Monday, November 30, 2015

Using your Admissions Counselor to your Advantage

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a restful and relaxing break from school and if you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a great day filled with turkey and mashed potatoes! Tonight I want to talk with you all about how you can use your college admissions counselor to your advantage. They are a wealth of knowledge and can provide a lot of wisdom to you!

First things first, a college admissions counselor is someone who works for a specific university to recruit and encourage students to apply and enroll at their college. They spend a lot of time travelling in the Fall and Spring to attend events across the nation to discuss their university. Once they are back in the office, they spend their time meeting with families, reading applications, and answering their students' questions. It is important to recognize what their job is before you start wondering how they can help you in your college search process.  Here are some of my tips:

1. ASK THEM QUESTIONS!!!  I cannot reiterate this enough, if you have a question about the university, about the application process, or about scholarships, then send them an e-mail, call them, or even text them your question. They want the contact with you and want to help you recognize the greatness that their campus can offer to you.  **When I was applying to colleges, whenever I had a question about the university, I would write it on a sheet of paper and keep that in my college folder. When the admissions counselor called throughout the year, I would have my questions ready for them so that I could get all of the answers I needed!

2. GET CONNECTED!!! Ask yourself who they might be able to connect you with at the university. Admissions professionals usually have some power to get things done and to have their students meet with others, so if there is someone you want to meet or talk to, ask your admissions counselor about it. They can usually connect you with athletics coaches, professors, other administrative offices, and students! If you have a specific question and you aren't satisfied with their vague answer, then see if they can hook you up with another resource!  (Admissions counselors know a little about a lot, so if you genuinely want more information than they are giving you, that is completely acceptable. Be up front though and see who else they can get in contact with for you!)

Use your admissions counselor to set up meetings with
coaches and student athletes.

3. CHECK ON APP. MATERIALS!!! So, it wasn't until I started working in the Admissions Department that I realized that students and families can call the office to see if their materials have been submitted to the university appropriately.  Oftentimes students wonder if their recommenders have completed their evaluations or if their guidance counselor sent in their transcript. Now, you don't have to worry because you can ask your admissions counselor. Now, I wouldn't be calling every two days to see if it has been submitted, but have a frank conversation with your admissions counselor to make sure they have the most up-to-date information, including test scores!

4. BUILD YOUR RESOURCES!!! Once you are enrolled at the institution, keep all of the connections that they have helped you make and reach out to those people. If they are students or other professionals, make sure you keep them in mind when you are back on campus at orientation. They may be able to help you make your college transition even more smoothly. These connections may also help you later on down the road in college. (One of the administrators who did my admissions interview, coincidentally, I ended up working really closely with during my years as an Upperclassman RA and as an Orientation Leader. You never know where those resources will lead you, so definitely keep them in a safe place!)

I hope this has helped you all as you are beginning to contact your admissions counselors more and more. Just remember each university is different, so their connection and resource flow may take a little longer than at another. Stay patient and remember if you have something you really want to know about a university, then pursue it!!

enjoy the chase,

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