"Opportunities don't happen. You create them." - Chris Grosser
You are in the process of exploring different colleges and universities and the thought of reaching out to admissions officers, taking interviews or speaking with students or professors makes you want to stick your head in the sand.
That’s fine. Not to worry. There are plenty of other ways to make an impression. In this post we will explore some of them and empower you to go out and make it happen!
There are many ways to demonstrate interest in a college and connect with admissions without having to rely on in-person interactions. Let’s take a look at a few:
Attend Virtual Information Sessions and webinars
This will provide an opportunity to learn more about the school and connect with admissions representatives. These sessions often include Q&A portions, which, at a minimum, will enable you to listen to the answers other people are getting to the questions they are asking. Additionally, very often, you can chat in your own questions and interact with admissions representatives anonymously.
Connect with current students
Many colleges have student ambassadors or mentors who are available to answer questions and provide insight into campus life. You can connect with these students through social media or email them directly and ask questions about their experiences at the school. Our Beyond the brochure: Finding the perfect college fit blog post provides some great questions to ask students. You can do the same here through social media.
Join online communities
Many colleges have online communities, such as Facebook groups or online forums, where current and prospective students can connect and share information. Joining these groups can provide a way to connect with others who are interested in the school and get answers to your questions. If you engage with and post questions to these groups it is certainly possible that admissions will become aware of this and they will know that you are demonstrating interest.
Follow the college on social media
Following the college on social media can provide insight into campus life and events, as well as updates about admissions and other information. It's also important to know how social media affects your college application.
Conducting independent research about the college can demonstrate your interest and help you make informed decisions about the school. This can include reading the school's website and publications, the mission statement, reviewing academic programs and faculty, and learning about campus resources and activities.
Email admissions with questions
Sending a personalized email to your admissions officer with thoughtful questions about the school and its programs can demonstrate your interest and help you establish a connection with admissions representatives without having to
In preparation for this, you should set up a professional sounding email address that you will use for all correspondence with colleges throughout your entire college admissions process. If you want them to view you in the best possible light, avoid email addresses like scoobylovesvelma@xxxxmail.***.
Attend virtual campus tours
Many colleges offer virtual campus tours that provide an opportunity to see the campus and learn more about the school. These tours may include pre-recorded videos or live virtual tours. Pay attention and write down the little things you saw, inscriptions on statues, campus venues, the look and feel of the campus, etc…that will demonstrate that you have invested yourself in learning about the school.
Request to be connected with alumni
Many colleges have alumni networks that can provide valuable insight into the school and its programs. Requesting to be connected with alumni can help you gain perspective on the school and make informed decisions about your college choices.
Since the thought of interviewing may make you uncomfortable, while it does not represent a way to make an impression, strategically speaking, you could target colleges that do not offer interviews to its applicants.
Overall, there are many ways to connect with colleges and demonstrate your interest without relying solely on in-person interactions. By taking advantage of virtual resources and conducting independent research, you can gain valuable insight into the school and make informed decisions about your college choices.
Most importantly though, engaging in many, if not all, of these activities will enable you to submit a strong application that demonstrates your commitment to that college. More specifically, it will enable you to write compelling essays and complete your brag sheets in a way that will lead to the most compelling Letters of Recommendation. Without a doubt, these elements and the topics above will help you make an impact in how you are perceived by admissions committees without having to engage personally.
If you’re ready to dive deeper into your college application, check out the guide that our college admissions experts put together to help you navigate all the criteria admissions committees look at.
Second, if you are interested in more personalized guidance on how to manage the college planning and preparation process, PCC is here for you. Get in touch with Princeton College Consulting today.