Representatives from college admission offices visit high schools around the country to present informational programs to prospective students, parents and counselors. How can you get the most out of talking to college representatives?
Benefits of college rep visits for students
During their visits, reps meet with interested students in small groups to discuss topics such as the academic programs, campus life, financial aid and admission procedures of their college. They also answer students' questions.
Below are six reasons to encourage students to meet with college reps.
- Students have a chance, in their own town, to meet face-to-face with a rep and ask specific questions.
- Students can let the college know they are seriously interested.
- In many cases, the reps are admission officers from the college, so students have a unique opportunity to make contact with a person who may be evaluating their application in the future.
- The meeting provides students with a specific contact at the college to whom they can send questions.
- Sometimes reps, particularly ones from state universities, will give an early read on students' transcripts, test scores and course selections during their visits. This helps students assess their fit at that institution and figure out what they can do to improve their chances of getting in.
- It's an opportunity for counselors to bring to students’ attention a college that you think is a good fit but that the student may not have considered.
Who should attend the college rep presentations?
Seniors and Juniors – but on the other hand, "We encourage sophomores and juniors to participate for long-range planning," says Bill Yarwood, an experienced guidance professional in New Jersey. "Too often students don't focus on college until fall of senior year when they have so much else to do."
Parents can learn more about colleges that their children are considering. Some parents play a very influential role in the final decision a student makes about college. College rep visits allow parents to ask questions and gather additional information that enables them to make educated decisions together with their child.
Students should join in when their parents meet with the reps; this is a decision that affects their future.