An Underestimated Partnership

‘Tis the season for admissions officers to hit the road in search of future classes.  It’s a great time of year.  Very often we meet students who visited campus over the summer. For many, they liked what they saw and are looking to have their first impressions reenforced by a university representative at their high school.

I’ve just completed my fall travel to St. Louis, one of my favorite cities.   A visit to a high school resulted in a brief but important conversation with members of the college counseling staff.      We discussed the importance of visiting university campuses for many reasons, not the least of which is the concept of “demonstrated interest” being considered when reviewing applications at many colleges and universities.  The college counselor offered that “students don’t believe us”.  “They wait to hear it from you which is why it’s so important to have university reps visit us each year”.

Immediately I had the topic for my next blog entry!   Listen to your college counselors.  Many have worked with students for years and are an important resource for students and parents alike!

Did you know there are myriad professional conferences annually that bring college and admissions counselors together?  The sole purpose is for all of us to understand the ever changing educational climate.  We have one goal – to help students.  The National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) hosts a conference every fall.  Some 5000 admissions and college/guidance counselors attend!

Admissions is all about relationships.    Fundamental to our work is the partnership between college and guidance counselors.   When I visit a school I look forward to seeing my colleagues “on the other side of the desk”.  We want the same thing – to find the best match for you, the student.   We work together on your behalf because we want the same thing.  We want you to be happy and successful.

So here are my three most important pieces of advice as you identify where you will apply to college.

1) Listen to the advice of your Guidance or College Counselor. 

2) Visit as many campuses as you can

3) Get to know the admissions representative for your home state.  This is the committee member who is likely to advocate for you at decision time

There are countless other suggestions for identifying the school(s) that are right for you and I’ll address those at another time.  For now, I encourage you to recognize the valuable relationships admissions and guidance counselors have formed over the years.   We’re all in this together – and we’re in it for you!

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