No matter where you are in the college application process – about to get your admissions decisions, or at the very beginning of your college search – you will have questions. Whether in person or via e-mail, admissions counselors always appreciate when a student communicates well. As you make your way through your college search, here are some pointers about asking questions and communicating effectively with admissions offices.
- Before asking any questions at all, fully explore the college's website. Some of the most common questions are about application deadlines and academic majors – information that is easily available through a quick perusal of the admissions website.
- Think about the most specific way you can ask your question. Instead of "What kinds of arts programs does your university offer?" try "I'm a cellist and I want to continue to play in college. I noticed on your website that you don't require me to be a music major to play in the orchestra, but how competitive is the audition process?"
- In general, avoid emoticons and overly casual language in written and spoken communication.
- Before you visit, check with the college about their standard visit options. Colleges typically offer a tour and information session, but some offer the opportunity to attend a class, have lunch in the dining hall, or spend the night in the dormitory. If you are interested in activities other than the usual options, be sure to ask if your request can be accommodated, and be understanding if it can’t.
- Parents: don't call or email colleges pretending to be your child!
- Students: don't call or email colleges pretending to be your parent!
- Be positive and friendly. Admissions officers want to help you as best they can.
Positive communication goes a long way at any time in the application process. It is important to develop these skills early so you can have smooth interactions with the colleges you are interested in.