Preparing for College

Will My "Under-the-Radar" Campus Visit Hurt Admission Chances?

Question: I'm a high school junior. Last week I visited a college, which is about an hour from home and which may be my first choice. I stayed in the dorm with a family acquaintance. She is a junior majoring in economics, which is a possible major for me, too. She took me on a tour, introduced me to a couple econ profs, let me sit in on her classes, and basically gave me a close look at her school that I wouldn't get from a more typical campus visit. But yesterday when I was telling a friend about this great experience, he said that, if the admission office doesn't know that I was on campus, it would work against me because there would be no record of my visit in my application folder so it would look as if I wasn't all that interested. Is this true? Do I need to tell the admission office that I really was there?

Your friend is right. Colleges--particularly the ones that favor the "holistic" admission process (i.e., using factors besides grades, test scores, and other stats)--do tend to track prospective-student contact, and so admission folks may wonder about your commitment to their school if they see no record of your trip to campus or your presence at other prospective-student events (e.g., info sessions at your school or in your community).

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