal rejection" in the mail.
News flash to you narcissistic teenagers--much as you may not want to hear this, it's not all about you or your feelings. The college is telling you that you didn't make their cut; I'm sure they didn't go out of their way to be harsh, and neither should they go out of their way to molly-coddle you. So many students apply to so many schools; considering all the schools that you might turn down, do you spend a lot of time nicely wording a letter stating why you're going somewhere else? No, of course not.
Don't be such whiners. Get some dignity; you're responsible for your self-esteem, not some university.
Welcome to the real world, wherein you're not the center of the universe.
(I must say, though, that I like the fact that some schools post their admissions decisions online in the evenings, so students don't find out during the middle of the high school day and react there.)
Update: Here's a related story:
An Oxford University student killed himself just hours after being told his PhD thesis needed to be improved, an inquest has heard.
A coroner was told how former Buddhist monk Juncnok Park hanged himself after what he saw was a colossal disappointment and an embarrassment.
This student, however, was 37 years old.