By Kelsey Mulvey for HerCampus
By the beginning of my senior year, I knew I wanted to go to Boston University. I fell in love with the city atmosphere and was blown away by the College of Communication. I was thrilled when I heard that a representative from BU was coming to my high school for an informational meeting, but I instantly became anxious when I saw dozens of other students at the meeting. While I knew some people were just there to get out of class, an unexpected rush of competiveness overwhelmed me. How could I possibly show this representative how much I loved Boston University? Applying to college is stressful: the results are partially out of your control and when it comes to your future, that’s kind of scary. However, it’s extremely important to make yourself stand out in front of college representatives. But what are you supposed to do? Don’t worry, pre-collegiettes, HC has the guide to wowing college admissions officers.
What Are Admissions Officers Looking For?
The first step to wowing college admissions officers is figuring out exactly what they are looking for in prospective students. While grades and extracurriculars are crucial to achieving college application success, it’s important for you to show reps that you’re genuinely interested in the school too.
“One of the biggest ways a student can stand out is doing some research of their own before they come to campus or attend an off campus event, like a college fair,” advises Tim Kelly, Assistant Director of Admissions at Boston University. Easier said than done, right? Wrong! Remember all of those college pamphlets that your mom has made you keep in a little pile? You can learn so much by just flipping through one of those! Or what about the emails that you’re very tempted to delete? I know they’re extremely annoying—I still get an email or two from random universities—but you should definitely look through them: there may be a college that’s perfect for you but that you wouldn’t know about if you didn’t check your email! And don’t forget to try checking out a college’s website. You’d be surprised how much you can learn from just clicking around. If you talk to a representative after reading up on their university, you’ll sound informed and interested!
Informational Meetings Versus College Fairs
At the beginning of senior year, you start to hear phrases like “college meetings” and “college fairs.” What’s the difference? While college fairs and informational meetings are different, attending one—or both, if that floats your boat—is a great way to show how interested you are in a university.
The college fair is like a big buffet for postsecondary education. According to the National Associations for College Admission Counseling, the National College Fair gives over 500,000 students a chance to learn more about numerous college and universities. And with those numbers, you can expect a college fair to be chaos. “Fairs are often hectic, busy, and sometimes it can be hard to visit the tables of each college you’re interested in,” Kelly says. National college fairs usually visit cities, but your high school may set up a smaller college fair for your grade. If you plan on going to a college fair, Mr. Kelly suggests you prepare: “If you have access to a list of colleges attending a college fair, it can be helpful to plan out which college to see first and what specific questions you plan to ask about.”
Similar to college fairs, informational meetings are a way to learn about different colleges. They usually take place during school and are much smaller than a college fair. Unlike college fairs, informational meetings usually only involve one college, which makes it easier to ask a representative questions.
READ MORE: Click belowthe original article from HerCampus, written by Kelsey Mulvey