Should I try and network with admissions officers or professors during a college visit?

College Visits

Our counselors answered:

Should I try and network with admissions officers or professors during a college visit?

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

Should I try and network with admissions officers or professors during a college visit?

Absolutely! You should have planned this in advance to make it happen. If not, hopefully you'll get lucky & see some higher ups. Admissions folks always like the known vs the unknown when it's decision time!

Kristina Dooley
Independent Educational Consultant Estrela Consulting

Should I try and network with admissions officers or professors during a college visit?

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.

Karen Ekman-Baur
Director of College Counseling Leysin American School

Should I try and network with admissions officers or professors during a college visit?

If you're on a tour organized by a company, visiting a series of colleges/universities over a week or so, there may not be time allowed for you to meet privately with admissions officers, professors, or coaches during the time that you are on a given campus. Of course, this will depend on how the tour company organizes its schedules, but judging from the college tours that I have been on and led - both with other counselors and as a supervisor on student tours, I can say that time is very carefully allotted and private appointments would not fit into the schedule. If you are organizing your own visit to a college/university, you can use your time in whatever way you feel is appropriate, though. - You would do well to take advantage of the institutions' regular offerings for prospective students - sitting in on an information session and taking a campus tour. Specific times and days for these events can be found on the websites of the various schools. - If the institution requires or recommends an interview, make an appointment with an admissions officer for that interview when preparing your visit agenda. Some schools do not offer interviews, however, because of the large number of applicants with which they are dealing, so attempting to arrange an interview with an admissions officer anyhow might be a source of frustration. Focus your attention elsewhere. - If you are an outstanding athlete and are interested in the sports program of a school you will be visiting, make an appointment to speak with a coach in the sports department relevant to your sport. You may find it helpful to send information to the coach before you actually meet highlighting your past success in your chosen sport. - If you are interested in studying in a particular area, it is often possible to make an appointment with a professor in that department to discuss further what the institution offers in that area, what your particular interests are, and how you feel that you would fit into that academic environment. In all of the cases above, keep the following tips in mind: - Make specific appointments ahead of time. Don't think that you will just be able to walk on campus or into a department and spontaneously have a productive meeting. - Be on time for all of your appointments. Things do happen occasionally to interfere, but If something comes up which will cause you to be late or miss the appointment, contact the other party immediately to either cancel or postpone your meeting. - Be prepared for any meetings you have scheduled. Don't waste the time of your interview partner by not knowing what you're talking about. Remember that you're not there just to chit-chat. Be ready to ask relevant questions and volunteer information about yourself. Be as familiar as possible with the school, with the sports program, or with the academic department you are investigating. - It would be a nice gesture to send a short thank you note to the other party after your meeting expressing your appreciation for their having taken the time to see you and perhaps referring to some outstanding aspect of the interview. Keep it short and sweet!

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis
Founder Educational Advisory Services

Should I try and network with admissions officers or professors during a college visit?

Make arrangements before you visit the campus. You should make an appointment with the admissions officer responsible for your geographic area if possible and have an interview if you are a rising senior. If an interview is not available, attend the information session, the college tour and register your interest in the college. Try to arrange to attend a class while on campus and you will have a real sense of the possibilities that await you at the school.

Megan Dorsey
SAT Prep & College Advisor College Prep LLC

Should I try and network with admissions officers or professors during a college visit?

The term “networking” can be a turn-off; it conjures images of sycophants working the room backslapping and handshaking. Instead, think about making connections with people you meet during your campus visits. Connections are valuable. Initial campus meeting provide additional information. Once you leave campus, professors and admissions officers serve as a point of connection answering questions and putting you in touch with others on campus. These relationships can help you make final college decisions and ease your transition to college. As you meet people and maintain connections, be genuine in your interactions and seek to connect. No one likes to be used and disingenuous interactions can backfire.

Sarah Contomichalos
Manager Educational Advisory Services, LLC

Should I try and network with admissions officers or professors during a college visit?

During a college visit, try to get all your questions answered and sit in on a class in a subject that interests you. It is not about networking per say as much as really seeing if this is a place that would suit you for college. Be sure to ask how to get in touch if additional questions come up after your visit.

Edward LaMeire
CEO LaMeire College Consulting (lameirecollegeconsulting.com)

Should I try and network with admissions officers or professors during a college visit?

Of course! Just don't to so with the intention of this having a direct impact on any admissions decision. Do personal feelings and biases play into the process? Of course. But, you would be amazed at how many students deep down really feel that, "If they like me/if I show I'm really excited to come, they'll take me." No one cares...at least no enough for this to be a huge tipping point (although it does play a small role). Too long/didn't read version: Network, but do it for information and without an agenda.

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

Should I try and network with admissions officers or professors during a college visit?

I think a conversation with a faculty member can be invaluable. If you have very specific goals for college, this is the time to explore the reality of making them happen. Taking the time and effort to connect with a professor or admissions rep on campus is a great way to demonstrate interest. Depending on when you visit, the timing may just not work out, but it is worth a try.

Eric Dobler
President Dobler College Consulting

Should I try and network with admissions officers or professors during a college visit?

Absolutely! Attending an information session and going out on a campus tour are great ways to get to know a college better. You will receive a lot of information and get a feel for the campus. However, these activities are one-sided. The college provides information and you receive it. There's little interaction unless you ask a lot of questions and talk to the tour guide throughout the tour - neither of which is always possible. By making an appointment to meet the admissions officer who reviews applications for your high school or a professor who teaches a subject you are interested in, you now have the opportunity to have a real conversation. These opportunities are great because not only do you get a chance to ask questions that are more important to you as an individual (will I get a chance to work in research labs as a freshman?), but you also get a chance to demonstrate your interest in the school. Some of the most competitive colleges will track this information and use it to help them make a decision on your application. When you reach out to a school like this, it tells the admissions staff that you are a very interested applicant. The more contact you have, the better!

Ronald Harris

Should I try and network with admissions officers or professors during a college visit?

Yes. and when you do make sure that you, be on time, be yourself, ask questions that deal with your particular needs,and make sure you mention anything about your background or achievements that you want the admission office to know.