Getting To Know Regional College Admission Reps

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Yesterday I wrote a post about attending nearby colleges and universities. Here it is: Sticking Close to Home for College

For students who are adventurous enough to explore colleges in other states, I wanted to mention a trend that I read about in The Chronicle of Higher Education a couple of days ago. More private colleges and universities are relying on regional college admission representatives in hopes of attracting more applicants from different parts of the country.

Although some colleges have relied on one or more regional reps for decades, dozens of institutions have added the positions recently in hopes of attracting more (and more diverse) applicants. In some states, demographic changes have prompted colleges to put reps in new markets. The high cost of recruitment travel has persuaded some deans to see the approach as a cost-effective alternative. And, as many admissions offices have gone paperless, off-campus employees can read applications from their living rooms. Technology has made communicating with them easier than ever.

In Chicago, for instance, more than 50 college reps belong to the Chicago Area Regional Representatives groups. There were only about six college members 15 years ago. The Regional Admission Counselors of California now has roughly 50 members with eight joining in just the last month. Distant schools in the group include Bennington College, Syracuse University and University of South Carolina. With the state universities in California engulfed in a financial crisis, outside schools are looking for easier picking among teenagers.

Contacting Regional College Admission Reps

If you’re interested in exploring schools in other parts of the country, learn who the appropriate admission officers are for your area. It’s easy to find out. Just go to the admission section of any college’s website and click on the staff or contact link. It’s best to reach out to the admission officer in your state or region. This person will often be the first to read your application and can be your advocate.

Regional admission officers are on the road a lot, which means it won’t be long before they are in your community. They visit high schools, attend college fairs and conduct interviews with prospective students on the road. With admission officers nearby, you can often have a face-to-face conversation without ever visiting a college.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also writes a college blog for CBSMoneyWatch and another for US News & World Report. Follow her on Twitter.

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2 Responses to “Getting To Know Regional College Admission Reps”

  1. Susie Watts says:

    As a college consultant, I agree that contacting regional college admissions representatives and expressing your interest in their schools is a good way to show a demonstrated interest. Many times, these reps will be reading your college applications. Meeting them will almost always tip the scale a little in your favor.

  2. […] is the time of year when college admission officers are racking up frequent flyer miles as they meet with prospective students throughout the country. […]

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