Have you ever wondered about the different roles people take on within an admissions office? You’re not alone. Let’s demystify who does what in the admissions office and put a face to the titles!
According to Western Governors University, the Admissions Director is in charge as the head of recruitment and admissions. This person is also a point of contact for students and potential applicants, so they focus on creating a welcoming environment throughout the application process.
“A director of admissions works on behalf of a college or university—or other private, educational institution—to evaluate and process all new students for admission. As the individual in charge of the entire admissions process, a school’s director of admissions maintains direct responsibility for all major steps in the student recruitment process, from financial aid to registration paperwork.”
They are often the face of the admission office who you will see participating in information sessions, college admission workshops, and featured frequently in admission blogs and podcasts.
The Admissions Officers (called AOs, for short) are the recruitment and admissions department employees, under the Admissions Director. An AO is a point of contact and one member of the committee that ultimately reads and evaluates your applications. They play an important role in admissions decisions, among other responsibilities.
“Admissions Officer Responsibilities and Duties:
- Analyze the applications of prospective students based on standard admission policies.
- Interview students to understand their objectives and background.
- Provide clarifications to students’ queries in a professional manner.
- Advise students about the programs offered, admission procedure, eligibility, and costs involved.
- Participate in all recruitment events, open houses, school fairs, information sessions, exhibitions, school visits, and off-campus events.
- And more.”
In many admission offices, AOs are the first point of contact for students and are often assigned to students according to the region they live in (ie, state or county). If you are unsure who your AO is, you may be able to find this information on the admissions website.
On the other hand, Admissions Readers are often part-time or seasonal employees who assist in reading through and making recommendations on incoming applications. Unlike the designated AOs, Admissions Readers may be faculty of the university, alumni, or other qualified volunteers. (Keep in mind that several individuals likely review each application to reduce chances of bias.) UC Los Angeles describes the role of an Admissions Reader as follows:
“If you’re hired to be a freshman application reader, you’ll be expected to participate in the following ways:
- November: Training Process.
- Participate in online training sessions and complete homework following each session.
- Early to Mid-December: Certification Process
- Review and score additional training applications. During this time, we’ll review your progress and provide you with feedback.
- Mid-December through late January: Application Reading
- Once you’ve successfully completed our training and certification, we’ll provide you with real applications to read and score.”
The Admissions Interviewer is similarly a sub-role within the admissions team. Sometimes the Interviewer will be an Admissions Officer. Other times, it may be someone else associated with the college who is trained to conduct interviews assigned to your geographical location. Unigo says:
“Colleges conduct college interviews differently. Interviews can either be conducted by an Admissions panel, an Admission Officer, a faculty member, a current student, or an alum. In order to best prepare for the interview, it is helpful to find out who is conducting the interview so that you can better prepare for the questions they might ask (and you can better prepare questions you want to ask).”
Here’s a bonus…
- Admissions Committee
- The Admissions Committee (known as AdComm for short) is the panel or team of individuals who review your application. Though the overall application process varies a little by the school in question, the majority are surprisingly similar. Applications are…
- screened for eligibility,
- reviewed by a few qualified individuals to reduce bias,
- sorted into stacks (and occasionally discussed by the committee together),
- and final decisions are sent.
The goal of the Admissions Committee, and the entire admissions office as a whole, is to conduct a fair and accessible application process for their school and accept as many amazing students as possible.
There you have it. We hope this article has shed some light on the topic and clarified who does what in the college admissions office. If you still have questions or are curious about another aspect of the admissions process, give us a call! We’d be happy to introduce you to the Empowerly program and find the right path for you.