Good grades and consistent involvement are a start but are not the only factors in a college admission application. Over the past few years we have seen an increase in the number of applications a student submits. Colleges are aware their applicants are likely applying to other schools but can only enroll in one. Applicants offered admittance may turn them down, but they have enrollment goals to meet. Thus there are waitlists. Colleges wait for admitted students to accept or decline their invitations, having their waitlists as back-up.
Let’s consider the admissions dilemma. They review an application and decide to admit the student. What if they believe the student is likely a good candidate for other schools? They wonder where else the student may have applied and how likely the student is to choose them. If they do not weigh these factors into their considerations the college could have a long waitlist or worse, not meet its enrollment goals.
To accept or deny based on a student’s evidenced interest, it is a necessary part of the admission process. How does a college measure a student’s interest? The application itself is an indicator. So are the following:
Nice to meet you: Check with your high school and see if a college representative will be visiting your high school. Go meet the representative personally. Ask for a business card, ask questions and email the rep a “thank you” for the visit.
Leave a consistent trail: Keep your email contact information consistent. Do not let your mom sign in and start putting in her name. From here on, only your name, only your info. Only use the computers from inside your home for your college search purposes. This will keep the IP address consistent.
Engage them: Log on to the school’s website and find the form to “Request more information”. Do this again on the athletics page if you are a prospective athlete.
Put a face to your application: Register for a tour via the college’s website. Remember to keep contact information consistent. When you are on the tour; meet people, shake hands, and give them your name.
Use the network: Call your admissions representative directly and ask questions. Speak to your High School counselor. Ask if they know anyone at the college you are most interested in.
Join the group: Find “Create an Account” or “Subscribe”. Regularly login and surf the college’s website. In some cases, your IP and the pages you visit are tagged. If you are waitlisted, this is a way to continue demonstrating interest. This form of measurement is not true for all schools, and there is no true way to know which schools use this tool or when or how often. But if you are trying to improve your chances, pull out all the stops.
Margaret Rothe: Visionary Extraordinaire, Entrepreneur, and Founder of CounselMore
29 years of higher education experience, a Master of Higher Education Student Affairs, and owner of HigherGrounding, a college consulting firm; Margaret’s latest endeavor-CounselMore, a college search, list builder and professional management tool.