With the admissions cycle largely behind colleges and more time to talk to regional representatives, we are struck by how technology and the holistic admissions process continues to change college admissions. With an increased focus on knowing the "whole candidate" and an ability to save and process larger and larger amounts of information, colleges are eager for and able to collect and utilize more information than ever before.
There have been dozens of articles highlighting the dark side of this practice and the potential privacy issues related to an increasing number of colleges tracking applicant activity on the internet - both on and off their specific websites. Far less attention has been focused on the increasingly important role that communications with regional admissions officers can play in the process.
The reality is that in a holistic process that includes a greater percentage of qualitative inputs having a dialogue with regional representatives that gives them a feel for who the student is (long before they see the application) is an activity that is ever more important and impactful. If a student is aware of the non-cognitive variables that many colleges increasingly focus on in applications, they can make their dialogues even more impactful.
Our advice is that in the slower summer period, where students and admissions officers have more time, a great activity for students is to simply email their regional representative and highlight their interests, dreams, what they like about the school they are reaching out to, and ask for any advice the representative may be willing to give.
While there are levels of quality, and companies like ours available to help with higher quality correspondence and a detailed summer plan, the simplest interaction with regional representatives is something everyone can do, and it is something that we believe is increasingly important and impactful.