Most admissions offices in colleges and universities are organized by region with admissions counselors assigned to geographic areas and identified as regional representatives. I live and work in Westchester County, where many of my clients attend high school. When I call a school to gain information on behalf of a client I’m often asked where I’m calling from. Since my response is Westchester County, I’m usually put in touch with the Westchester regional representative who is responsible for knowing all high schools in the county and handling queries from people in our area. That individual will also likely be one of the people later reading applications and making recommendations on the admission decision. Alternately, if that person is not available, I am connected to the “counselor on duty” for the day.
Families are often unaware of the counseling role that good admissions representatives play. If students have questions, the Westchester regional representative should be their first point of contact. Students can enter into a dialog, pose questions and expect to receive informed and helpful responses.
Schools use their regional representatives as part of their outreach to personalize the process for prospective applicants. Students should take advantage of the opportunities to connect in meaningful ways with their regional representatives. Doing so will put students on their radar and only contribute to the possibility of gaining admissions.
It can be very helpful for students to introduce themselves to their regional representatives.
In addition to making recommendations on admission decisions, they can later serve as a potential advocate during any admission committee deliberations. Since the Westchester regional representative is likely the host of school sponsored events in our area, I strongly recommend that students attend, officially sign in and personally introduce themselves at those events.
Students can also email their regional representatives directly. Rather than simply write an email of introduction early on in their process, students might want to send an email after they have visited the school and are able to share a few specific and positive impressions based on their own interests. And if they are not able to visit, they can use email to explain that and pose a targeted question or two or share something specific about their interest in that school based on their personal preferences and priorities. Contact information for regional representatives is usually available on the schools’ admissions link on their websites.
Published in the Back to School sections of The Scarsdale Inquirer, The Rivertowns Express and The Record-Review on August 26, 2016.