Making Colleges Take Notice: 3 Things You Should Know (page 2)

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Updated on May 15, 2014

One thing Van Buskirk does caution against sending in is a resume. Many admissions officers, he says, "regard the resume as redundant and will dismiss it." Instead, they want to see how students use the space on the application form itself to showcase their accomplishments.  

Show Them You're Serious Don't forget that the application process is risky for schools, too. To fill the spots in their freshman class, every college needs to focus on applicants who will accept its offers of admission. As a result, says Van Buskirk, "demonstrated interest is a factor." His advice for students is to make as many documented contacts with colleges as possible. If an admissions representative visits your child's school, for instance, remind him or her to fill out an information card. That simple step will open up a file at the college with your child's  name on it. A student can also indicate interest by sending a short email to the college representative who recruits at their school, asking a specific question about the university's offerings or its application process. Most importantly, says Van Buskirk, students "absolutely need to visit campuses," go to the admissions office, and—again—fill out an information card that shows they were there. While students are visiting, Van Buskirk also encourages them to ask for an interview. "Nobody's ever died from an interview," he says—and requesting one is another way for an applicant to impress upon a school that they're serious about attending.

In  the end, says Van Burskirk, "it is a competition, and you can take lessons from competition that apply to the admissions process."  

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