Sophomores and juniors: you may have noticed that your mailboxes, both virtual and physical, keep filling up. Schools throughout the US, and overseas as well, have obtained your contact information, and a few other pieces of information, such as possible academic interests, through your participation in the PSAT and/or PLAN tests. As spring break and counselor meetings approach, admissions offices are reaching out to high school students to initiate, or even expand, awareness and understanding of opportunities at their schools.
New connections between colleges and prospective students can lead to an abundance of information. Today, Suzanne Kauffman DePuyt, Vice Dean and Director of Marketing and Communications, and Jenny Lackey, Communications Manager, discuss information management and your approach to admissions mail. Their advice follows:
Do sign up for the mailing list. If a school that a friend attends sparks your interest, you should connect on the website. This step is integral to learning more.
Should the mailing list include a preliminary questionnaire, use this as an opportunity to think more clearly about your future. If you are thoughtful in your answers, the information you receive will speak directly to your interests.
Create an email specifically for your college search. This email address should be professional and clearly identifiable. Make sure to check this account frequently. Use folders to reduce inbox volume.
Explore, Don’t Search
Publications, both virtual and physical, are invitations for exploration. Note the distinction between searching and exploring. Are you skimming content while reading only bulleted or bold lines? Are you clicking through links without creating personal connections with the material? Make sure to understand—and not only peruse—the information at your fingertips.
Keep it on the Kitchen Table
With engaging pictures, student voices, and key concepts, print pieces are great for the kitchen table. These pieces jumpstart meaningful family discussions on upcoming campus trips, personal priorities, and cost.
Printed media also allows for complete immersion. While you eat breakfast, experience life at the school in front of you. Student voices and vivid pictures enable you to imagine yourself on campus.
Don’t Hesitate to Ask for More
Engagement with the 5 I’s and 4 C’s is key to determining college fit. Find the information you need to make this assessment by visiting the dynamic general websites and admissions sites of the colleges that interest you or have contacted you. Seek materials on specific academic programs, extracurricular activities, and financial aid opportunities to take the conversation further and establish a deeper relationship with colleges on your list.