Students often overlook one of the simplest ways to make an impression on a college admissions officer: say hello.
Without even setting foot on a campus, most students will have a couple of key opportunities to meet and greet people who may have some serious influence over their futures.
Many high schools invite a variety of admissions people to visit their campuses and give a talk. If they have ANY potential interest at all in a college, students should attend those talks. Then, there are college fairs. They are not only an opportunity to do college research, but another chance for high school students to press the flesh with the people who may eventually read their college applications.
Students, take full advantage of these opportunities by doing the following:
Shake hands and introduce yourself to the admissions officer
Ask a few smart questions about their school
Take their card and follow up with a brief thank you note
This little bit of personal contact can help you stand out among a mountain of applicants. Remember, at the end of the day, admissions officers are just human beings. With a smile and eye contact, you can have them at hello.