How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

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How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

Reecy ArestyCollege Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & AuthorPayless For College, Inc.

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

Very important. You don’t want to wait until orientation to find out that you hate the campus, etc.

Angela ConleyCollege Admission ExpertVentureForth

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

Networking matters as garnering a relationship with admission personnel matters at at some institutions. Many colleges monitor the visits to their website, campus and Facebook pages to assess if their marketing has garnered any return. Don’t be fooled, if you have not met the requirements for said institution, your personal relationship will not overrule a lack of merit or qualifications. However, if you meet the criteria and you made a “connect” it may deliver a third read or curry singular interest. In now way would I say it will definitively “make the case” for your application or appeal. The more critical concern is that by visiting the campus, you discern if the atmosphere, facilities and aesthetics match the environment in which you envision yourself investing years of residence and involvement. Residential colleges are for all intents and purposes your second home and everyone wants to be where they feel welcome, and either challenged or comfortable. In sum, both visiting is valuable and connecting with someone at the potential site where you would possibly spend time, become indebted and make lifelong friends and memories.

Paul WeberCollege Admissions ConsultantCollege Pathfinder

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

It is essential that students visit colleges in which they are seriously interested. A key term in the industry that relates to this question is “Demonstrated Interest.” Simply put, this is the level of interest you have shown a college during the application process. Another term that ties directly to your interest level is “Yield.” Yield is the percentage of accepted students who untimely enroll. Many selective colleges place great emphasis on increasing their yield. The most recent statistics reveal that Harvard had the highest yield in the nation. In addition, you will notice other colleges boasting about increased yield such as Bates College this past fall. In a 2010 survey of admission counselors about factors that are considered important, demonstrated interest appeared on the list at more colleges than other factors like letters of recommendation and extracurricular activities. The more interest you reveal to a college, the greater the potential you will attend if accepted. Make official visits, follow-up with thank you notes to specific individuals, and keep in touch appropriately with admissions representatives. Beyond your visit reflecting well on your interest level, it also gives you the opportunity to step foot on campus. Pictures, videos, and online virtual tours are helpful, but nothing replaces the campus visit.

Kiersten MurphyExecutive Director and FounderMurphy College Consultants LLC

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

Visiting allows you to make a connection and have a gut feeling. It allows you to interact with students, see the campus in action, and allows the admissions office to know you and what makes you special. You should always try to interact with the admissions staff, within reason, to demonstrate interest. However, not all schools track this.

Lynda McGeeCollege CounselorDowntown Magnets High School

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

This answer depends on the school, but the safe answer is that all schools like to know that their candidates are truly interested in finding out more about the campus. Many colleges take into account “demonstrated interest” when they are reviewing applications. That means that the students who have contacted them, have visited campus, and have shown that this school is not just a thoughtless choice are going to get a closer look. All schools would love to have more of their admitted students actually enroll. While you may not be able to control who evaluates your application and how they will interpret what you submitted, you have all the power in the world over how interested you appear.

Kris HintzFounderPosition U 4 College LLC

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

Would you get married without a date? Would you buy a house without visiting with a realtor? Of course not. Neither should you apply to college without visiting, to determine whether its programs, physical campus, and student atmosphere are a good ft for you. In addition to helping you decide if you can picture yourself at this college for the next four years, it is important to visit to demonstrate your interest to the college. Admissions people need to predict yield, and it is important to them to be able to guess whether you would really enroll at their school if they were to offer you acceptance. If you have visited and interviewed at the school, and you mention this in your supplementary essays, admissions will realize there is a likelihood you might really attend their school if accepted. You do not have to “network” with admissions reps. But you do have to visit, and let them know in your application that you have done so.

Prilla OConnell

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

In these economic times especially, not everyone can afford the luxury of visiting campuses before they apply to their college choices. I think it’s very important that all students make contact with admissions reps and if you’re one who can’t visit, let the admissions rep know that so he/she knows you are interested but can’t afford the visit. That is important! A way around visiting schools far away is to look at schools in your state with similar demographics, small vs. large campuses, etc. It could help you rule in or out schools on your list. Also, there are virtual tours on some college websites. Have you gone to youniversitytv.com? That’s a great way to see campuses!

