Some College Application Assistance:
Your rising high school senior is looking forward to being admitted to one of their ‘reach’ or ‘target’ schools… and they will give those applications their best effort. Hopefully, they are equally thoughtful in applying to the super safety schools they’re interested in. That’s important – because admissions committees can pick up the quality of student’s interest, and will respond to their application accordingly.
A few years ago I had a student who had stellar SAT, great grades, and meaningful activities. She was alarmed when she did not get into her super safety school, worried that her chances for being accepted at her ‘target’ or ‘reach’ schools were even more diminished.
All colleges look for the demonstrated interest of applicants. Demonstrating interest in applying to a college can be the difference in a student’s being admitted or denied to any of their schools.
A little known fact about the admissions process is that colleges and universities are ranked with other schools based on a ratio of students offered admission compared with students accepting admission. While colleges don’t like to admit it, these rankings are crucially important. When a college offers a student a spot, they do so because they expect that student to come. Their rankings suffer if students are offered a place but do not come. Colleges and universities don’t want to grant admission to applicants they know will not attend.
The responsibility to demonstrate interest in all schools to which a student applies is on the student. As a college admissions consultant, I suggest students do the following for their reach, target, AND safety schools:
- Sign up for each school’s email list.
- Register for their virtual information sessions. If in-person tours are offered again this summer or fall, do your best to attend as many as possible.
- Open emails, log into the portals, and click around on links (parents could help with this too.)
- Consider attending one of NACAC’s virtual (and free) college fairs in the fall.
- Attend your high school’s in-person or virtual presentations, if offered.
- Before emailing admissions officers, carefully think through questions you want to ask. Avoid contacting admissions officers via email if you don’t have a real/ burning question that cannot be answered via the web site.
- Follow each school’s social media accounts. In the absence of in-person visits, their social media posts can reveal a lot about the schools.
Colleges will want to know that the student takes them seriously and will attend if admitted. These tips should help your student demonstrate interest even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.