Next week is College Week here in Denver, CO and it is a great opportunity for students to connect with admissions officers, right in your hometown. From the college fairs organized by, College Fairs of Greater Denver, Inc. to high schools visits, college receptions and interviews, there will be plenty of opportunities for students to learn more about the colleges they are interested in.
For freshmen and sophomores, College Week is a chance for you to “get your feet wet”. Attend a college fair and get an idea of how many colleges are out there. Look at the glossy brochures and eavesdrop on some of the conversations. Learn about the admissions statistics. How competitive are some of the schools you are thinking about? What is it going to take for you to get there?
For juniors, this is a great chance for you to “preview” colleges you are considering visiting. You can ask initial questions and find out what makes the colleges you are looking at different from one another. You will not be able to visit every college you are interested in, so these initial interactions will help you narrow down your list and prioritize. These events may also provide opportunities for initial interactions with admissions representatives. Make sure to take their cards and send them a follow up email, especially if you plan on visiting the college in the future.
For seniors, College Week is an important opportunity for you to demonstrate interest in the colleges you have not been able to visit, but are still applying to. You can also use the opportunities during College Week to reconnect with an admissions representative that you have previously met. As one admissions counselor said to me recently, “It is a lot harder to say no to a student you know really well.” To get the most out of these interactions, you need to learn how to make a lasting impression. When you meet the representative, shake their hand and make eye contact. Give them your full name and some information about how you became interested in the college. Let them know that if you visited the college. Also mention that you will be submitting your application in the near future. If you have previously met the admissions representative, make sure you remind them when and where your initial interaction took place. For some of the competitive colleges that do not offer admissions interviews, this may be your chance to connect with the admission representative who will be in charge of your application.
College Fairs will be one of the most popular events for all students during College Week. Before attending a college fair, it is important that you do some research in order to stand out. College fairs can be very crowded and overwhelming. If you do not walk in with a list of schools that you would like to talk to, in addition to some prepared questions, you may feel lost and not get anything out of the fair. You may also want to check out another post, “Making a Good Impression at a College Fair.” This advice will not only help you come up with questions to ask, but it also provides insights on following up with representatives after the event.
In addition to the college fairs, juniors and seniors my have the opportunity to meet with admission representatives at your high schools. High school visits are often much more manageable and it is easier to have a conversation with a representative since there may be only a handful of students at each visit. This also means that it is even more important for you to prepare ahead of time. If you are planning on attending some high school visits, be sure to look at the schedule and make sure the visit is during a class you can miss. You should also have some questions prepared ahead of time. Take it from a former admissions representative; there is nothing worse than presenting to a group of high school students and having them not ask any questions! Asking questions shows that you have done some research ahead of time. It shows that you are genuinely interested in the college.
Another opportunity to connect with admission representatives may be through college receptions. These events are often held at local hotels or high schools. The information covered at receptions can be similar to high school visits and you should use the tips above to prepare for a reception if you are planning on attending one.
Seniors my also have the opportunity to interview with admission representatives during College Week. If you have not scheduled an admissions interview with a college who will be in the area, you should call the admissions office to see if there are interviews taking place and if the admission representative still has availability. Educational Consultant, Cara Ray, offers some insights on how to schedule and interview in your hometown. Once you have your interview scheduled, make sure you review our college interview tips so that you make the best impression possible.
Remember that Denver is not the only city that admissions representatives will be visiting this fall. They will be meeting hundreds of students during their travels, but with a little preparation, you may be one of the few students who stands out to them. This will help them put a face with the application that comes across their desk in the near future.