Nina ScullerDirectorCollege Prep

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

Very important! Admission reps keep score. Every attempt you make to show your interest in a college is duly noted. If a college is too far, ask the admissions office for the names of an alumni with whom you may interview, then contact that person. If an admission rep visits your school, go up and speak with him/her, make sure your name is noted. Visit the rep at a college fair, if there is one. The more interest you show in a school, the more likely it is to consider your application.

Amberley WolfCollege ConsultantWolf College Consulting

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

It is always ideal to visit the campus and network with the admissions reps. There are a few reasons for this. 1) You want to make sure the campus is the right fit for you. The more you learn about the campus, the more you will know if it is a place where can succeed academically, socially and emotionally. 2) By visiting the campus and networking with the Admissions Reps, you can potentially increase acceptance likeliness. The College wants to make sure you are a good fit for them, and by visiting the campus and getting to know the admissions staff, they will more likely believe you are a good fit for the campus.

Bill PrudenHead of Upper School, College CounselorRavenscroft School

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

It can make a difference. There is no absolute rule and each school treats such contact differently, but demonstrated interest–campus visits, contact with the admissions rep, attendance at local open houses, etc. all show this—can be a factor in the admission process given that schools want students on their campuses who want to be there. Again, it varies from school to school, but showing your interest can never hurt. At the same time, your desire to attend only goes so far—it won’t make up for a weak record nor is it likely to torpedo a strong one. Indeed, ultimately, it is more about your record than your interest.

Jessica BrondoFounder and CEOThe Edge in College Prep

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

Not very. Colleges know they cannot reach every student and that those students will still want to apply. Some schools (Like Emory University) do include demonstrated interest as part of their admissions process, but they are open about this, and encourage prospective applicants to visit and attend info sessions. This is rare among schools though, and while visiting a school is certainly very helpful for you in deciding if you want to go there or not, it’s not a decided factor for admissions counselors.

Barbara StewartCollege CounselorBishop Gorman High School

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

It is important to visit each college and to network with the admissions rep because you want the college to know that you are applying intentionally…not just picking college names out of a hat and adding those colleges to your college list! Choosing to apply to a college after visiting a campus indicates to the admissions office that you liked what you saw and that you can see yourself on their campus. Meeting with an admissions rep while you are on campus is the beginning of establishing a relationship and gives the admissions rep a “person” to fight for during the admissions process instead of just a file. College admissions reps recognize that visiting a campus far from home is not always an option so there are a few things you can do to establish a releationship with the admissions rep if you cannot visit: 1. Check with your college office to see if there will be an information session on your high school campus for the colleges you are interested in applying to. Attend those visits! Many colleges have reps assigned to read by region. The chances that the person visiting your school on behalf of a college are very good that this is the person who will read your application. Meeting the rep allows the rep to put a face with a name which is always a positive when it comes to evaluating your application. Follow up each visit with a “thank you” email to each rep you have met. 2. Do some research about each college you are interested in and develop a few questions about the campus based on your research. Email the college rep for your high school (you can usually find this information on the college website) introduce yourself and ask your questions. The admissions rep will respond to you! It shows that you are taking initiative, doing research and applying intentionally. 3. Remember that, while you may not be able to visit prior to applying, it is extremely important that you visit the college you would like to attend prior to actually attending! What appears to be a perfect fit on paper can turn out to be a place that does not appeal to you at all!!

Carita Del ValleFounderAcademic Decisions

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

It is only marginally important to spend your final high school years trying to visit ever college you are interested in and reaching out to admissions reps. For most teens, their primary focus is the school work and allotting enough time to do well in these courses. Being there are only 24 hours in a day, campus visits are important (and often best started in 9th grade) but should not be the most important thing on your agenda. Quite literally, your academic profile is paramount not your “contacts.” Once your list of potential schools is narrowed down to a manageable number, then see where you can get to and when. If you do not have ought time then go ahead and submit the application and travel during winter/spring break.

