FAQs on Contacting Admissions Staff
By Carolyn, IvyWise College Admissions Counselor
Are you a high school student eagerly eyeing your dream college? Perhaps you’re anxious about your college application and wondering whether it’s a good idea to reach out to the admissions office. You’re not alone in having these questions, and we’re here to provide clarity with some frequently asked questions about high school students contacting college admissions staff.
Should I Contact the Admissions Office?
The first question many students have is whether they should contact the admissions office at all. The answer? It depends.
If you have a specific question or want to learn more about a specific topic, yes. If you’re curious about a particular aspect of the college, such as financial aid, majors, or campus life, it’s perfectly reasonable to reach out. Admissions staff can provide valuable insights that might help you make an informed decision.
If the school heavily considers demonstrated interest, yes. Some colleges take demonstrated interest into account during the admissions process. In such cases, showing your genuine interest by contacting the admissions office can be beneficial. Demonstrated interest might also include attending information sessions, campus tours, or engaging with the college’s social media accounts.
Otherwise, probably not. If you don’t have a specific question or genuine interest, reaching out without a clear purpose can be counterproductive — communication for its own sake is not a good use of anyone’s time. Admissions staff are busy and want to spend their time assisting students who genuinely need their guidance.
Who Should I Contact?
In most cases, your assigned college admissions counselor is your primary point of contact. If you’re wondering how to find this information, check the college’s website. Most colleges provide a directory of their admissions staff on their websites. Look for the person assigned to your region or high school, who is most likely the person reading your application.
If you can’t find a directory, use general admissions contact information. The staff member manning the general admissions email address or phone number should be able to either answer your question or direct you to the person who can. If your question can be best answered by a current student or faculty member, check the website for the names of tour guides or professors who are available to support prospective students.
How Do I Get in Touch?
Email is usually the best way to contact a specific admissions counselor. As always when contacting a professional adult, make sure your email is professional and well-composed. If your question is time-sensitive, or if you haven’t received an email response after about a week, consider giving the admissions office a call. Be polite and clearly express your query.
If you live close to the college or are on campus for a visit, you can ask to speak with your admissions counselor in person. This can be an excellent opportunity to establish a more personal connection. Many colleges also host or attend events for prospective students in different regions. If there’s an event happening near you, such as a college fair or a high school visit, attend and take the opportunity to chat with admissions staff. Come prepared with questions or topics of conversation to make the most of your time.
How Much Is Too Much?
Typically, one point of contact is enough, particularly if you are asking good questions and clearly demonstrating your interest in attending the school. That being said, if you have follow-up questions or require additional information, don’t hesitate to reach out again. Admissions staff are there to help, and they understand that students may have multiple queries.
But remember what we said about communication for its own sake and remember that college admissions staff may have thousands of other students to connect with. While it’s fine to follow up when necessary, bombarding admissions staff with numerous emails or calls can be overwhelming and potentially counterproductive. Keep in mind that there are other ways to gather information, such as researching the college’s website or official admissions events.
When contacting college admissions staff, keep these two essential points in mind:
1. Helping you is their job! Admissions staff are there to assist and guide prospective students through the application process. They genuinely want to help you succeed, so don’t hesitate to reach out when you have questions or need information.
2. Their job is really hard! While it’s perfectly acceptable to seek assistance, it’s equally important to respect the time and workload of admissions counselors. Reach out with purpose, professionalism, and courtesy, and you’ll make a positive impression during your college application journey.
The college admissions process can be confusing and stressful. Thankfully, IvyWise is here to demystify the process and help you submit the strongest application possible to your top-choice schools. Schedule an Initial Consultation today to learn how we can help you achieve your academic goals.