When assessing applicants, colleges are always looking at the classes students take and the grades earned. But, when reviewing applications colleges also take into account whether they think an accepted student will ultimately attend their school. This is referred to as yield and is a big factor in enrollment management. And this can ultimately impact a school’s national ranking.
So… what does all this have to do with fishing? For colleges, high school students all over the country are potential applicants, and colleges think of them as a “fish on the line” throughout the application process. Colleges are trying to “reel students in” to apply to their school, and, if accepted, colleges want to “land that big fish” and have the accepted student attend their school.
Each year, it’s the admission office’s job to “reel in” that next class of students. In the spring of a high school student’s junior year, this “fishing” by the colleges begins. Colleges want as many students as possible to visit their schools and ultimately apply. That’s why admissions offices have such big marketing budgets to send out glossy pamphlets and bombard email inboxes with messages.
The way a potential applicant engages with the college sends a clear message about whether they’d like to be “reeled in.” Colleges have enrollment management software to help them keep track of applications and the ways students engage with their schools. When a high school junior signs up for a campus visit, check– that’s a “fish on the line” for the college. If that student then opens an email sent by the school and clicks a link and spends time on the school website, check– the college is starting to “reel” that student in. As that student continues to engage with the school by loading it into their Common Application, attending a virtual event, or sending an email asking a pertinent question, all this registers with admissions that this “fish”– aka applicant – “remains on the line” and is still very interested in attending.
It was months ago when the crush of the fall application cycle was upon our seniors, and even though all applications are submitted, it’s still important to continue to engage with the colleges during this waiting period. So continue to attend virtual events. Send another email to admissions updating them on your senior year academic achievements. Reach out to your admissions representative and ask about a program you read about on the school’s website. As admissions officers review the regular decision applications, they will continue to assess if the applicant remains a “fish on the line.” The continued engagement throughout the entire application process is a clear sign to admissions that a student is still very interested in attending their school.
So… be that “fish on the line.” Continue to get “reeled in” by the schools on your list. If a college feels they’ve “hooked” you, hopefully, it will result in you being that BIG FISH who LANDS that acceptance!