Eric Beers, Ph.D.College and Career CounselorAir Academy High School

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

I think knowing the admission reps can be a great benefit for an applicant. If the admission rep knows your name, your story, and your circumstances, I have seen where that admission rep “fights” for that student to be admitted to their university. Sometimes, the admissions rep can even have some pull on scholarship money and committees. Visiting campuses is also a great benefit for the applicant. There is only so much a website, friends, or an admissions rep can tell you about a campus. Going to visit is the best way to know about the climate of a campus–friendliness, activities, competitiveness, spirit, etc, etc.

Kathleen HarringtonOwnerNew Jersey College Consulting

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

It is extremely important to realize early on in the admissions process the importance of networking. Any opportunity that presents itself that allows you to speak one-on-one with an admissions representative should be time well spent advocating for yourself and articulating the authentic desire you have in admission to their college. Always follow-up with an email or hand written card to the admissions representative you spoke to thanking them for their time. Remember NETWORKING is essential throughout this process.

Mark GathercoleUniversity AdvisorIndependent University Advising

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

There is nothing like visiting campuses to help you decide whether it is right for you or not; and discovering that a college you thought would be great is actually not for you, is just as valuable as falling in love with a school during a visit. Giving the admissions representative who will read your application a real person to remember is almost always a positive thing, and can certainly help you get answers to your questions when you need them.

Suzan ReznickIndependent Educational ConsultantThe College Connection

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

It has become increasingly important both to visit college campuses as well as set up meetings /interviews at the admissions office. To begin with, it can be very difficult to decide which of the 3,000 plus colleges would be a “best fit” for you. Visiting campuses , in part, to determine your comfort level can be key. In addition, because students are applying to so many more colleges then they did even 5 years ago, it has become increasingly difficult for colleges to determine a given student’s “interest” in attending. The best way for schools to determine your level of interest is to literally count how much contact have you had with them. If they have no record of your attending information sessions, interviewing or coming to their Open Houses then they consider you a “stealth” applicant ( someone who has flown under their radar). This can seriously impact your chances of acceptance!

Suzan ReznickIndependent Educational ConsultantThe College Connection

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

It has become increasingly important both to visit college campuses as well as set up meetings /interviews at the admissions office. To begin with, it can be very difficult to decide which of the 3,000 plus colleges would be a “best fit” for you. Visiting campuses , in part, to determine your comfort level can be key. In addition, because students are applying to so many more colleges then they did even 5 years ago, it has become increasingly difficult for colleges to determine a given student’s “interest” in attending. The best way for schools to determine your level of interest is to literally count how much contact have you had with them. If they have no record of your attending information sessions, interviewing or coming to their Open Houses then they consider you a “stealth” applicant ( someone who has flown under their radar). This can seriously impact your chances of acceptance!

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How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

Visiting your top 5 or so colleges is very important. Regarding the importance of networking with admission reps., it depends on the school. Regardless of where you are interested in attending college, you definitely want to let the college/admission rep. know that you are interested in their school. That said, don’t overdo it by being cheesy or fake.

Geoff BroomeAssistant Director of AdmissionsWidener University

EXTREMELY Important

I view this as the most important piece of college admissions. If you chose to go to a school without connecting with the admissions rep or visiting campus, it would be like an arranged marriage where you never saw your spouse. It is a big decision as to where you will attend school, much like it is a pretty big decision as to who you will marry. You may want to check your spouse out before you take the leap.

Wendy KahnPrincipalWendy Kahn College Consulting, LLC

Demonstrated interest matters

More than half of schools consider an applicant’s “demonstrated interest” when making admissions decisions. Simply put, colleges want students who want them. They don’t want to waste an offer of admission on a student who probably won’t attend. One of the best ways to show you’re genuinely interested in a school is by making a campus visit. And visiting is also the best way to get a feel for a college’s personality! So if you live within 5-6 hours of a school, by all means see it for yourself.

Judy ZoddaFounder and PresidentZodda College Services

Your college visit.. important or not?

