As the 2011 recruitment year winds down, it's refreshing to see new faces with new questions... and to think where you'll be this time next year.
You're probably just starting to think about programs, career interests, campus life and size, etc. Below are some tips for surviving and actually getting something useful from your initial contact with admissions reps.
1. Know Thyself
You know what you like. And you know what you don't like. It's hard to start YOUR search by asking other people what THEY think. Make a list of your academic/career interests. Now make a list of places you'd like to live (or can at least stomach for 4 years). And so on...
2. Prep for Launch
Focus on things you're passionate about and find out who offers them. There are a lot of free resources online to help you narrow down the options. I've listed a few below:
3. Plan your Attack
When you attend a college fair try to get a feel for who will actually be there. Take a look at the list of schools and pare down your college search with those that fit your needs.
4. R-E-A-D !
If you're not inclined to glance at our brochures, take a minute to look at the "Programs" or "Majors" boards. Don't waste your time, if we don't have what you're looking for.
5. Go Beyond the Basics
Asking if we offer a program is not the same as asking about the program. But don't forget, you are also living where you work. Ask about the atmosphere on campus, most popular majors, job placement, etc. It gives us admissions folks more to talk about. And we like to talk, trust me.
6. Give us Information
We WON'T overload your mailbox or bombard your email account. We WILL track how many times we meet with you. It's always nice to know who has a high level of interest in our school.
There are many suggestions for how to successfully navigate a college fair. The best advice I can give is to take as much time as you need. Learn about the differences between schools.
Remember, we'll be back in the fall...