One part of college planning commonly overlooked by some applicants is going to college admission events to try and get a better insight on colleges. Upon initial glance, applicants think these events are useless and there’s nothing they can’t just find on the internet. However, events such as Q&A panels and info-sessions help mapping out the college planning process and let applicants determine if they really want to go to the school. Not only do such events give an in-depth of schools that applicants previously were interested in, it also gives exposure to schools they may not have looked at before and introduce them to possible programs that fit their future goals.
The one part about Q&A panels is that the panelists will often range from people affiliated with the school in all sorts of the way. Examples of panelists have often been faculty members, alumni, current students, and graduate candidates. Due of the variety of panelists present, there’s unique insight that can be seen from each individual, especially the current students and alumni. At classic campus tours or presentations, college recruiters and admissions will always tell the optimistic side of every aspect of their college. While this strategy is understandable, it can sometimes give student’s alternated information, which could dramatically alter the course of their college planning. However, with current students and alumni, applicants often get a more honest view on the school on subjects such as course enrollment and midterm/exam stress. Admissions will often downplay qualities such as these to avoid deterring applicants from applying but students will more keen on filling in applicants on what they’re getting into.
When applicants are making their college lists, they often think of the big ticket schools and try and proliferate their lists with those. Due to those school’s prestige, applicants will often overlook other schools first to look at their higher ranked counterparts when figuring out which schools they want to go to and physically visit. This is why admissions events are so important, as usually more than a couple schools will be there, giving applicants a snapshot preview of a surplus of schools to sample from. If an applicant was planning college visit trips, he or she could add in those schools along the way and explore the campuses. This is important as it allows the student to experience it first-hand. As a result, students will actually get face-time with schools they previously wouldn’t have considered and discover programs that interest them.
Admission events of any size could make an applicant significantly rethink their college planning process and add good-fit schools to their lists. College admission events are not always something in every applicant’s college planning agenda. However, it’s a hidden tool that every applicant should can take advantage of as it at once gives applicants a realistic view on schools but also opens up new schools for applicants to explore and maybe apply to in the future.