As the admissions office finalizes the layout of its snazzy new online notification Web site, some high school guidance counselors and early decision applicants said they were unsure of whether Yale’s online notification was rumor or reality.

“I’d heard rumors about it,” said Karen Lehmann, a senior at Lakeside High School who applied early to Yale. “I didn’t know that was actually happening.”

The admissions office is putting the finishing touches on the Web site even as it is still determining which early decision candidates will be admitted. The Web site will let applicants know whether they are admitted and will provide further resources for students who get in.

Although there is currently an announcement about the online notification system on the admissions office Web site, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Richard Shaw said the office has not yet sent information about it directly to applicants. Shaw said the admissions office plans to inform early decision candidates of the Web site by e-mail in the next couple of days.

The official date for applicants to login to the Web site is Monday, Dec. 17. Shaw said he did not know whether they would post the results earlier if that information was ready. founder Alexander Clark ’04, who has been working on the Web site since this summer, said applicants can logon through a secure Web site to find out their status.

If a student has not been admitted, Clark said, a static page will appear with a letter from the dean’s office informing the student that he or she has been deferred, rejected or has an incomplete application.

“If you’re accepted [it’s] much more fun,” Clark said.

A message akin to “Congratulations! Welcome to the Class of 2006!” will appear in colorful graphics.

“Then,” Clark said, “it will let you go on to a portal with a customized admissions site for you.”

This is where the information collected through a campus-wide e-mail sent out Dec. 8 and addressed “Dear Fellow Eli” comes into play.

The e-mail, sent by Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions James Nondorf, invited students to click on a link if they were willing to participate in a brief survey about their foreign language, extracurricular activities and participation in sports at Yale.

The Web site will provide a list of current Yalies who share interests with the admitted student, as well as a list of students from the same geographic region, the e-mail said.

Clark said more than 2,000 students have responded to the e-mail so far.

David Haltom ’04 said he filled out the survey and agreed to release his e-mail address to accepted students because he hopes to reassure students coming from his home state of Mississippi that Yalies are not all “stuffed shirts.”

“I think a lot of Mississippians and people from my home state are intimidated by the idea of Yale,” Haltom said. “Anything to convince people that folks at Yale are — on the whole personable and friendly.”

Clark said he hopes to add new features to the Web site, including streaming video clips of current Yalies, before the site is used to notify applicants in the regular decision pool.

Some high school guidance counselors and students from around the country said they didn’t know the Web site existed.

Nina Swan, a college guidance liaison at Crossroads School in Santa Monica, Calif., said the counselors in her office were unsure which universities would have online notification this year.

“Just this morning, it came up,” Swan said, “We were just wondering about that, who is doing it and who is not.”

Bruce Bailey, a college counselor at Lakeside School, said a Yale admissions officer told him over the phone that the results would be available on the web beginning Dec. 14.

Lehmann said she does not plan on using the Web site to find out if she got in to Yale, even now that she knows she can.

“I think it absolutely terrifies me to get it on a computer,” Lehmann said. “I have friends who applied early to Dartmouth and I know they’re really excited about finding out on the computer the first moment they can. I think that I’m really going to be waiting for the packet.”