I listen to an amazing podcast called “Your College Bound Kid” that is chock full of information that can help families at the begin of the college admission process as well as seasoned professionals. Recently they shared a piece on college visits at high schools that had some great advice that I thought was worth sharing.
College admissions offices go on the road in the fall to visit individual *high schools to promote their schools and recruit students. These presentations take place during the school day, either when students are in class or during lunch. Students can connect with admissions representatives after school at colleges admissions fairs and regional presentations too. Here are some things to know about taking advantage of this opportunity:
- The person that comes to your school is most likely the person that will do the first read of your application. They will remember you when they review your file!
- Appearances count-come prepared: clean and presentable.
- Put your hand out and introduce yourself-explain that you visited, you are applying, you are hoping to visit, etc. These people are trained to talk to adolescents and they will continue the conversation. All you have to do is introduce yourself.
- Make eye-contact and be attentive.
- STAY. OFF. YOUR. PHONE.
- Come with a couple of good questions about the school that you can’t google.
- Sometimes these meetings can be like a group interview-engage and participate but do not dominate the conversation. Admissions reps are looking to see what you might be like in class. They want to see how you contribute to an environment.
- Follow up with an email with any questions or just to thank them for the presentation. These meetings show demonstrated interest.
Colleges are quite intentional about the high schools that they visit. They spend significant amounts of money to have their reps travel around the country. If they come to your school, it is for a reason-they are trying to expand their application funnel in your area or they have a good track record bringing in students from your school.
The rep will have deference and influence with your application when they can say that they know your school and actually met you. They also might reach out to your school counselor to ask more about you after a visit, so this is an important resource for teenagers applying to college to take advantage of!
*These visits are typically scheduled well in advance and shared on high school calendars. Juniors and seniors are usually invited to attend. Take time to learn the procedure at your high school for attending these meetings. They are an incredible opportunity!