Congratulations on being admitted to college! The dreadful wait for decision letters to come in the mail is over. Now, the ball is in your court and you get to decide what college you will attend from the list of colleges that accepted you.
One of the ways that colleges will try to get you to choose them is by putting on an impressive admitted student event. The whole reason the event exists is to impress you in the hope you’ll choose them. So, be prepared to see the college at its best. There will be fun events, great speakers and the food will probably be amazing! The college will not always look like this, but it still gives you great insight into what it will be like if you were a student there.
If the admitted student event is the first time stepping on the campus, take a campus tour. The Admissions Office will offer campus tours guided by current students.
Once you’ve toured the campus, take advantage of everything the event offers.
Mostly importantly, talk to the current and incoming students. They are your future classmates. You might even meet your future roommate. Meeting students and making a connection at the admitted student event will make attending the school in the fall so much easier. Instead of arriving on campus in the fall and not knowing anyone, you’ll already have friends! Stay in touch after the admitted student event – exchange phone numbers, emails, add each other on social media.
Lastly, have fun on campus! And, pay attention to your feelings while you are on campus. Listen to your gut and the way you feel. If you have a good feeling about the school, then it might just be the place for you. But, if something is not feeling right, that’s okay! You only want to commit to a college you will feel good attending.
The spring is the perfect time to visit college campuses.
I always advise students to visit the colleges they are considering before making their final decision. From my own experience working in admissions offices, I know that colleges and universities spend thousands of dollars on the marketing materials that you pick up at college fairs or are sent to your home. The whole idea behind these materials is to make you interested in attending. Good photography and copy writing can make anything look and sound amazing! But, do they really show you what the college is all about? Sure, they show the things that they are proud of, but are there things left unsaid? Absolutely.
Here are my tips for visiting campus:
Lastly, I recommend that you follow your gut feeling about the campus. Some of the visits are going to surprise you. There might have been a college you thought you would have loved for whatever reason (reputation, beautiful pictures in brochures, your friends go there, etc.), but when you were on campus, it didn’t feel right. Then, there might be colleges that you visited when you weren’t really interested (parents encouraged the visit, it was close to another school you were visiting, etc.), but you felt right being there. Listen to the gut feelings – they probably won’t change over time, no matter what you do. Remember, whatever college you attend, you’ll be there for four years and you want to be a place you feel comfortable and happy.
Having fun visiting colleges!
I have worked in college admissions on the college side since 2006. I started as an Admission Counselor at the University of La Verne in Southern California and worked my way up to Assistant Director of Admission. When my husband accepted a job in the Seattle area, we moved and I landed the job as Director of Admissions at Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington. I have always loved sitting down with students and their parents discussing their college options.
As someone working in admissions, it was kind of like working in sales. My job was to sell students on the idea of enrolling at the institution where I was employed. Don’t’ get me wrong – I think all of the institutions I have worked for are amazing and have wonderful things to offer students. But, I know that they were not the right colleges for everyone and I was always very honest about that with the student and their parents.
While working on a college campus, I always felt like something was missing. My job was selling one college. When I was finally able to meet with the students, they had already done a lot of the research themselves, or were guided to my institution with the help of a college counselor. It was my job to sell them on my institution and try to do it better than the other colleges they were looking at.
So, when my husband was offered a job in the San Francisco area, we moved again. I decided it was time to follow my true passion of helping students through the college admissions process from the beginning. Being an independent college counselor (not associated with any college or university) will allow me to really help students through college admissions process.
I am slowing starting the process. First, I’ve launched my twitter account (following me at @admissions411). Now, I’ve launched my blog where I will continually share helpful information about the college admission process. Soon there will be a Facebook page, Pinterest page, and other social media pages. And, lastly, I will be launching my website and offering services to students in my area and online.
I look forward to helping you or your student through the college admissions process!