As a tour guide, I know the admissions process inside and out. Although each college and university will look for different qualities in their prospective students, there is some overlap as to what you can do to help your chances of being accepted.
Here are some things I’ve learned in my three years of being a tour guide that can help your chances of getting into your dream school.
1. Frequent contact.
Try to make contact as often as reasonably possible. From taking a tour to meeting with the admission’s counselor when they visit your high school or local college fair, it’s important to put a face to your name on the application.
Admissions counselors typically keep track of email exchanges between you and the college. Likewise, most admissions counselors also keep track of how many interactions you have with the college, because it shows them which students demonstrate the most interest and are thus more likely to accept their offer.
However, be careful not to email your admissions counselor excessively. Make sure that every email has a purpose.
2. Multi-dimensional applicant.
Become a well-rounded applicant. I’m sure you’ve heard this many times before, but it is the best advice I can give. Yes, academics are the first priority for a student, but it’s important that academics aren’t the only thing on your resume.
You don’t necessarily have to be an All-State athlete or the Regional Spelling Bee champ, but if you are, that’s great! If you can, try joining a club you’re interested in or volunteering with a local group. If you’re athletic, try out for a sports team. This will make you a more multi-dimensional applicant.
3. College interviews.
Take advantage of optional interviews or networking events for the college. Smaller or more prestigious schools typically offer interviews for students. This is one of the most underutilized options in the application process.
Interviews will always help an applicant more than they will hurt (unless you walk into the interview talking about how great another school is, of course). Before going into an interview, do your homework on the school. What are the school’s beliefs on education and campus culture? Larger schools may not offer interviews, in which case you should look into networking events at the college.
If a school of any size is having networking events in your area, try to attend to meet alumni, current students, and other prospective students.
These tips won’t necessarily guarantee your acceptance, but they may help you distinguish yourself from other applicants. Admissions counselors want to get as much information on prospective students as possible to make better decisions whether or not specific students will succeed at their schools.
By following these three tips, you can help your admissions counselor get to know you which may give them more of a reason to accept you at your dream school.