College admissions officers are the front lines not only for their schools.Those of you who work in traditional businesses might consider the college admissions officers to be the sales force. If you are already into the college search, you’ve probably seen college admissions officers at college fairs or during your campus visits. Ideally, they should have a near-encyclophediac knowledge of their school (too many don’t). They should be able to arrange contacts on campus for you (most do this well).
For the most part, they will review applications based on what they told you at the college fair and in the marketing materials. This includes academic profile, test scores, recommendations, extracurricular accomplishments and essays. If the school is reasonably selective, the admissions officers cannot tell you about your chances of getting in. They can only share statistics that have been approved for public release.
They have to fill, not significantly overfill or under-fill the incoming class.
Too many spaces available means too little money. Over-enroll and the school has to scramble to find housing. It will also need to add class sections.
They have to consider the make-up of a freshman class as well as space available for transfer students.
They are usually looking for ethnic, geographic and racial diversity.
Their performance is tied to a revenue goal.
Admissions officers love to give good news about acceptances and scholarships. However, they must also consider net tuition revenue. This is total revenues from tuition less any discounts (aka scholarships) the school has awarded to accepted students. They do their best to provide affordable educational opportunities to students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. But they need more students who can cover most, if not all, of the school’s costs.
They consider the recommendations of others.
“Others” include sports coaches and arts faculty who want exceptionally talented students on their campuses. Coaches or teachers might have give a “thumbs up” to their talents. But the admissions officers have to consider the student’s academic record and promise.
College students leave school for reasons other than family matters, finances and illness. Success comes when you get a class that is able to graduate, the majority on time.
I’ve met an inordinate number of admissions officers who manage to remain cheerful in spite of the stress. Now that you know the pressures they’re under, I’d like to provide some tips for working with them.
Want to know more about me? Check out these podcasts!
Listen to my talk, College Is A Learning AND Living Community, hosted by Dr. Cynthia Colon from Destination YOUniversity on Voice of America Radio!
Listen to my talk, What Exactly Is a Good College? hosted by test-prep experts Amy Seeley and Mike Bergin on Tests And The Rest!
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