Online Admissions Chats
Take those hours you spend online every day and put ’em to good use: Participate in a college-sanctioned online chat. That’s right — many colleges and universities are organizing chats to allow prospective students like you to speak with admission representatives, current students, faculty and even housing officials.
Want to know how big your dorm room is, or when you should apply for financial aid? An online chat might be the easiest, most convenient way to find out what you need to know, without even leaving your bedroom.
While some colleges conduct chats monthly, others schedule one every week, especially during high-traffic periods. most schools make it easy for you by scheduling their chats during the evening hours, between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., for example, or on Sundays. Visit the college’s website to locate the chat dates and times.
Before logging on to chat, it’s important to have a few questions in mind; it may even be beneficial to write them down. Try to ask questions that can’t easily be answered elsewhere. Though the questions you ask will obviously have no bearing on whether or not you’re admitted, keep in mind that whenever you speak with a college representative, you want to put your best foot forward (when you log on to a chat, you enter your name, so they know who you are). Remember, talking with an admission officer isn’t the same as chatting with your friends, so no “OMGs” or other abbreviations!
When you chat with current students, you can be less formal, but you still want to make a good impression. The nature of your questions will be different, too. While admission officers will explain the ins and outs of the admission process — application instructions, due dates, timelines — students will provide you with a glimpse into day-to-day college life. What’s the food really like? How hard are the introductory courses? Are there any classes you should try to avoid?
Though most of the students you might chat with are employed by the office of admission, they will give you an honest opinion about admissions, academics and campus life based on their own experiences. They also know what it’s like to be in your shoes — after all, it wasn’t that long ago that they were on the other end of the chat.
Chatting with an admission officer or current student can only help — and hopefully put your mind at ease — as you wade through the sometimes overwhelming college admission process. These chats may also give you a better sense of the academic, cultural and social atmosphere of life on campus. Can you see yourself at this college? Admission chats could bring you one step closer to answering this all-too important question.