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9 ways for students to tell a college: I love you

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The college-bound show their love for a college by demonstrating their interest in attendance. Many schools keep track of student demonstrated interest and refer to it during the admission process. These colleges are looking for students that are most likely to accept an offer of admission, be motivated to attend, and graduate on time.

Prior article Do you still love your first choice college? lists eleven questions for students to ask themselves. When the answer continues to be yes, here are nine ways students may show some college love:

  1. Request additional information Ask the college for an information and application packet and the contact info for the student’s Admissions Representative. For schools that go paperless, be prepared with an email address of the student’s name which is to be used exclusively for all college purposes. After receiving info, follow-up with a couple of questions for the Admissions Rep to develop a relationship with the college (see #6).
  2. Attend a college fair Come ready to sign-up for the college mailing list with the student’s email address (see #1) and a couple of questions not answered in previously read materials. Be sure to collect the business card of the school’s representative for follow-up (see #6).
  3. Visit the campus Register in advance for the campus tour and information session and also go beyond to sign up for any special offerings like sitting in on a class, meeting with a professor, and shadowing a student.
  4. Request an interview Ask the Admissions Office to arrange an interview giving the school a chance to get to know the student one-on-one. Be prepared with an “elevator speech” about student accomplishments, future dreams and how the school can help realize them. Also have a few questions that aren’t answered on college marketing materials.
  5. Reverse interviewing Contact the Admissions Office to interview a local recent alumni to get the inside story about academics and campus life.
  6. Write thank you notes Follow up with school contacts via an individual note thanking them for their time, describing why it was helpful and including additional questions to continue relevant dialogue.
  7. Visit virtually Colleges have websites and students may visit them often. They contain current college news, calendars, virtual campus tours, and other information for prospective students and their parents.
  8. Follow, share and like social media Colleges list their social media connections on their websites giving students the opportunity to follow, retweet, like and share their information - and schools often keep track.
  9. Apply early Although applying through a college’s Early Decision program may have a negative effect on financial aid, students applying through Early Action programs get the benefits of showing their college preference and keeping their ability to compare financial aid awards from schools that offered admission before accepting.

The goal of demonstrating interest also gives students a chance to make a good impression. Good communication skills and proper business etiquette should be observed. Watch the video for info about the most popular social media by different groups in 2013.

To receive notification about future articles of concern to parents of the college-bound, click on "Subscribe" near the above photos. Connect via Twitter and in the comments section about ways students may tell a college: I love you.

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