Seniors, this time of year you’re busy juggling school work and college applications.  I know some applications can be confusing or may have specific requirements – so take advantage of college reps visiting your school to get your questions answered. Sure, this information might be found on a college’s website, but meeting with a college rep lets them know you’re interested, and they can become an advocate for you during the admission process. Note: some of the reps might be evaluating your application!  Here’s how it works:

Research your top colleges.

The college’s homepage usually displays an iconic building or beautiful students interacting on campus. However, this does not reflect what the school has to offer, which is another reason to visit with college reps. Before the meeting, review the school’s website so you’re familiar with their majors and programs, the activities they offer, and what might interest you as a student. I recommend having some questions for the college reps so you get the most out of the visit and discuss your genuine interest in the school.

Ask your high school counselor about college rep visits.

Talk to your high school counselor and see where the list of colleges is available, typically the list can be found on your student account or posted on your school’s calendar so that you can sign up for a visit.

Show up early to the meeting.

I recommend showing up five minutes early to the meeting. It shows that you’re punctual and willing to listen to the college rep. Plus, you’ll be able to find a good seat, and you might have the opportunity to talk to reps before the meeting; especially if it is a popular school.

Pay attention.

During the visits, reps will discuss various topics regarding academic programs, campus housing, activities and clubs on campus, scholarship opportunities, and admission requirements that might affect you at a later date. Plus, it will give you a chance to see if a college is a good fit before you apply.

Provide your information to reps.

One reason college reps visit high schools is to identify which students are interested in their school. Therefore, make sure you sign in and record your attendance. The reps should have a sign-in sheet or information card (similar to those at a college fair) for you to fill out. Also, some reps may provide a “selective student” application which gives an early view of unofficial transcripts, test scores, and housing selections based on the information you’ve provided ahead of time.

Later in the spring, juniors will have the same opportunities to meet with reps, and if you don’t know if you can make it on campus, this is a way to meet face-to-face to ask questions and gain more insight.