Don’t Forget to Give Thanks to Those You Meet Along Your Admissions Journey
When is it appropriate to send a thank you note or email when applying to college? Students are likely to meet a variety of admissions officials when visiting colleges and attending college fairs, and while it’s not required, it’s a good practice to send follow-up thank you notes.
For many students, the college admissions process is the first time they’re communicating with adults in a professional manner. It’s important for students to take charge of the process and establish lines of communication with teachers, counselors, admissions officials, and more in a courteous and professional style.
In addition to sending formal emails, it’s important to follow-up meetings and communications with a courteous “thank you" email or note. Not only does it show appreciation, it can also demonstrate interest and show admissions officers you’re serious about attending a particular college and forming positive relationships with those involved with the institution.
Who To Send a “Thank You” To
While you don’t have to send college admissions thank you notes or email to every person you meet, it’s good to show appreciation to those who have taken time to meet you, answer questions, and address any concerns you have when applying to college. It might not be possible to keep up with every contact you’ve met, but here are some people to keep in mind when collecting contact information for follow up communications – and send them a quick “thanks.”
Admission officers you met on a college visit: If you attend an information session as part of your college visit, a current admissions officer will most likely lead your session. This is a good opportunity to get any questions you have answered by a person involved in the decision-making process. Many will provide their contact information for any follow-up communications, but if they don’t, be sure to ask for it. When you get home, follow up with a quick “thank you” email and ask any questions that may have come up after the session.
College tour guide: Also, during a college visit, see if you can get the contact information for the tour guide, often a current student. Many will offer their information in case you have any additional questions. Send a quick “thank you” email when you get home, and include any additional questions you have that you would like answered from the prospective of a current student.
Professors you met on a college visit: While admissions officers and campus tour guides are expected to interact with prospective students, many professors lack the schedule flexibility to accommodate every high school senior who visits the campus. If you’re able to arrange a meeting with a professor or sit in on a class, be sure to follow up with a thank you note or email. Express your gratitude for their time and ask any questions you may have thought of after the visit.
Representatives you met at college fairs: College fairs are a great way to learn a lot about colleges you may not have considered before, and chat with a representative from those institutions. You can also meet representatives from your top-choice colleges and establish a line of communication. Make sure to get contact information for all the admissions officials you meet at college fairs, and follow up with a thank you email. Tell them you appreciate their time and ask any additional questions you may have.
Admissions Interviewer: If you do an interview as part of your application, make sure you send a follow-up thank you to the interviewer within 24-hours of your meeting. Since this is not their job, alumni interviewers must take time out of their day to meet with you, so show your appreciation for their time. It will also demonstrate your interest by showing you commitment to forming relationships with those associated with the university. It’s also a good practice for sending thank you notes and emails after internship and job interviews down the line.
Your college counselor: College counselors work with a lot of students and spend a lot of time writing recommendations, reviewing applications and essays, meeting with students and parents, sending transcripts and other critical application materials, in addition to other tasks. Your college counselor spends a lot of time ensuring you’re best positioned to gain admission to your top-choice colleges, so be sure to say thanks for all their hard work.
Your teachers and recommenders: Writing recommendation letters takes a lot of time, and for teachers and other recommenders it’s something they do in their spare time. Make sure you let them know how much you appreciate their time and effort in helping you apply to college. Even if you have a teacher that’s not writing a recommendation, but maybe helped you with some of your ACT or SAT prep, helped you bring up your grade in their class, or is just a great teacher you enjoy learning from, let them know you appreciate all they’ve done for you. A simple “thank you” can go a long way toward making someone feel appreciated during this busy time of year.
Your parents: You don’t need to write them a formal “thank you” email, but be sure to let them know that you appreciate their help and guidance through the college admissions process! In the flurry of thank you notes, parents are often forgotten, so grab a simple card or just say “thank you” the next chance you get!
There’s a lot of stress during the college admissions process, but a lot to be thankful for as well. Don’t forget to show your gratitude to those who are helping you along the college application journey!
How are you saying “thanks” this holiday season? Tell us in the comments below!