Attending a session on Trends in Admissions at the May IECA conference in Philadelphia last May, one of the things that Directors of Admissions talked about was demonstrated interest and the affect on student’s admission chances. One Director of Admissions from Muhlenberg College, stated that “If you live within a six hour drive of a college campus and don’t visit, they don’t know if you are really serious about their college.” Beyond them knowing about how interested you are in their college, you immediately get a certain “vibe” or feel for a campus by being on it. You can “take the pusle” of the campus which you can’t do by reading through websites, or talking to other students who have visited. Their experience and impression does not reflect what your own might be. On paper or on a webstie, you might think this is the perfect school for you and yet when you visit, you might find that the students are more conservative than you thought or more liberal than you thought. You might be looking for a beautiful college campus and find it’s not as pretty in person, though attractiveness, even in a college, is in the eye of the beholder. I had a student two years ago who only wanted to go to a large state university and that’s the only kind of schools he was looking at. I begged him to take a look at this one small liberal arts college in PA (he was from FL), just to see something different. He flew up to the school with his Dad and called me to tell me he had found his school! It had almost everything he was looking for. He applied, and got accepted with a scholarship. He is currenlty in his sophomore year and loves it just as much as he did when he first visited, On his viist, he met with Admissions, the swim coach, talked with students, and a professor in the Business School, along with taking the tour and attending the information session. After he was accepted, he visited again, where he met the swim team, and attended classes. Even though he was accepted at many of the large state schools he originally wanted to attend, he knew that a small school, was the best for him. Visitng sometime before you make the decision to attend is important. If at all possible, visit before you make the decision to apply. It will help you to make the decision as to whether to apply to that school at all, possibly saving you money at a school that isn’t a good fit for you, or sealing the deal that this is one of the possibilities that is right for you.

Judy ZoddaFounder and PresidentZodda College Services

Your college visit.. important or not?

Attending a session on Trends in Admissions at the May, 2011 IECA conference in Philadelphia last May, one of the things that Directors of Admissions talked about was demonstrated interest and the affect on student’s admission chances. One Director of Admissions from Muhlenberg College, stated that “If you live within a six hour drive of a college campus and don’t visit, they don’t know if you are really serious about their college.” Beyond them knowing about how interested you are in their college, you immediately get a certain “vibe” or feel for a campus by being on it. You can “take the pusle” of the campus which you can’t do by reading through websites, or talking to other students who have visited. Their experience and impression does not reflect what your own might be. On paper or on a website, you might think this is the perfect school for you and yet when you visit, you might find that the students are more conservative than you thought or more liberal than you thought. You might be looking for a beautiful college campus and find it’s not as pretty in person, though attractiveness, even in a college, is in the eye of the beholder. I had a student two years ago who only wanted to go to large state universities and that’s the only kind of schools he was looking at. I begged him to take a look at this one small liberal arts college in PA (he was from FL), just to see something different. He flew up to the school with his Dad and called me to tell me he had found his school! It had almost everything he was looking for. He applied, and got accepted with a scholarship. He is currenlty in his sophomore year and loves it just as much as he did when he first visited, On his viist, he met with Admissions, the swim coach, talked with students, and a professor in the Business School, along with taking the tour and attending the information session. After he was accepted, he visited again, where he met the swim team, and attended classes. Even though he was accepted at many of the large state schools he originally wanted to attend, he knew that a small school, was the best for him. Visitng sometime before you make the decision to attend is important. If at all possible, visit before you make the decision to apply. It will help you to make the decision as to whether to apply to that school at all, possibly saving you money at a school that isn’t a good fit for you, or sealing the deal that this is one of the possibilities that is right for you.

Judy ZoddaFounder and PresidentZodda College Services

Your college visit.. important or not?

