More Tips for College Visits and Meaningful Interactions

 Last week, I posted 3 tips for college visits.  This time we’re going for 5 more! Remember it isn’t just about your visit it is about making any interaction you have with colleges meaningful. Make your college application standout through interacting with colleges and finding the right college fit is perhaps the most missed opportunity. It is the part of the application process students, and families don’t see as part of the process. Therefore, the savvy student knows this is an integral aspect of your college application and can be key to getting the best financial aid package. Here are my 5 tips to make your application standout through interaction with colleges and finding the right fit for your student 

  1. Visit With Your College Representatives in Your Area

Even local colleges have representatives travel around to fairs, events at your school, or may hold office time in the Guidance Office. Go to college’s website to find out when they are coming to your area. Also, if they are not coming to your area, find out if they have alumni you can meet with to talk about the college. Treat this like an interview, even if it is casual. Therefore, expect the alumni will report back to the admissions office. These types of interactions are essential if the college is out of the area or you are unable to visit the college campus. Make sure they know who you are!

2. Virtual College Visits

In addition to traveling Admissions Representatives, lots of colleges hold virtual events. College Week Live is one that is hosted at least once a year. It is free. The college itself may hold chats online with current students. These are easy to attend and cost you nothing except a little bit of time. Moreover, if the college doesn’t hold events online, make an appointment to speak with your admissions counselor.  Be sure whatever method you interact with virtually that you have a few questions to ask ahead of time. And as always – make sure they know your name!

3. Visit the Admissions Office

Make sure the Admissions Office knows you were there. As I have been saying, colleges need to know you are involved and the different ways you are getting to know the college. They actually record every interaction with the student. The interaction strategy only works if the college knows the student has interacted with them. Students who interact more with the college are more likely to be accepted (this does not show up every week or call them all the time). Also be sure to book a tour and make an appointment with your admissions counselor.

4. Visit the Department You Are Interested In Majoring In

Make an appointment to talk with the department you are interested in majoring. Come ready with a few questions about that major. Here are a few examples of questions to ask: In the last five years, what are some jobs graduates have gotten? At what point do I need to declare my major in your department to be certain I graduate in 4 years? What type of internship opportunities is there? Do students need to find their own internships or does the department help with placement?

5. Fill Out Your FAFSA

By filling out your Free Application For Federal Student Aid and submitting it to schools, they know you are interested.  I cannot stress enough how important filling out the FAFSA is. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you qualify for aid. Many schools also use the FAFSA for giving out merit aid too. If you don’t apply, you could be passed over for merit aid.

BONUS REPEAT: SEND THANK YOU CARDS!!

As you can see, there are lots of ways to interact with colleges and strategies to make your college application standout. Please note, do not just use one way to communicate with a college and do that a lot. Calling them all the time will backfire. Utilize the methods the school wants you to interact those are opportunities.

Lastly, this is a lot of information. If you want help working through it and how it applies to your student, contact us. We want to help with your student’s application to standout! Let’s Talk!

Upcoming College Open Houses

Open Houses are they a college has a chance to show what it’s got. They usually pull out all the bells and whisles and ultimately want to leave having had a great time and thinking about how you fit at their school.

You get a chance to see what the school is about and have easier access to learning about the school and campus life.

Should you go? Yes. Should it be the only time you go? No.

If you don’t like the school at an open house, odds are you won’t like it when they are not rolling out the red carpet for you. Try not to be too cool to think it is all just silly. Try to see it through their eyes – they’re proud! Now, if you like the school, don’t let this be the only impression it leaves on you. Come back and visit during the week when school is in session. Pick the middle of the day as that should be the busiest. Eat at the cafeteria (because that is what the food will taste like year-round).

Here are a few open house dates coming up:

College of Charleston2/18/2019
Wofford College2/18/2019
Lander University 2/23/2019
Western Carolina University2/23/2019
Winthrop University2/23/2019
University of North Carolina at Charlotte3/16/2019

Want help with the college process? Let’s find a time to chat!

3 Tips for College Visits

So my title says “College Visits” but there is much more to it. It isn’t just about your visit, it is about making any interaction you have with colleges meaningful. Make your college application standout through interacting with colleges and finding the right college fit is perhaps the most missed opportunity. It is the part of the application process students, and families don’t see as part of the process. Therefore, the savvy student knows this is an integral aspect of your college application and can be key to getting the best financial aid package. Here are my 3 tips to make your application standout through interaction with colleges and finding the right fit for your student 

  1. Write Thank You Cards

Any interaction you have with people at colleges you are interested in or considering – write a handwritten thank you card. So, not an email, please! People remember and notice. It likely will be put into your application file and noted on your record.

2. Visit College Campuses

Go visit and check out campuses. One way to see if the college is the right fit for you is to check it out.

An absolute must: Whatever top 5 or 6 schools are that you are going to apply to, try to visit them at least twice. Try to go during the week when the campus is up and moving. The best days to go are in the middle of the week. Saturday and Sunday morning – the campus will seem pretty much asleep (because all the students are asleep).

3. Go To Special Days At A Campus

This can be your first or second visit (but try to go twice), and accepted student day doesn’t count as admissions decisions have already been made. Lots of time colleges will offer application fee waivers by attending special admissions events. Colleges really, really want you to come to these events.  They also tend to be fun and are a great opportunity to learn more about the school. Most events take place in the fall but there defiantly some in the spring.  Check back here and I’ll try to post them!

As you can see, there are lots of ways to interact with colleges and strategies to make your college application standout. Please note, do not just use one way to communicate with a college and do that a lot. Calling them all the time will backfire. Utilize the methods the school wants you to interact those are opportunities.

Lastly, this is a lot of information. If you want help working through it and how it applies to your student, contact us. We want to help with your student’s application to standout! Let’s Talk!