Hoopes Review of Liberal Arts Admission Visits


Top 10 things that can be done right:

1. Tell visitors HOW YOUR COLLEGE IS UNIQUE.  All liberal arts colleges have small classes, right?

2. Respond to the visitors' interests.  Ask what students are interested in (even in big info sessions) and respond to those interests.  It is especially impressive to respond to individual students.

3. Don't emphasize bad behavior.  Do we really want to know how to play "Beer-Die?"  NO!

4.  If the school has a good academic or intellectual atmosphere, tell the visitors about it. 

5.  If the school has a great art gallery, emphasize what it has in it.

6. Show us the classrooms and the dorms.  Admissions needs to get access to these for the tourguides; too many tourguides say they  can't show these during prime touring time (August).  Show typical, not "the worst" of each.

7. Have students present and ask them to respond to certain questions in a non-condescending manner. Often they say the most interesting things of all.  What a waste to have students present and not have them say a word!!

8. Explain the general education program or lack of same in a positive manner; don't say it is "just like all the others".

9. If the school is larger or smaller than the norm for liberal arts colleges, explain the advantages of your size; this must have been a choice, right?

10. Give the academics at least 2/3 of the emphasis on the tours; if the you reach the halfway mark with dorms, dining, and student life without mentioning academics, parents might wonder why spend the money for a social experience?

Top ten things you can do wrong on tours:

1. Emphasize drinking.

2. Be generic; use the information session to describe the general aspects of college admissions.

3. Never explain the unique features of your college.

4. Choose weird., condescending, Greek-emphasizing, or atypical students for tourguides; these will be our 'sample student', remember.

5.  Make the college sound like a social rather than an academic experience.

6. Don't connect to your roots.  If religious formerly, is there still any ethical emphasis?

7. Be generic; don't offer informational interviews or respond in any way to the interests of the visitors.

8. Don't describe how the location is an asset to your college.

9. Don't describe the "ambience" or student-student interactions.

10. Don't describe the general education program.