Attending a session on Trends in Admissions at the May, 2011 IECA conference in Philadelphia last May, one of the things that Directors of Admissions talked about was demonstrated interest and the affect on student’s admission chances. One Director of Admissions from Muhlenberg College, stated that “If you live within a six hour drive of a college campus and don’t visit, they don’t know if you are really serious about their college.” Beyond them knowing about how interested you are in their college, you immediately get a certain “vibe” or feel for a campus by being on it. You can “take the pusle” of the campus which you can’t do by reading through websites, or talking to other students who have visited. Their experience and impression does not reflect what your own might be. On paper or on a website, you might think this is the perfect school for you and yet when you visit, you might find that the students are more conservative than you thought or more liberal than you thought. You might be looking for a beautiful college campus and find it’s not as pretty in person, though attractiveness, even in a college, is in the eye of the beholder. I had a student two years ago who only wanted to go to large state universities and that’s the only kind of schools he was looking at. I begged him to take a look at this one small liberal arts college in PA (he was from FL), just to see something different. He flew up to the school with his Dad and called me to tell me he had found his school! It had almost everything he was looking for. He applied, and got accepted with a scholarship. He is currenlty in his sophomore year and loves it just as much as he did when he first visited, On his viist, he met with Admissions, the swim coach, talked with students, and a professor in the Business School, along with taking the tour and attending the information session. For the Admissions rep, he was able to put a face with a name, and my student kept in contact with the rep during the year, continually expressing his interest in that college. While the admission rep didn’t visit his school during the year, they do visit mnay high schools during the fall, and if you are a senior interested in a schhol where the rep is visitng, make it your business to stop in and say hello and express your interest. Maybe ask a question or two. After my student was accepted at the small school, he visited again, where he met the swim team, and attended classes. Even though he was accepted at many of the large state schools he originally wanted to attend, he knew that a small school, was the best for him. Visitng sometime before you make the decision to attend is important. If at all possible, visit before you make the decision to apply. It will help you to make the decision as to whether you should apply to that school at all, possibly saving you money at a school that isn’t a good fit for you, or sealing the deal that this is one of the possibilities that is right for you.

Benjamin CaldarelliPartnerPrinceton College Consulting, LLC

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

It can be a big advantage to have built that relationship. If an admission rep is able to put a face to the application they are reading they will be inclined to view the application more favorably. That could cut both ways of course, if you are remembered for being rude or pushy, it could be a disadvantage.

Mollie ReznickAssociate DirectorThe College Connection

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

Visiting colleges (unless distance or finances put constraints on this) is essential to the college assessment process. Experiencing the school and getting a sense of the student body is the best way to know if you would be happy and successful in that environment. Meeting admissions people at a given school can be a useful tool; it will give you a direct way to have any of your questions answered as well as a chance to demonstrate your interest in the school.

Sarah ContomichalosManagerEducational Advisory Services, LLC

Visiting and Networking

The most important part of an application is the student’s high school transcript. Assuming the GPA and rigor of curriculum are a match, many schools next look at standardized test scores. This is not applicable for test optional schools. Each school then has its own policy in terms which parts of the application it emphasizes. Colleges understand that applicants are not always able to visit-particularly the college is more that 500 miles from home. A visit demonstrates interest but is not a deciding factor. Applicants are not expected to network with admissions reps and at many schools do not even have a chance to meet with them except for the information session as many schools no longer offer on campus interviews.

Tam Warner MintonConsultantCollege Adventures

Networking

The smaller the college, the more important it is. Smaller colleges care more about your desire to attend their school while larger universities usually make decisions based on your “stats”, ie grades, test scores. Let your admission rep know how much you like the college and stay in touch with them throughout the year. It could make the difference between getting in and being declined.

Penny DeckOwnerChampion College Counseling

Visits are critical!

Visiting campuses is the best way to get a feel for what you are looking for in your college experience. You can read all the guidebooks, take virtual tours and do your research but it is often the “feeling in the guy” and the “twinkle in the eye” that tells you that a place is right for you and you can only get that feeling as you walk across a campus. Since many schools track interest in their schools, it is also critical to network with admissions reps, especially the ones who visit your school. Make sure you introduce yourself and follow up after their visit with an email or hand written note thanking them for their time. Also take advantage of their invitation to contact them with questions.

William KolePresident/FounderNo Stress College Counseling

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

Speaking as a former admissions officer, this is actually a very important thing for students to do. Be sure that your particular admissions officer knows who you are! Also make sure that you make a good impression, use proper etiquette and manners, project yourself as an independent and responsible young adult, and express your enthusiasm for the school. Admissions officers meet many people, but remember the students who are either well prepared or completely underprepared. Keep in mind that the person you see at the college fair or speak to on campus, will often times be the same person who is reading your application. Any time you have the opportunity to get in touch with these people make a good impression, as it can be the difference maker when the admissions officer is reading your application.

