You’ve narrowed down your list of colleges. You’re interested in learning more about a few schools. You know where to start and what type of questions to ask. We’ve encouraged you to think about “Finding Your Fit”, provided information about visiting campus in “College Visits #1” and “College Visits #2”, and given a “Guide to Evaluating an Academic Programs”. Now what?
You know you need to interact with admissions staff, current students, and professors to really learn the specific details about your potential colleges. You may even have a list of questions that need answered! But have you ever thought about just HOW to ask the questions and gather more information? The way you present yourself through communication with your potential college matters! Here are a few helpful tips to consider as you’re contacting schools.
Email is an excellent way to communicate with your counselor – especially if you think the counselor may be able to provide connections to resources. Follow these two easy steps to make the most of your email communication!
Step #1: Check your email address. Is it appropriate and professional? If you aren’t sure, I suggest to err on the side of caution and create a new one that can be used specifically for college communication. (Just don’t forget to check it! Colleges will send a lot of important information via email!) Emails that contain some combination of your first and last name are always safe choices and easy for you to remember.
Step #2: Did u proofreed the emale b4 u hit sendd? Reviewing the email is key! Remember, this is you introducing yourself to one of your college choices, potentially for the first time. Lucky for all of us technology makes proofreading relatively simple if you’re at a computer:
Don’t fall pray two words that are spelled correctly, but are not used in they’re write form. Your computer may not catch them:
Proofreading is particularly important if you are using a mobile device. How many of us have sent text messages with auto corrected typos? I know, I have! Luckily, typos in a text are a little more forgiving. If you are working on an email at home or around friends, don’t be shy about asking them to proofread it for you. Include a check for grammar in your review – did you capitalize words correctly? Use the correct punctuation? Don’t forget, texting abbreviations (ex: “u”, “ur”, “plz”, “ttyl”) should never be included in an email to a college!
Phone calls are a great way to have a personal interaction with your admissions counselor! Before you dial those digits, here are some helpful tips.
Step #1: Be prepared for the conversation. Scheduling a visit? Have your calendar in front of you. Asking about the application? Have the list of requirements visible. I recommend grabbing a notebook and pen and writing down your questions before you make the call. Make sure to leave space to jot down your Counselor’s answers!
Step #2: Listen carefully. Your counselor will ask you follow-up questions in order to learn more about how the institution can best meet your needs. You don’t want to miss any questions or give inaccurate information. Make sure your full attention is on the phone call; this is not the time to be browsing the internet or eating dinner!
Step #3: Speak clearly and don’t talk too fast. Your Admissions Counselor wants to get to know you – in order to do so, you want them to hear everything you say. Remember to enunciate your words. Don’t be hesitant to spell out your name, the name of your high school or anything else that needs clarified by the counselor. (Tip: saying “A” as in apple, “B” as in baseball, etc. is really helpful!)
Step #4: Make sure you are in a quiet place. How is the cell phone reception? Are you surrounded by a lot of background noise? This will help to decrease distractions and ensure that both people can focus on the call.
Questions about your application? Want to schedule a visit? Give Grove City College a call at 724-458-2100. We would love to hear from you!
Often overlooked when you’re busy sending emails and making phone calls, nonverbal communication is just as important. Think through these few things over the next few days as you interact with people and see how you do. (P.S. This section will also pertain to your “7 Tips to Mastering the Admissions Interview!”)
Step #1: Smile! Have you ever heard someone say that you can hear a smile over the phone? It’s true! Most of a phone conversation is the other person hearing the tone of your voice. Pause from reading this blog post – go back to the beginning of this section. Don’t smile and read out loud the first sentence. Now smile and do the same thing! Did you hear the difference in your tone? (Don’t forget the importance of a smile to your nonverbal communication in a face-to-face setting, too!)
Step #2: Eye contact. This one pertains toward your face-to-face interaction with individuals you meet during your college visit or if you interview on Skype. For example, when you visit Grove City College you will check in with a staff member prior to your meeting. Maintaining good eye contact while we check your information is a great way to make a good first impression! Also, don’t forget to keep the good impression going during your interview with your admissions counselor.
Step #3: Posture. How are you sitting right now? As I started typing the word “posture” I felt myself pulling my shoulders back and sitting up taller! Not only does good posture positively affect your overall health, but it can change your mood. I don’t know about you, but after sitting up a little straighter I feel like I’m even more ready to tackle my to-do list!
Thanks for taking the time to learn more about why HOW you communicate matters! Now that you’ve sat up a little more straight and smiled at your computer or phone screen, start thinking through what questions the Grove City College Admissions Team can answer for you. We’ll be looking forward to your emails, phone calls, and visits!