The next six weeks involves the sprint to May 1, National Candidates Reply Date, and what has become the measure of success for many admissions offices nationwide. This time represents a mixture of emotions—ranging from exhaustion from reviewing files seven days and week, to the jubilation that results from a prospective student becoming a member of the Class of 2016. Whatever one’s feelings, the next six weeks can make or break an admissions officer’s success.
A few years ago I provided the admissions staff at Augustana College with a laminated card with 10 Questions they could ask themselves daily about their performance during this critical time of year. The questions themselves are not particularly innovative or cutting edge, but they serve as reminders of what is important during this time of year. I also hope they serve as motivators and guide best practices in shaping what admissions professionals do in an effort to close the class.
The little white card that I prepared for my colleagues includes the following
Am I doing everything I need to be to be successful?
- Are my questions to prospective students direct?
- Is the information I gather from a prospective student actionable?
- Is my message clear? Are my instructions clear?
- Is my follow-up timely and thorough?
- Is my customer service exemplary?
- Does my correspondence provide specific reasons to choose Augustana College?
- Is my communication timely and relevant?
- Is my counseling directive?
- Is my hunch informed?
- 10. Are my partners (faculty, staff, coaches, etc.) as informed and excited about Augustana as I am?
Is there anything on this list I need to do more effectively?
I find myself frequently pulling my own little laminated card out of my wallet to remind myself of these questions. The light blue font on the beat up white card serves as a good reminder and a healthy motivator any time.
However, it all seems a lot more relevant and urgent now that the sprint to May 1 is underway.
What messages do you send during “go time.”
W. Kent Barnds a.k.a @bowtieadmission
P.S. If you stop me on the street and ask to see my card, I can assure you it is in my wallet as reminder of what I need to do to be successful and effective.