How to Act Like a College Applicant

I recently had the opportunity to observe the decision process of a college admissions committee. There are lessons to be learned as students move into the role of college applicant. Here's some of what I heard:
  • "It really stands out to us when a student (not the parent) calls or emails with questions or to follow-up on an encounter with our school."
  • "We love (applicable) supplementary materials (blogs, video, art work).
  • "It's helpful to us when students include their AP scores within their application."
  • "We do track demonstrated interest."
  • "We want to see rigor in the senior year schedule."
  • "Students may want to consider also sending their essay separately to make sure the formatting is easy to read."
  • "We like interviews as they help us put a face to a name."
  • "Applicants should present as business-like and professional in their correspondence with us."
This was a small liberal arts college, and some of these quotes may not apply to all schools. The message, though, is that the Admissions Office is set up to ADMIT students (they're not called the Deny Office!). They want to know the students applying to their college so they can make a good decision about fit. It is up to college applicants to make sure they are presenting their best and whole self to the admissions committee.