By Erin Wheeler, College Admissions Coach
This year’s admissions process has been exhausting for everyone involved. Cancelled SAT’s, lack of campus tours, online classes, flexible deadlines, and new admissions requirements have us all going a little crazy this fall. BUT there is something you can control, and that is your own behavior. As a student, you CAN control how much interest you display to each college. Showing this “demonstrated interest” exhibits that you are seriously interested in attending their school. This may help the admissions officers view your application a bit more favorably, especially this year.
YES, you can (and should!) continue to show that you have a serious interest in that particular college, even after the applications have been submitted. How do you do this? Here are some simple ideas to try this month.
1 – Send a follow up e-mail to your admissions counselor
On the college website, go to the admissions section, then look for a tab that says “contact us” or “meet our team”. Admissions staff members normally have territories they are responsible for handling, which means that all applications from your area are processed by the same person. Find that person and send a quick e-mail! Let them know you have applied, are excited to hear back from them, and maybe include a detail about your application that you want to highlight. Establishing a relationship with that representative is a great way to help your chances for admission.
2 – Schedule an interview
Even though you can’t visit every campus right now, many are offering online interviews with staff members or even a student interviewer. This is a wonderful way to get some extra time with the admissions folks, and let them hear more about you, your achievements, and desire to attend their school.
3 – Attend an event
Again, most schools have moved these events online, but you can still participate! Sign up for a webinar that uses Zoom, communicate during a live online chat, or attend a live student information session. You want the school to know that you are present and engaged during these online sessions.
4 – Take a campus tour
Some colleges campuses are open for small campus tours, both during the week and on weekends. Even if you checked in the past and the school was closed for tours, please check again! Schools are working very hard to find creative ways to get prospective students on campus using small tours, self-guided tours, and personal experiences (without a large crowd).
5 – E-mails and social media
Your inbox is full, we know! However, it’s important you are engaging with e-mails from schools where you’ve applied. Are they asking you to set up an applicant portal? Complete a form? Please be sure to do those things! You may also be receiving e-mails with information about your major, invitations to participate in something, or to follow them on various forms of social media. Please don’t ignore those messages! Click through them and respond as appropriate. Many schools DO track student interaction with these types of messages.
The past several months have changed the way we all live and learn; that is for certain. But what has not changed is the fact that colleges want to admit students who show interest in attending. Take the time to communicate with your schools and let them know you would be honored to attend their institution. It is time well spent and will always be an asset to your application.