Guide to Meeting College Admissions Officers

Ana-Marcela Lopez

Securing an interview with a college admissions officer at the school of your choice can be instrumental in getting accepted. Most colleges receive a high volume of applicants, so a personal interview can make your application stand out. Described below are steps to take before, during, and after a meeting with a college admissions officer to help you make the most of this exciting opportunity.

Before the meeting:

Take time to reflect on your intentions for the meeting. Are you there to find out more about specific degrees and programs? Are you there to simply put a face to your college application? Understanding your desired outcomes of the meeting will focus your preparation. Write a list of questions you have about the school. Conduct some research to see if you can find some of the answers to the more basic questions such as what languages are offered, or specific concentrations.

You want to maximize your time with the officer, so avoid asking questions that you could easily find the answers to. Prepare questions that demonstrate your sincere interest in the school. Ask how you can get involved on campus, what resources are available to you to enable success, what sets this school apart from others like it, etc. Showing up to a meeting prepared with thoughtful, engaging questions tailored to the school will show the admissions officer that you respect their time and are serious about their institution.

During the meeting:

Make a good first impression. College admissions officers are looking for students who will positively reflect their school. Demonstrate how your skills, values, and experiences make you an asset to the school. Dress appropriately, act professionally, and be confident. You want an admissions officer to know as well as you do that you are a perfect fit for the school.

Be prepared for some questions directed towards you. An admissions officer might ask you things about yourself like your interests, your goals, your strengths and weaknesses. They want to make sure you will fit in culturally and academically. If you are sure that this is the right school for you, then the admissions officer will likely see that. Let your personality and charisma prove how you will be a strong student, classmate, and leader.

After the meeting:

The inbox of an admissions officer is perpetually full, so emailing or calling constantly after a meeting is not only inconsiderate, but also a waste of time. After the meeting, send a brief email thanking them for their time. Remind the officer of your serious interest in the school and let them know you are looking forward to their decision. Should they need any other materials or information from you, tell them you are happy to oblige. Send the email and wait patiently. You might not get a response until the college has made a final decision.

Meeting with a college admissions officer can be intimidating. It will feel as if they hold the fate of your future in their hands, but don’t stress about the meeting too much. With the right amount of preparation and confidence you are sure to prove that you are the ideal candidate.


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