How to Pique a College's Interest

A question that CAA Coaches often hear from students is “How can I get a college interested in me?” There are several ways to pique a college’s interest, so read on for a few ways to make this happen.   1.Reach out to them   It’s as simple as a phone call. Many times colleges won’t know that you exist until you tell them. Sure, a few college brochures will show up in the mail, but if you haven’t contacted the college on your own behalf, you’re likely just on an automated mailing list from taking the PSATs. Being on a mailing list doesn’t necessarily mean that a college is interested in you or realizes that you exist. So, let them know you’re interested; send them an email, give them a call or, best of all, visit them.   2.Visit the campus   Go straight to the source. This task has a double effect: you will learn more about how you fit into the school’s atmosphere, and the college will know you are interested. On a formal tour of the campus, you will be guided by an employee of the college, which is usually an upperclassman or admissions officer. A tour guide can become a permanent contact for you when you have questions concerning the school or application process. If your tour guide is not an admissions officer, you should definitely ask if it’s possible to meet someone in that office.   3.Talk with someone, in person   Show yourself off! Emails and phone conversations will help answer your questions, but it doesn’t allow the college to ask their questions. CAA suggests that you set up a time to speak with an admissions officer while on campus. Go to the interview prepared to ask and answer questions. Dress comfortably but appropriately for the situation, meaning no flip-flops, tank tops, hats, or too-short shorts. If you are unable to complete an interview on campus, ask if a representative will be in your local area at a college fair or other high school. Meeting a representative of the college in your local area can double as a campus tour and interview if you cannot fit travelling to the campus into your schedule or financial budget.   4.Set up an account   Finally, get an ID. Many colleges allow prospective students to set up an online account on their website. This isn’t available at all colleges, but more and more are adding this feature. An online portal gives you access to updates about the school and will likely be where you fill out your application. Having an account with the school definitely lets them know you are serious about attending.   Keep in mind that colleges are looking for students that are a good fit. If you have never reached out to a school or visited the campus, your reason for applying may not be very apparent. So, prove to the school – and to yourself – that you have a clear reason for choosing them. Researching colleges is hard work, but it will pay off in finding the college that best fits your wants and needs.

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