During a long, cold winter the campus may seem a bit dull to students as they trudge their way to class. For the admissions office though, the year is never dull. When the month of February rolls around, they might be lucky to find time to sit down.
“The office is just now coming off of the high of the last two weeks,” said Corey Grazul, Albion College admissions counselor. “Managing time to recruit new students, review applications and work with students that have already completed applications is the juggling act we all are performing.”
An important event for admitted students is the annual Distinguished Albion Scholars Program (DASP). This competition brings outstanding high school seniors to campus to showcase their scholarship, artistic achievements and research. DASP allows students the opportunity to interact with Albion’s faculty and explore different academic areas.
“We just held DASP and an admitted student visit day,” said Kristin Padilla, Albion College associate director of admission. “Our visit programs take months of planning and a lot of work the day of. Our whole office was setting-up for DASP at 7 a.m., and we finished our day around 9:30 p.m. It’s all about making our admitted students and their families feel valued and welcome when they visit, so it’s all worth it.“
February is also the time of the year that financial aid is awarded, and incoming first-years are making their final decisions. With that comes more pressure inside and out of the office. An admission counselor spends at least one night a week making phone calls to admitted students explaining their award letters and answering any questions they may have, according to Padilla.
“Prospective students that you have been working with for the entire year, or sometimes multiple years, are making their college decisions,” said Colin Carr, Albion College admissions counselor. “Seeing a student you know will thrive at Albion decide to enroll is very rewarding and worth the long nights and busy weekends.”
Aside from the chaos in the springtime, the admissions office is working around the clock to bring students to Albion in order help them with their college decision. The summer months tend to be slower in the office without high school in session or an active campus to show off. It is at this time that counselors strategize high school visits in the fall, plan and review meetings and recover from the previous cycle.
Whether the admissions staff is buried under a stack of files, staying in the office after hours to call prospective students or enjoying lunch at Gina’s, they are all dedicated to sharing the responsibilities that come with the job title.
“In my role as an admission counselor I have the opportunity to articulate how the liberal arts are truly the best preparation for both life and career,” said Carr. “This institution is a unique and special place. Being able to help advance the college by recruiting high achieving students to Albion is what keeps me coming to work.”
Photo courtesy of the Albion College Office of Communications