Whether you’re browsing a college fair, attending a meeting at your school, or visiting a university campus, speaking with an admission officer can have a profound influence on the development of your college list. Not to mention, a positive interaction could result in a more favorable review of your application later on. Here are some do’s and don’ts to be mindful of when interacting with admissions officers.

  • Do your homework: If you’re attending a college fair, figure out in advance which colleges will be in attendance and note the universities that you want to collect information from. If you’re meeting with an admissions representative at your school or on campus, be sure to research that university and be familiar with the programs offered.
  • Don’t allow your parents to dominate the conversation: While it’s perfectly acceptable for your parents to have a few questions, you should take ownership of your college search process. This means asserting yourself when you meet an admissions representative — firmly shake their hand, make eye contact, ask questions, and express your interest in the university.
  • Do ask meaningful questions: Come prepared with a list of the questions that you want to ask. Good topics include undergraduate research opportunities, faculty-student interactions, campus life, and university traditions. Try to avoid asking generic questions that could be easily answered with a simple online search.
  • Don’t leave without a business card: Ask the admissions representative for his/her contact information. Be sure to follow-up your meeting with a thank you note (e-mail is fine), specifically referencing new information you learned from your conversation. It is also useful to have the contact information of your local representative should any questions arise once you have submitted your application.
About the author

Kyle received a BS from Vanderbilt University and a certificate in college advising from Columbia University. Kyle has more than five years of admissions experience, including at the State University of New York as well as Rice University, where she was an Assistant Director of Admissions and oversaw the BS/MD program with Baylor College of Medicine. Kyle manages a caseload of clients as well as a team of AcceptU counselors. She is an IECA Associate Member.

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