By Jeremy Tiers, Senior Director of Admissions Services
3 minute read
During the college search process there are a handful of times when a prospective student’s mindset significantly shifts. One of those is immediately after the campus visit.
Once they’ve seen campus and talked with a few people, students are either more excited or less excited about the idea of being a student at your school. It’s always one or the other.
Because of that it’s extremely important for admissions counselors, or anyone sending out messaging, to utilize direct questions as part of their post-visit strategy.
If your counselors meet one-on-one with a student or family at the end of a visit, what I don’t want you to do is bombard them with a bunch of questions. They haven’t had enough time to process everything yet and you’re going to get a bunch of one word and ‘vanilla’ answers.
I’m not saying you can’t offer to answer any burning questions the student or parent(s) may have, but make it clear that you understand it was a busy day with a lot of people and a lot of information, and you know they’re probably a little tired and ready to hit the road.
In terms of what happens next, I encourage you to either let the student and family know you’re going to send them an important email in the next couple of days, or mention that you’d like to schedule a short phone call in the coming week. Make it clear the goal of that email or call will be to answer any questions that the student or family has come up with, as well as discuss the next step in their process.
Here are a handful of effective, direct questions you might ask the student during that call, in your email as the call to action, or in follow-up conversations in the coming weeks.
- “What’s one thing you saw or heard during your visit that surprised you?”
- “What’s something you wish you could change about our campus now that you’ve seen it?”
- “What are two or three things you’re still trying to figure out about us as you look at all your options?”
- “<First or Preferred Name>, are you more excited or less excited about the idea of being a student here? When they answer, follow-up by asking, “Why is that?”
- “If you came back for another visit, what would you want to see or experience again?”
- “What did your parents (or just mom or dad) say they liked most about our campus and the whole visit?”
- “What’s your biggest concern about <School name>?”
- “What do you want to see us talk about next?”
Each one of those questions will allow you to gain some critical insights into how the student (and possibly their family) is now viewing your school.
Two questions you might have noticed that were absent from the list are, “How was the tour?” and “What did you like most about your visit?” It’s not that there’s anything wrong with them per say – The problem is, those are the two questions they get asked the most by other colleges.
Part of what makes the questions I shared above so effective is, they’re different and not ones that most colleges or counselors ask.
If you’d like to talk more about something in this article, I’m happy to connect. Simply reply back, or email me here.
And if you found this article helpful, forward it to someone else on your campus who could also benefit from reading it.