Patricia KrahnkePresident/PartnerGlobal College Search Associates, LLC

It’s complicated (but don’t be a pest or a bully)

Despite the fact that admissions departments are now largely money-focused, it is still true that college admissions is a people business. And admissions counselors are people. They have likes and dislikes, they have family concerns, they’ve been bullied, they’ve experienced illness, they have personal interests, they have dreams. That’s one of the reasons they do what they do: They like helping young people overcome the same kinds of challenges they have experience and reach their dreams. So if you have an anomaly on your academic record that was caused by dealing with an ill parent, or working a job to help support the family, or a death of someone close to you, or bullying, or something happening in secret that no one knows about — and there is a specific college you really, really want to get into — it can be helpful if you have a positive communication with one of their admissions representatives. Oftentimes that person can really help you understand your options. The fact is that every counselor is different. Some are by-the-book bureaucrats who are willing only to look at students as a set of numbers. Some are elitist and have no interest in those who don’t fit their idea of who should succeed in this world. It won’t help you to know these people, because they won’t see you as a person. However, many admission counselors are sensitive to the human condition and will go to all lengths to get the student admitted who has a challenged academic record but who comes from a family with personal or socioeconomic challenges. I was one of those reps, and I can name countless others. Every year I’d get into trouble for admitting a student who didn’t fit the admit guidelines – but every time, I was right to have admitted that student…because the research shows that no one can tell who will succeed in college and who will not. I’ve seen top students fail, and I’ve seen weak students take off like a rocket. Motivation is the only true indicator of future success. And if a student shows they are motivated to overcome their challenges, there are those of us out there in the world of college admissions that will recognize that characteristic and applaud it. It doesn’t always show up in the transcript. That said, most reps have a personal leaning toward something, whether it be athletics, or the arts, or jurisprudence and addiction concerns, or religion, or ethnic heritage. In conversation with a rep, you never know what type of connection will make itself apparent. If you aren’t sure about your admissibility, it can really help to have someone on your side who “gets” you. The hard part, of course, is finding that counselor. I’ve seen situations where someone had been through the entire admissions staff trying to find someone who would get them in, and that student was the laughingstock of the entire office. If you decide to try to create a connection with an admissions rep, always be respectful of that person’s time and attention. They are under a great deal of pressure and generally aren’t paid well. So you want to make sure that you are a positive experience for them, not a negative one. So does networking with admissions reps matter for all students? Many universities are doing automatic admits now. In other words, an algorithm on the back end of their data system is deciding if you will be admitted right away. So if you are a top student with no anomalies, you will likely be admitted to your institution of choice without having to network – indeed, no person will have ever seen your name or your academic record, just the same machine that started generating mailings to you after your PSAT scores became available. If you are not a top student – for any number of reasons — but you know you have potential, make that visit and find that rep that will see you for the person you are. Oh! One more thing: Don’t let Mom and Dad bully your admissions reps. The moment Dad threatens an admissions rep with a lawsuit because they didn’t get from the rep what they wanted, you are just another name in the pity pile. And that’s a shame, because you probably deserve better than that. Make your own appointments with the rep and don’t bring your Mom and Dad (or better yet, make them sit out in the car!)

Patricia KrahnkePresident/PartnerGlobal College Search Associates, LLC

It’s complicated (but don’t be a pest or a bully)

