by BBC Admissions
They are more scared of you than you are of them. We hear this about all sorts of scary creatures, right? Well what of scary admissions counselors? Reality is, they are probably more scared of you, the prospective student, than you are of them. Being an admissions counselor is a very vulnerable position. Admissions counselors make phones calls, send emails, or texts to strangers who may or may not be friendly. The primary goal of an admissions counselor is to walk you through the application process. However, talking to strangers and trying to “sell” why this particular college or university is different than others can be mortifying based on the outcome of a conversation. Talking to strangers can be the stuff of nightmares, for you or for them.
No matter how intense our social anxieties might be, we always have the capacity to learn because we are human. Even though the process of talking to admission counselors is short in the grand scheme of a lifetime, we can learn some important communication skills in the process.
1. Ask Good Questions
When you don’t know what to say, ask a question. A good question melts the ice and opens the door for genuine curiosity. You probably have a lot of questions about college. The most popular questions to ask an admissions counselor are:
- “Can I get into college with a low GPA?” – Competitive colleges and universities probably require at least an unweighted GPA of 3.0 for admission. Less competitive schools, such as BBC, the minimum required GPA for admission is 2.0 GPA.
- “What do I need to write in the application essay?” – Usually colleges and universities require at least two admissions essays, for BBC there is only one essay requirement. These are really important because they help the admissions team get to know your personality, your goals, and your communication skills. Prompts for the essays will vary, but what you should focus on in the application essay is answering the prompt with clear communication and correct grammar and spelling.
- “What scholarships are available to me?” – 2.9 Billion dollars of scholarship and federal grant money goes unclaimed every year. Students can tap in to so many scholarships outside of colleges and universities. There are typically inside scholarships at schools too. Reach out to the schools you are interested in for more information about the scholarships you may qualify for. For example, incoming students at BBC have access to $9,500 a year in scholarships and returning students have access to over $25,000 in institutional and endowed scholarships.
- “How important or how many times do I need to take the ACT or SAT?” – Extremely important! You should take the ACT or SAT as many times as will get you an adequate score. The more competitive the college, the higher your ACT or SAT should be. Now some colleges can admit students on a conditional basis if the ACT or SAT score is too low, because a low SAT or ACT score should not be a stumbling block.
2. Learn to Dialogue
Healthy dialogue is the key to functional relationships in society. Over the decades, we have traded the art of exchanging ideas and opinions. It’s important that we learn how to agree and disagree with one other through gracefully adding new and helpful perspectives to our dialogue. Cultivating a dialogue with an admissions counselor about the school or other aspects of the campus culture can give you much more insight than the limited scope of questioning.
3. Seek to Listen
Part of being an effective communicator is listening to – not merely hearing – the person with whom you are conversing. Listening requires an open heart and an open mind as you seek to understand what this person is trying to tell you. Admission counselors desire to help you through the college process and genuinely care about your future, and the information they have to share may help you. To show the person that you are seeking to understand them, paraphrase what they told you to see if you understood correctly. Remain actively engaged in the conversation by adding information and perspectives to the dialogue or by asking questions. Asking questions to clarify your understanding is an excellent way to listen.
At the end of the day, admissions counselors are there to help. Help them help you by asking good questions, staying engaged, and listening to their offers.
The Admissions Counselors at Boise Bible College are always willing to answer any questions or help you walk through the application process. If you wish to contact admissions at Boise Bible College, fill out an inquiry form or email firstname.lastname@example.org.