Want to get into the college of your dreams? Here’s a little known secret: impress the college’s regional admissions officer to increase your chances.
Colleges want students that want them. Colleges don’t want to offer admission to a student who is not going to attend their institution. Therefore, qualified students who apply to universities without expressing any interest are often rejected.
One of the best ways to express interest is to get to know your college’s regional admissions officer. This is a full-time staff member at the admissions office who is assigned a certain geographic region, such as California, Nevada, and Arizona. This person will not only visit that geographic region during the Fall, but will also be the first to read applications from his or her assigned area.
If you have met the regional admissions officer for your geographic area, then he or she may advocate moving your application forward in the admissions process! So you should make it a point to build a relationship with them. For example, you may want to e-mail them, meet them when they visit your area, and even setup an interview on campus when you visit the university.
From my own experience, I really wanted to go to Brown University. As a senior in high school, I signed up for the lunch talk when the regional admissions officer visited our school. I was the only student who signed up. Therefore, I was able to have a one-on-one chat with the regional admissions officer from Brown University about my interests and application to Brown. I also stayed in-touch with her via e-mail throughout the admissions process. Fast-forward a few months, and I was admitted to Brown! While my grades and test scores certainly qualified for admission, I cannot help but believe that my personal relationship with the regional admissions officer helped me gain acceptance to this Ivy League university.
To give you another example, there was a couple at my high school who developed a good relationship with the regional admissions officer for Yale, and they both got in. Once again, I do believe that they were both qualified. However, I also think that having an advocate in the admissions office can help your chances of acceptance tremendously!
You can start by e-mailing the admissions office of your desired university and finding out who the regional admissions officer for your geographic area is. Then, send this person an e-mail and find out if they will be visiting your region anytime soon. If you do have the chance to meet them in person, make a good first impression! It can be the difference between acceptance and rejection.