College admission is getting increasingly competitive year after year. In order to get into their dream college, students are constantly finding ways to stand out from the crowd.
And yes, getting that A on the AP Class and moving up your standardized test scores are important. However, if you think they are enough for you to get admitted, think again!
So you may ask,
“How can you truly stand out from the pool of fellow applicants and get that acceptance letter?”
Putting together an outstanding college application definitely helps. However, they should not be your only strategy (actually, thousands of other applicants are doing the same, right?).
If you want to be taken seriously, you must show your genuine interest. Here are three simple, yet effective tactics that have worked for many.
1) Get connected with the college admission officers
If you look at the college’s website, you will most likely find an admission section or a prospective student page where they list all of their admission officers. It is often that each admission officer is responsible for a region or a part of the country. Based on the location of your high school, you may find the contact information of the appropriate admission officer.
Next, you should draft an introduction email to the admission officer. Before you do that, make sure you do your homework. There are a few basic questions you should have answers for. For example,
“What kind of colleges are you most interested in?”
“What majors or programs interest you the most?”
“Why are you interested in this college specifically?”
Some students make a mistake by writing one email and sending it to a big list of colleges. This is a risky step and not the one you want to take. Imagine you’re telling the admission officer about how much you like chemical engineering, and turn out the school doesn’t offer such program? Of course, you can draft a more general email that applies to all colleges. However, do you think that will make you stand out?
2) Find opportunities to meet in person
After your introduction email, it is important for you to stay in touch with the admission officer. And the best way to demonstrate your strong interest in the school is to make an effort to visit the school and meet the admission officer in person. It not only allows you to get a feel for the school but also provides a chance for the admission officer to get to know you. It is also a great opportunity for you to ask questions face-to-face.
If you are unable to physically visit the school, ask the admission officer to see when they will attend an event in your area. There are many college fairs being held throughout the year and you may attend one that your college will be attending. Meeting college admission officers in person and leaving positive impressions are great ways for you to stand out from the crowd.
3) Ask for introduction
Since many admission officers are very busy with recruiting activities, they might not have time to answer all of your questions. If that’s the case, ask them to introduce you to a few current college students or alumni. In fact, many colleges choose to include their current students or alumni as part of the panel to interview applicants. These students or alumni often have great insights into some of the most important qualities the admission office is looking for. Many of them are also happy to share their experience in college.
Go the extra mile
Colleges view their students as an integral part of the college community. They want students who not only have great personal achievements but also have strong leadership potentials. Therefore, going an extra mile to demonstrate your qualities is the best way to differentiate yourself from others.
Edmission (www.edmission.us) is a web application that offers high quality, personalized, and affordable college admission advice for high school students and parents. Visit our website for personalized advice that helps you prepare for your college admission journey.