By Jeremy Tiers, Director of Admissions Services
Most of the training workshops and fireside chats that I’ve led over the past month have included a discussion about the different groups of seniors that the admissions counselors were currently working with.
One of those groups is admitted (but undecided) students. Understanding their mindset and how/when they plan to make their college decision is critical if you want to improve your yield chances. The worst thing you can do is sit back and assume your admits have everything they need from you.
The best way to gather all that information is by being direct and intentional with the questions that you ask in your emails, phone calls, text messages, and video chats. Asking effective questions is an important skill, and it’s one that most admissions counselors and leaders tell me they need to improve on.
When you ask the right kinds of questions, you’ll uncover hidden objections, concerns, and fears as well as opportunities to help guide your admits (and their parents/families) during the decision-making stage. Remember – how the admissions staff treats a student throughout their college search continues to rank as one of the top three most important decision-making factors in our ongoing survey research.
With all of that in mind, here are six questions I encourage you to ask your admitted seniors in the coming days and weeks. You can ask these questions in an email, over the phone, via text, during a video chat, or in-person if that’s a possibility.
- How are you feeling about getting into <Your School’s Name>?
- What do you have left to do before you’re going to make your decision?
- When you think about making your college decision, what scares or worries you most?
- Have you and your family talked about when you’ll make your decision?
- What are the one or two things that will matter most in your decision?
- Do you see a difference between <Your School’s Name> and the other schools that are still on your list? Whether they answer “yes,” “no,” “not really,” or “I’m not sure,” I want you to have a follow up question ready that asks for more context.
If you need help incorporating questions like those into your communications, or you get feedback from a student and you’re not sure where to lead the conversation next, go ahead and email me and I’ll give you some quick advice. And in case you’re wondering, no that advice won’t cost you anything…just a few minutes of your time.
If this article was helpful, go ahead and forward it to someone else on your campus who you think might also benefit from reading it.