Parents, have you seen communications from your high school letting you know about college visits at the school? Do you have a hard time encouraging your student to visit with that rep? “Mom, I don’t want to go!” Visiting with college representatives at their high school is a great way to get noticed by colleges.
Kids worry this will be an awkward face-to-face meeting with a college rep. Facing the experience is a big unknown that they will resist unless they know more. Why should a student visit a college representative when they come to their high school? How can they be prepared so they are confident and it’s not as awkward as they fear?
College representatives WANT to meet your student–they love it!
Colleges around the country send their representatives to area high schools for the chance to meet small groups of students (mostly juniors and seniors, but it depends on the school) and get their college name out there. Reps can bring their marketing message to your student. They can talk about the majors they offer, the financial aid available, what campus life is like–just everything!
So, why should your student attend a college rep visit session?
- It demonstrates interest – This is a very important factor to many (not all) colleges. We touch ways to show “demonstrated interest” in our Tips for the College-Bound program. Colleges want to know if your student REALLY wants to attend their college. They receive so many applications that they want to see that your student is really interested. Visiting with a rep is one great way.
- Students ask questions – They don’t have to travel anywhere. They can be in a comfortable setting (their high school), and ask the questions they might be too embarrassed to ask in a large group on a campus tour. Maybe they ask about the college’s architecture program, but then follow that up with a “do you have a Quidditch team?” 🙂 This list has some suggested questions, and click here for 20 more. Plus, the student will have a contact name for future questions that arise or when they make a physical visit to campus.
- Get a leg up – Your student might meet the actual admissions rep who will review their application. Wouldn’t it be great for them to have a personal connection or memory of your meeting instead of being just another unknown online applicant? If acceptance is a borderline “yes” or “no” decision, having a personal meeting with the rep could tilt the decision in your favor.
- Meeting strangers is a life skill our kids need – As much as they protest, they have to get their nose out of their phone and learn to meet people. Truth is, that skill only gets better with practice. Be early, firm handshake, smile, be polite, pay attention, and say “thank you” at the end. So, practice a little with them beforehand. It may feel weird, but it’s really helpful.
Students don’t need to be wary.
Just do it. The truth is these college representatives NEED for your student to like them. This opportunity is a great chance for your student to meet someone who meets students for a living and loves doing it! They are receptive and open and excited to tell your kid about their school. All goodness!
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