Seniors (and their parents) are starting to feel the pressure. Decisions have to be made and schools need to be applied to. Within the next 60 days, there’s a good chance your son or daughter will submit an application to a Early Action or Rolling Decision school because they want to hear back asap. Totally understandable. However, how much do they know about the school? Or about the schools on their list in general? The same kid who rode shotgun with you to see schools last spring is probably not the same person going through the process now.
Rising seniors often need to revisit schools that they’re really interested in or see schools that they’ve never seen that may have creeped up on their lists over the past several weeks or months. Why? Because in order for some “Why X School” essays to have real substance or for a school to believe that your kid really wants to go there, being on campus helps tremendously. There is no substitute for making a visit to campus, and now more than ever, college want seniors to demonstrate their sincere interest in their institution by visiting their campus.
Here’s how to do it:
Attend the informational session and take a tour. These are still the foundation of any college visit. You want the academic and admissions overview, and you want to see the facilities such as dorms, dining rooms and academic buildings.
Find an academic area of interest, and seek out a professor. Even if your child is undecided about an intended major, he or she more than likely has an interest, and hopefully that interest also coincides with an admission strategy. Before visiting the campus, have your child research a specific academic department and reach out to a professor. Let them know you and your child will be visiting the school on a certain day. Hopefully, the professor will be available to speak with your student further about the academic program. Your child should always take the initiative and effort to connect with someone who may be helpful in their admissions process or instrumental in their education.
Ask about the most recent admissions cycle.
By now the class of 2021 (high school class of 2017) is complete, including waitlist offers, and the admissions office should be able to share with you some concrete statistics about the entering class. Where are the kids from? What was the average SAT or ACT score? Was there a more popular academic interest than in previous years? Being able to have recent historical knowledge of their admissions process will help tremendously as we help you with strategies for college admissions success.
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