Despite the fact that admissions departments are now largely money-focused, it is still true that college admissions is a people business. And admissions counselors are people. They have likes and dislikes, they have family concerns, they’ve been bullied, they’ve experienced illness, they have personal interests, they have dreams. That’s one of the reasons they do what they do: They like helping young people overcome the same kinds of challenges they have experience and reach their dreams. So if you have an anomaly on your academic record that was caused by dealing with an ill parent, or working a job to help support the family, or a death of someone close to you, or bullying, or something happening in secret that no one knows about — and there is a specific college you really, really want to get into — it can be helpful if you have a positive communication with one of their admissions representatives. Oftentimes that person can really help you understand your options. The fact is that every counselor is different. Some are by-the-book bureaucrats who are willing only to look at students as a set of numbers. Some are elitist and have no interest in those who don’t fit their idea of who should succeed in this world. It won’t help you to know these people, because they won’t see you as a person. However, many admission counselors are sensitive to the human condition and will go to all lengths to get the student admitted who has a challenged academic record but who comes from a family with personal or socioeconomic challenges. I was one of those reps, and I can name countless others. Every year I’d get into trouble for admitting a student who didn’t fit the admit guidelines – but every time, I was right to have admitted that student…because the research shows that no one can tell who will succeed in college and who will not. I’ve seen top students fail, and I’ve seen weak students take off like a rocket. Motivation is the only true indicator of future success. And if a student shows they are motivated to overcome their challenges, there are those of us out there in the world of college admissions that will recognize that characteristic and applaud it. It doesn’t always show up in the transcript. That said, most reps have a personal leaning toward something, whether it be athletics, or the arts, or jurisprudence and addiction concerns, or religion, or ethnic heritage. In conversation with a rep, you never know what type of connection will make itself apparent. If you aren’t sure about your admissibility, it can really help to have someone on your side who “gets” you. The hard part, of course, is finding that counselor. I’ve seen situations where someone had been through the entire admissions staff trying to find someone who would get them in, and that student was the laughingstock of the entire office. If you decide to try to create a connection with an admissions rep, always be respectful of that person’s time and attention. They are under a great deal of pressure and generally aren’t paid well. So you want to make sure that you are a positive experience for them, not a negative one. So does networking with admissions reps matter for all students? Many universities are doing automatic admits now. In other words, an algorithm on the back end of their data system is deciding if you will be admitted right away. So if you are a top student with no anomalies, you will likely be admitted to your institution of choice without having to network – indeed, no person will have ever seen your name or your academic record, just the same machine that started generating mailings to you after your PSAT scores became available. If you are not a top student – for any number of reasons — but you know you have potential, make that visit and find that rep that will see you for the person you are. Oh! One more thing: Don’t let Mom and Dad bully your admissions reps. The moment Dad threatens an admissions rep with a lawsuit because they didn’t get from the rep what they wanted, you are just another name in the pity pile. And that’s a shame, because you probably deserve better than that. Make your own appointments with the rep and don’t bring your Mom and Dad (or better yet, make them sit out in the car!)

Helen Cella

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

Colleges take note of a student’s demonstrated interest, by visiting and networking with admissions reps students can do that.

Archana Sudame

Good question: depends on how highly does a college rank “student interest”

Is it: Important, Very Important or merely considered (and sometimes even “not considered”) If it is ‘very important’ to establish interest: Do your homework about the college: includes mission statement, majors, diversity etc. Visit the campus by appointment. Ask questions that show genuine interest or Ask to be interviewed by a student of admissions rep.

Connie DeckerOwnerConnie Decker & Associates

Visit college and network with reps…..

While it isn’t a requirement, it is important for you to visit colleges in general, just to get a taste of what campuses are like. It serves you very well to visit the campuses to which you will be applying. It shows the campus that you are interested enough to see who they are and what they offer. Most applications now ask “Why (name of college)?” How will you pursue your goals on our campus? This is difficult, although not impossible, to answer if you haven’t been on the campus. Networking with admission reps not only gets you more information; it also lets the college know that you have maintained interest in that campus.

Nancy MilneOwnerMilne Collegiate Consulting

Impressions

The student who makes it clear that they can really see themselves at school XYZ is on the right track. When it comes down to the final seats left to fill in the class of 20XX, a student who has made an impression on someone, checked out the campus if it is within 6 hours of home, or been in contact with the school asking pertinent questions, will be remembered first. Not only will you be making your interest known, but you may discover in the process that the fit isn’t as right as you thought. The more information you can gather about a school, the better informed your decision will be.

Nancy MilneOwnerMilne Collegiate Consulting

Impressions

The student who makes it clear that they can really see themselves at school XYZ is on the right track. When it comes down to the final seats left to fill in the class of 20XX, a student has made an impression on someone, checked out the campus if it is within 6 hours of home, or been in contact with the school asking pertinent questions, will be remembered first. Not only will you be making your interest known, but you may discover in the process that the fit isn’t as right as you thought. The more information you can gather about a school, the better informed your decision will be.

