Get To Know the Admissions Staff
Whether it is in an effort to increase outreach or a way of getting to know applicants better, schools are providing more opportunities than ever to interact with undergraduate admissions staff.
Here, Go See Campus outlines some of the ways that you can connect with the representatives that will be making decisions on your applications.
Meet On-Campus with Admissions Staff
Most universities provide campus visitors the opportunity to sit down with their admissions representatives. In some cases, these one-on-one conversations are admissions interviews, which can affect a university's decision on a student's application. In other cases, a meeting may be more informal, with the goals of letting the student ask questions, learn about the college, and decide whether it is a good fit.
Connect with Admissions Staff in Your Area
Schools may send admissions staff to events and speaking engagements in cities where they intend to recruit. Typically, they will make themselves available after the presentation for extended discussion with high school students.
This may afford you some one-on-one time with the representative. Take the opportunity to express your interest in the university and ask the well-researched questions you have.
To find out whether a university will have representatives in your area, check out the school website, where admissions staff may post their travel schedules. If a schedule is not available online, you might contact admissions directly.
Email Your Admissions Staff Representative
Many universities invite applicants to contact them directly with questions or interest in their schools. Generally, these universities post their admissions staff contact information as well as the geographical areas from which they recruit.
Follow Admissions Staff through Social Media
Universities are leveraging new technology in their admissions processes, and social media is one more way that schools can interact with high school students. Some examples of how you can contact admissions through social media:
Blogging: Admissions staff or student representatives may keep a blog (an online, public journal with regular postings about the university). With most blogs, you can post a question or comment, which will also be available to others to view.
Social Network Websites: The university may create a branded webpage on a social network site, such as Facebook.com. Typically, admissions staff will include their contact information or other ways of interacting through the website.
Micro-blogging: Twitter.com is the leading online service for microblogging. Like blogging, the school representative can post regular updates about university or admissions happenings. However, micro-blogging limits the length of these updates (using Twitter, the post can only be up to 140 letters or other characters.)
By using these services, you can have more frequent, more informal interactions with admissions staff. The on-the-fly information you receive may also give you more perspective on the university's personality.
An Important Point about Connecting Through Social Media
You may already have an account with a social media service and are displaying public information about yourself. This might be a Facebook page with pictures of you or a Twitter account with past comments you have made.
Before you connect with any university through social media, be certain that information about you on these sites will not harm your chances of being admitted. Foul language or photos of illegal activity are likely to be steps in the wrong direction. Be sure to check out our article, "Applying to College? Facebook and Twitter May Affect the Decision."
Whether it is online or through in-person visits, you can see that there are plenty of opportunities to connect with admissions staff. And with each interaction, you will be able to ask questions that are not answered elsewhere, get more detailed information about the admissions process, and learn what universities are looking for. You will also be in a better position to decide whether a school is right for you.