One of the oldest and most traditional ways of "recruiting" students to apply to college has returned to normal in some parts of the country. College admissions officers are back visiting high schools during the regular school day after a long hiatus from travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Honestly, I am a bit surprised these recruiting trips still exist in 2021.
I remember my days as an admissions officer traveling in my assigned region for the entire fall season. I visited four to five high schools a day, trying to reach, speak, and engage with as many students as possible. It was a whirlwind. I often wondered if my routine presentations in small conference rooms, large auditoriums, and busy cafeterias really made a difference.
1. Most of the time, the admissions officer visiting your high school is the person reading your application.
2. If a college tracks "demonstrated interest," attending one of these sessions at your high school will count in your favor in the admissions process.
Free Download: College Visit Worksheet
3. If you have already visited the college, these sessions are an abbreviated version of an information session.
4. For students whose core academic classes coincide with a college visit, carefully consider whether you can miss that class.
5. The admissions officer usually gives a short presentation about the college during one of these sessions and then opens it up to questions from students.
6. If you are going to ask a question during one of these sessions, think before you speak!
7. Turnouts will vary depending on the college.
8. It is hard to make a positive impression on an admissions officer in such a short amount of time surrounded by classmates and other distractions.
9. While some high schools permit younger students to attend these sessions, juniors and seniors tend to get more out of them in the end.
Related Reading: 10 Things for Seniors to Do Before the Summer Ends
10. Colleges offer these sessions to generate more applications. Knowing a college's intentions is key in understanding how this process works.
These sessions are a good way to confirm whether or not you want to apply to the college. Don't worry so much about making an impression on the admissions officer. Listen and observe more than anything. If you can get one small nugget of information from the session, it might be worth your time.