The truth, straight up. Students that engage proactively land in better places. And, they feel better about things, too.

The truth, straight up. Students that engage proactively land in better places. And, they feel better about things, too.

Visited a campus? Met an admissions officer at a college fair? Have a collection of college rep and tour guide business cards?

If you’ve answered yes to any of the above, there is a next step, and it isn’t to let the cards migrate under the seat of the car, fall to the bottom of the backpack, or end up under your bed in the pile of college marketing glossies. Is your goal to stand out among a sea of applicants? Relationship building and showing genuine interest is key when admissions officers are sifting through the piles and piles of files.

DON’T…

  • Send out an email or hand-written note without having another person read it. (Your cat doesn’t count. Neither does your 7-year old sister.)
  • Wait until November to follow-up, when you met the rep in June.
  • Write a generic follow-up.
  • End every sentence with this punctuating punch! It makes you sound out of breath! Or, like you drank 7 expressos!

DO…

  • Take a few notes on details of the meeting or visit. (Think of details that grabbed your attention. If the details are fuzzy, talk it out as if you are telling a friend or your counselor about the exchange. Record or type your thoughts. Details will rise to the surface.)
  • Following-up within a week or two is best. However, if you have not yet—don’t fret—now is better than later.
  • Continue your follow-up with at least one or two details of your exchange, to jog their memory of you. Then, include your thoughts on said exchange.
  • Start a Conversation. Research the website and find something of interest and mention this in your follow-up. End with a question that pertains to something unique to the school. The test: could you insert another school’s name into the email and not know the difference?

CHECK YOUR EMAIL REGULARLY

  • Once daily will suffice. If and when the admissions officer responds—craft a timely! response. Response topic ideas include plans for a visit, an interview or your intentions to apply.