Do They Really Want You?
As high school seniors pound away at their keyboards focusing on submitting the perfect application, admissions officers are focused on meeting enrollment goals. According to a recent survey conducted by Inside Higher Ed, 60 percent of admissions directors missed their enrollment goals last year and 46 percent are “very concerned” their goals will not be met this year. As high school seniors pound away at their keyboards focusing on submitting the perfect application, admissions officers are focused on meeting enrollment goals. According to a recent survey conducted by Inside Higher Ed, 60 percent of admissions directors missed their enrollment goals last year and 46 percent are “very concerned” their goals will not be met this year. What does this mean for the admissions process? Not much, to be honest. It does, however, mean that students might be subjected to additional marketing strategies from some colleges. And students need to be aware of these tactics so that they can make wise decisions during the next few months. One of the marketing strategies colleges use to increase their application numbers is “Snap Apps,” which are usually one-page applications that can be submitted for free. They appeal to students because they are quick, free, and give the impression that the college knows you and wants you. They are flattering. The truth is that a Snap App does not give you any advantages in the admission process, they encourage you to apply to colleges that might not be a good fit, and they create a lot of extra work for your high school. And more importantly, they may not give the college the information they need to make the right admission decision about you. The colleges can’t be faulted for using such measures because they must protect their bottom-line as does any other organization. But for the students, this tactic is like the candy at the check-out line. It might be just what you are looking for, but it is usually better to just walk on by. CAA’s philosophy is for students to choose colleges based upon their academic, social, emotional, and financial “fit,” which can be determined through research and college visits. Students who attend a college where they are a good fit can have a wonderful college experience, while students who attend a college that is not a good fit often drop out. Fit is also important to colleges. In fact fit is so important to them, that admission officers are evaluated by how their incoming class “fits” their particular environment. So keep this in mind, as an admission committee reads a student’s application, they are determining how that student will contribute to their campus on all levels. So, if you receive a Snap App, CAA suggests that students follow these two suggestions:
- Determine if it is from a college you would really like to attend. Is it a good fit? If not, throw it away.
- If yes, will the Snap App allow you to show the admission committee that you are a good fit or would you be better off completing the full application where you can share more information?