The Admissions Counselor is a volunteer whose primary function is to be yet another set of eyes to look at an applicant for the University.

Admissions Counselors (ACs) are quite diverse with respect to how long they have been in the program, their personal background (alumni, parents or just interested citizens) and the typical applicant whom they have previously met in their past years of experience.

The AC may form their opinion of you very early on based on what they can see of your application and your personal communications with them.  Here are some considerations when dealing with your Admissions Counselor

  • The AC’s opinion can be fully formed within the first five minutes of a two hour interview.
  • A key factor of their impression is their perception of your interest.

Before the interview:

  • Be aggressive.  Show you are interested by sending a note to your assigned AC introducing yourself and letting them know you are working on your application and look forward to meeting them so they can answer any further questions you may have.
  • Answer any email from the AC within 24 hours if a response is needed.  You are busy, they know you are busy, but a longer response time can be seen as a lack of interest.
  • Proof read your written communications.  Misspelled words, improper grammar and punctuation will not impress.
  • Be aggressive with your application.  Know which of the items you have finished and those that still need to be completed.  If you feel that you are a strong applicant, then there is an advantage to completing your application early, as the top applicants will be assured a seat in the incoming class.  And that may be at the expense of a more qualified applicant who doesn’t complete the application until the deadlines, but then you’ve already got the assurance.
  • You can do better on your SAT.  Even if you think you can, you can do better on your SAT.  Same with other “tests” that are part of the application process.

At the interview:

  • Answer the front door when the AC arrives.  Not your mom, not your dad.  The AC is there to interview you and wants to know if it is you who really wants to go to University, or your parents.
  • Dress appropriately.  Although ACs are instructed not to evaluate based on dress, you are applying to an Ivy League School, dress like it.  For men, you should wear a coat and tie, women the equivalent.
  • When you welcome the AC, you should look the AC in the eye, and your handshake should be firm like you team it, not like handing the AC a wet fish.
  • You should have answers to the big obvious questions:
    • Why do you want to attend University?
    • Why do you want to do for a career after University?
  • Follow up the interview with a brief “thank you note” stating it was good to meet the AC and that if you have further questions you will ask.