How 11th Graders Impress Colleges

If your child is in the Class of 2022, now is the time for them to start showing colleges that they’re curious. Demonstrating interest is increasingly a more significant factor in the admissions process than in years past. 

Your kid is probably getting emails everyday from colleges they’ve heard or and others they have not. Digital outreach is the only way for colleges to connect with prospective students right now so colleges and universities have made the investment in it expecting it will have a major impact on the applications they receive for the 2021-22 admission cycle. 

Right now, virtual events are big and your child (and sometimes you) need to be attending them. Webinars, virtual information sessions and tours, and live Q and A’s have become the norm and colleges notice which students are attending.

Many colleges will use digital “breadcrumbs” to lead students to their virtual events to assess the sincerity of their interest. Why? They want to carefully survey the numbers of students they will ultimately offer admission to. College admission is all about yield and enrollment management. Many of them are hesitant to admit well-qualified candidates whom they believe are unlikely to attend. They want to know: Will your child enroll if they accept you?

So how can your current junior impress a college? Even if the college’s website says that they do not track demonstrated interest or do not take it into consideration when evaluating applicants, we believe that if your child wants to make a good impression that they should do the following:

  1. Sign up on the college’s admissions mailing list. They should be prepared to receive for lots of email messages to the point that they might want to set up a new email account exclusively for college correspondence. 

  2. Open the emails they receive from the schools on their list. If they don’t, then they’ll stop getting these emails. If the email includes a call to action – “click here,” “register,” “RSVP,” etc. – they should  take that action, especially if they are being invited to events and programs that relate to their academic and extracurricular interests. 

  3. Sign up for online information sessions and virtual campus tours. These are important to the admissions recruitment process and they will give you and your child information about key programs, facts and figures about each campus.

  4. Join an interactive virtual Q&A with current students. They can ask questions like “who are your favorite professors?” and “what opportunities are there for undergraduate research or other discipline-specific activities outside of the classroom?” 

  5. Sign up for an interview. Many schools offer virtual interviews to prospective students in the Spring, Summer and Fall. If your child is on their email list, they will get an email telling them when the interview schedule opens up.

  6. Attend virtual college fairs with multiple schools in attendance. 

  7. Follow the colleges on their social media feeds, especially Instagram. These are good sources for campus news and usually include stories of current students, faculty, and alumni.

Have questions? Let’s connect!