College Admissions – Why Students Need a Good College Admissions Strategy

Getting into college these days is more than just “fill out the application” and wait for word from the college. Years ago, that may have been the case, but it isn’t any longer. More students are going to college than ever before and that means more competition. AND, those same students are more active than ever before — great grades, lots of activities and community service are normal and expected.

That’s often the most difficult part for parents to understand. Just because your child has great grades and good SAT scores, doesn’t necessarily mean he or she is Ivy League material or a shoo-in at every college. So, when strong grades, solid SAT scores and tons of activities are the norm, your problem still remains: how to stand out from the crowd.

The solution is to have a compelling message to deliver to the schools and a plan to communicate it consistently to the right people. It’s going to help you stand apart from the rest of the crowd! And, the key to a good college admissions strategy is your message.

College admissions folks love anything that can help them identify your strengths and communicate them quickly and easily. Your message should make you more “memorable” to the college admissions representative who reads your application. If you have really zeroed in on the right message, it will likely be supported by others — such as your teachers who will be writing your recommendations!

Done well, your message and the strategy you use to deliver it can be powerful tools to get you noticed and in at a particular college, as it did for one of my students, Anita.

Anita’s dad asked me to work with his daughter because she wanted to get in to a highly selective school that had a top-notch reputation in the medical sciences. Exactly the kind of place that fit in with her career goals of following in her physician-father’s footsteps. Anita was a strong candidate for for the school, but she and her dad didn’t want to leave anything to chance.

Anita and I worked together to develop her message to the schools so she would stand out as much as possible from the thousands of others in the admissions office. Together, we developed her strategy to reinforce her two unique qualities — her love of and desire to study math and science plus her extraordinary accomplishments in classical Indian dance.

Her message boiled down to how she was equally at home on the stage and in front of a Bunsen burner. It was concise and, most of all, it was memorable.

She was able to incorporate this message into every part of the college admissions process — as part of her main essay; she was able to integrate it into her interviews. The clarity and consistency of her message made a great impression, as evidenced by comments made by the admissions officer after she was accepted!

Having a comprehensive plan and a strong admissions strategy kept Anita in control of the admissions process rather than letting the admissions process control her. Isn’t that more appealing than “throwing together your applications’ and “hoping for the best”? So, get started taking control…

Your Get NOTICED, Get IN, Get MONEY Assignment:

1. Create your message.

2. Identify who you will communicate your message to.

3. Start communicating that message — consistency is the key!

Jeanmarie Keller, is a college admissions and financial aid expert and creator of the Get NOTICED, Get IN, Get MONEY System, the proven step-by- step program that shows you exactly how to get NOTICED in the college admissions office, get IN at the colleges right for you, and get MONEY to help pay the college bill. To claim your F.R.E.E. audio CD: “Finding Cash For College” and receive weekly admissions and financial aid tips and strategies, go to http://www.JeanKeller.com

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