王文君 June ScortinoPresidentIVY Counselors Network

show your strong interests is always a plus

students should consider college selection process more serioulsy and find different ways of showing strong interests as applicants other than application essay. try to take time visiting colleges, no more than two per day and take time to speak to admissions reps. students should also consider to visit departments during the college visit. sometimes, professiors can help you as well.

Erin AveryCertified Educational PlannerAvery Educational Resources, LLC

Yield to College Admission Reps!

How important is it to you to be accepted to college? Most of America’s top colleges care about rankings (perhaps even more than applicants’ parents) therefore when a college extends an offer to a student, whether or not that students attends effects that college’s rankings. It’s called “yield”. Therefore, many selective colleges want some indication that it is among your first choices before they extend to you that fat envelope. Before you get that offer, however, you have to impress the admissions representative. The ability to put a face with a name could be the differentiating factor. 

Laurie Nash

Visiting each college

I realize it is difficult for a student to visit every college to which he/she is sending an application, but without a visit you are choosing the PR firm the college has hired. A campus visit can quickly let a student know if he/she is interested in applying. How do you know the answer? It is a gut feeling and one that is often correct.

Peter Van BuskirkPresidentThe Admission Game

Don’t be a “Ghost Applicant”

It is critical that you understand that colleges don’t have to admit you simply because you have the numbers (and extracurricular activities) to justify it. Before an admission committee decides to offer admission to you, it is likely to look for evidence that you will enroll if accepted. ED is the obvious solution, but if you aren’t ready to commit, you can’t go that route. As a result, you want to make sure your interest in the college is known. That’s why it is important to build relationships with the college reps who recruit in your area. Why? They are usually the first to evaluate your credentials in the admission process. Do you want to appear to them as though you are a stranger—or a candidate whose application materialized out of thin air? Students—and very good students at that—whose level of interest is open to question quite often find themselves on the Wait List. Here’s the tip: as you have important questions about the college’s academic program, its admission requirements, etc, direct them by email to the person who recruits in your area. Let him/her be your “go to” person at that institution. The key is to be careful not to abuse this relationship. If you engage this person purposefully and respectfully, you give yourself an opportunity to develop a relationship that could be helpful later in the admission process.

Laura O’Brien GatzionisFounderEducational Advisory Services

Importance of College Visits

It is definitely important to visit if you can and if you are in a radius of 150 miles I think you absolutely must visit. Before you go, try to set up a private appointment or an interview with the admission officer responsible for your geographic area. Demonstrated interest often (but not always) plays a role in the application process. Most importantly, if you visit a college you will have a first-hand impression of the school. Do you feel that you can be happy and successful there?

Scott WhiteDirector of GuidanceMontclair High School

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

Small colleges with average to low yields (the numbers of accepted students who attend) put a much high priority on perceived interest of the students and the students who be aware of ways to maximize the measurement of their interest: visits, interviews, etc.

Pam ProctorAuthor The College Hook

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

Here is my video response to the question.

Kristina DooleyIndependent Educational ConsultantEstrela Consulting

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

If you’re given the opportunity to speak with an admission officer or professor during your visit, you should definitely do so! Being able to connect your face with your application will help your admission counselor when it comes time to review your materials as you’ve suddenly gone from “Joe from Montana” to “Joe- that really funny guy who wore a cowboy hat to his interview and is passionate about radio broadcasting…we even let him be a guest on our afternoon radio show while he was visiting from Montana!” See how that changes things? As for meeting with professors…if you want to get a sneak-peek at who you’ll be spending a lot of time with over the next 4 years, it’s not a bad idea. Faculty members are also great people to ask about alumni outcomes as most of them probably still keep in touch with graduates. In fact, they may also be wiling to connect you with alumni who are working in the field you are interested in pursuing.

Lily TrayesFounder and CEOIvy League Placement

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

Here is my video response to the question.

Joyce Vining MorganFounder and college counselorEducational Transitions

How important is it to visit each college and network with the admissions reps?

The college visit is important for you, the student, to be sure that the college is right for you. A visit helps admissions folk know that you are seriously considering their institution, and that your application is serious. Networking always helps in both regards, but is not the most important element in the process. Being in contact with the admissions office, by visiting or by any other form of contact, helps establish your focus on them and gives both you and the admissions office a chance to gather more information.

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