Let’s face it; when you are apply to college you are in a competition with hundreds, if not thousands, of students. You do not want to blend in but stand out. One way to stand out is to be known, and known in a good way. How? Personal interactions with college representatives is one way.
Being in contact with a college rep is good or two reasons.
- Many college reps are the same people who will examine your college applications.
- Some colleges use demonstrated interest as one way to rate an applicant. Demonstrated interest is how many times the college can track your contacts: email, phone calls, visits to their campus, and meetings with their college reps.
Here are some tips for making good impressions with college reps:
It is fine to make online contact with college reps to ask questions, to thank them for a visit or information, to make inquiries, etc. If you choose to contact a college rep online, here are a few tips:
- Be sure you have an appropriate email address. luvs2partyyyy is probably not the right email address to use for your college business. Instead, we recommend that you keep it simple and stick with your name.
- Check your social media and be sure it’s presentable. Remove or at least hide pictures, posts, videos, etc. that would make you appear undesirable to potential colleges.
- Use a greeting or salutation in your email. Personal is better (ie. Hello Mr. Connors), but if you don’t know the name of your contact Dear admissions officer is a perfectly acceptable way to start your email.
Over the phone
You may also choose to phone a college representative to ask questions or thank them. Here are a couples of suggestions to make the most out of your phone calls:
- Be sure you are the one to make the call, not your parents. Schools are looking for mature, independent students to join their campuses. Having your parents phone sends the wrong message to college reps.
- Identify yourself. The more specific you are about who you are and what you want to achieve through the call, the better chance you have of someone being able to assist you.
- Hi, this is Susan Jones. I’m a college applicant looking to speak to an admissions officer/Mr. Connors about some questions I had.
- Thank whoever you spoke to for their time. College reps can be busy, especially around admissions and interview season. Be sure to take the time to thank them. Not only is it polite, it leaves an excellent impression.
- Have your questions prepared and be sure that the answers aren’t easily found online. As we said earlier, college reps get very busy. Be sure not to waste their time by being unprepared or by asking questions you could have easily answered yourself.
There are many in-person opportunities to meet with college reps including campus visits, interviews, and college fairs. We highly encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities. Here are some suggestions to make the most out of these in-person interactions:
- Make a point of introducing yourself to the admissions reps. The opportunity is there in front of you. You would be foolish not to take advantage of it.
- Don’t skip planned or scheduled events such as meetings or interviews. Nothing looks worse than not showing up for something that was previously arranged.
- Dress appropriately for the situation. For interviews you should dress more formally: a button-up shirt and dress pants for men, a blouse and skirt or slacks for ladies. For less formal situations you should still ensure to look neat; no ripped or dirty clothes.
- Ensure you have cards or labels with your contact information to hand to the rep. They’re going to be meeting a lot of applicants and scrawling your contact info on a torn notebook corner does not leave the best impression.
Finally, regardless of the situation, be gracious at all times. It’s important to be known, but even more important to be known as a polite and interested person who knows how to present themselves well.