Life after the college admissions process

Aspiring college students should inscribe the mantra, “It’s not over until it’s over,” on their hearts and minds until they receive the much-anticipated acceptance letter. The college admissions process continues long after the application has been signed and the envelope has been sealed.


In today’s competitive environment, eager potential students must show their prospective choices their high level of interest if they want to come out a winner in the end. Serious contenders should perform the necessary research and study a college’s admissions guidelines and campus culture to do their “due diligence” without crossing the line.

Here are some practices recommended by admissions counselors to help students gain a “level up” from their competition without taking it too far.

Follow Up –Many colleges are interested in tracking applicants’ grades even after they receive the applications. Students should never assume their high school guidance counselors will continue to supply the schools of their choice with additional grades and test scores. A follow up is recommended. Teachers can also send a letter to the schools informing them of students’ grades, along with any additional awards or achievements.

Additional Communication – Aspiring college students will make an impact on their selected organizations by showing a genuine interest in the school. This can be accomplished by attending the campus for classes, events, or meeting with faculty members.

Education counselors share mixed reviews on how much communication is helpful and when it can backfire. Some feel the type of school should be a determining factor while others maintain the effort is futile. All agree, though, that attending the campus is an important step in displaying to the college interest and eagerness to become a student.

Online Resources – Today’s college student is most likely a mouse-wielding participant of online blogs and social media websites. These activities can help applicants “click” their way to an acceptance letter. Prospective students will find success interacting and communicating with existing students and faculty members on sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Today’s admissions counselors also frequent sites such as Facebook to “spy” on prospective students to see if their profiles live up to the infamy of their applications. According to recent data presented by Schools.com, Kaplan revealed that 82% of America’s top colleges access social media sites as part of their recruiting process. Additional data revealed that 70% of colleges attribute Facebook profiles as a medium or high-level priority for admissions while 38% of colleges admitted that applicants’ Facebook profiles have hurt their chance of acceptance.

Students seeking college admissions must use their social profiles wisely and realize that all eyes are watching once they submit an application.

Grades Still Trump All

Most admissions faculty consider grades and test scores as the highest determinants of applicants’ acceptance regardless of their interest and communication with the school. If a prospective student does not have a strong academic profile, engaging the school may not change the minds of the decision makers. Additionally, counselors at prestigious universities like Harvard and Princeton may not be interested in further communication. They expect the college application to be flawless, and future engagement may distract instead of benefit.  Prospective students should research the school’s admissions guidelines and be careful not to overstep their boundaries.

This was a guest article by Ryan Farrell: College students who believe that the admissions process is over once the letter is in the mail are sorely mistaken. In the age of social media, a prospective student must maintain a level of excellence all the way up to the first day of school and beyond. For more information on the college admissions process visit Southern New Hampshire University