Tag Archives: campus visits

A Few More Tips for College Visits

Families with High School juniors likely spent their Spring Break on College Visits. And your summer will likely include more College Visits. If you have read ADMISSIONS INTERVIEW & CAMPUS VISITS, you have lots of tips to make your visit successful. But here are a few more tips:

  1. Express Your Interest in a College
Is it a College or University?

Let Colleges Know You Are Actively Interested

As discussed in YIELD, College’s Admissions Offices have a difficult task. If they want to admit 500 students, how many students should they accept? How many of those who are accepted will choose to enroll – what will their yield be?

Colleges pay attention to how much time and attention you have spent on their College. The more time, the more likely you are going to enroll if you are accepted. If you have decided Acme College is THE ONE, then a) you likely decided it was THE ONE after you spent a fair amount of time on campus and b) you likely spent a lot of time on Acme’s campus because you are excited about it. While there are some students who decide a particular College is THE ONE without having even visited the College, that is certainly more rare.

Therefore, whenever you visit a College, attend and off-campus Information Session or have any outside contact with the College, make sure they know you were there – document your College Visit. Even if you can’t attend an Information Session or College Tour, stop by the Admissions Office, talk to anyone who is available and fill out the forms that express your interest. It is best if the student is the one who engages in the Admissions Office. By filing out the forms, you will be added to the mailing list and they will make note of the fact that you visited their campus. At the very least, go onto the College’s website and sign up to be on their mailing list, another way to express interest.

2. Visit a College when Classes are in Session

When Colleges are on break, the energy on the campus dies. If your student is worried a College may be too small, a visit when there is no activity on campus is another nail in the coffin…. Students are very concerned about deciding whether the students on campus are “their people”, which is difficult to determine if hardly any students are on campus when you visit.

Unrestricted Stock Graphic Calendar

Plan Your College Visits in Advance

At the beginning of Junior year, determine all of the dates that your student does not have school. Teacher Conferences, Teacher Workdays, even some Holidays. Determine if your student has any other commitments on those non-school days. Then type <XX College 20– Academic Calendar>. This should lead you to XX’s calendar for that year. Compare the calendars, and now you know the best dates for your College Visit. The alternative is to pull your Junior out of school to visit XX College, but Junior year is an important academic year and your student may be resistant to miss school to visit Colleges.

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Student Athletes

Pixabay Swimming PoolStudent Athletes need to be strategic when they are applying to College. If you can afford to hire a counselor who has counseled several student athletes or specializes in student athletes, you may find that is money well spent. On the other hand, sometimes Counselors who specialize in student athletes may be weak in the many other facets of College Admissions. The best way to assess a Counselor is to ask other clients about their experience. In the meantime, here are some articles addressing the issues specific to student athletes:







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Admissions Interview Preparation

Pixabay Job Interview

Initial Impressions During an Interview are Important

You are a rising Senior or Senior in High School. You have scheduled an interview with an Admissions Officer or Alumni. Even if they tell you that the Interview is not highly considered, a very weak or very strong impression can still have a major impact on your chances of being admitted. Some Colleges highly consider your interview. Interviews are your opportunity to share your narrative, explaining apparent weaknesses in your resume and highlight your strengths. It’s time to make an impression, which means it’s time to prepare!

If you want to know a College’s general policy regarding the importance of interviews, go to Go to Collegedata.com and type in <College name> in the enter College name box. Choose the Admission tab and scroll down to Selection of Students. Many factors that can impact admission are listed, including Interview. These variables are categorized as either Very ImportantImportantConsidered or Not Considered.

College Interview Advice Resources:

My general advice:

  1. Check out the Admissions webpage, their marketing materials and and any interactions you have had with the College. What personality comes out in these materials? It’s a quality they are likely actively trying to exude and encourage. Quirky, offbeat? Probably don’t want to sit through the interview stone-faced and without demonstrating your personality (although even if their tone is not quirky and offbeat, please don’t sit through the interview stone-faced!). Aggressive, intense? Better demonstrate your confidence and high goals.
  2. Even if you have read and retained a lot of information about the College, your memory may let you down at a time of stress, such as during your interview. To help you retain what you learned about a College, and to have notes to refer to during the interview if your memory lets you down,
    Pixabay Spreadsheet

    College Summary Pages

    I suggest creating College Summary Pages. These pages include basic College information you should know for your Admissions Interview, as well as your notes on why you love this College and questions you would like to ask about the College. Whoever is interviewing you will be impressed by your organized, thoughtful approach to the interview when you ask relevant questions that can’t be easily answered on the College’s website.

How Important is Interview Prep?

Sometimes you feel too busy to do all this prep. Here’s my why you prep story:

My daughter had an interview with a Connector, set up with the aid of another Connector (see the bottom of my Word of Mouth post if you don’t know what a Connector is). The Connector had the ability to impact my daughter’s visibility at a College she loved. In fact, during the meeting with the Connector, he set up a meeting for her at that College (for the NEXT MORNING, because he was so well connected and respected). Here’s the deal about this Connector – he was INTENSE! High energy, kept company with high-profile CEO’s, non-stop varied interests and activities. This was a successful and powerful person, doing our friend who connected us a favor by sharing some of his time with us to give advice and assistance.


Review Sample Interview Questions and Rehearse Your Answers

On the way to the meeting, I suggested to my daughter that she go through some sample interview questions and advice, which she did half-heartedly. During the meeting, this Connector asked her several direct, probing questions – “What did you learn from your experience traveling abroad?” “If you love this school, why aren’t you considering that school?”, etc. etc. At first, my daughter did just an OK job of answering these questions, and this Connector immediately called her on it – “That’s not a good answer!”. I could tell my daughter was intimidated, but she started thinking better on her feet. BOOM! He quickly made her understand something I had been trying to teach her, but the impact was much greater with this high-profile Connector calling it like it is. After the interview, we got in the car and she immediately pulled up some sample interview questions and advice, and spent 2 hours reading and rehearsing answers in her mind, so she could be better prepared for next morning’s campus meeting that this Connector had set up for her.

This experience also led to a great discussion about a new concern for that College. “Are all the graduates that intense?”, she wondered. “Do I want to go to school with a lot of students with that personality?” “Will I be able to hold my own?” We agreed that not all graduates from this College were likely to be as intense as this Connector, but she was going to spend time while on campus scrutinizing the students’ personalities.

Remember that someone who is interviewing you is taking time out of their day to spend time with you – respect them for doing that, and make the interview worth their while! Last bit of advice: you may be running around on campus attending tours, information sessions, meeting with Admissions Officers and maybe a few other people. Track your appointments, so that you make sure you are where you are supposed to be at the right time, but also to help you remember what you did and with whom on each campus.

Pixabay Sharing Information

Share Your Experience

Do you have other advice for Admissions Interviews? Please leave a Comment.

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