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Advice from Undergraduate Admissions Officers

Advice from Undergraduate Admissions Officers

The Red Pen just completed a series of webinars with top global universities. Admissions officers shared information about their programmes, campus offerings and even answered attendees’ questions. We asked each of them to offer a piece of advice to international students. Here is what the admissions officers shared:

“Universities want to make sure that prospective students understand their curriculum, but also their history, their values, and their philosophy. So I always advise students to research–go on the website, speak to representatives, current students or alumni, and target their application as much as possible. In my experience, it’s the best way to make a difference.”

Sophie Collet, Representative to India, Sciences Po

“Studying abroad is one of the most critical investments in a student’s life. One should consider many factors, including location, career opportunities, costs, and return on investment. UCR performed well when looking at affordability and return on investment among all national universities in the US, and we rank high among universities where international graduates have a high job placement rate and starting salary.”

Jun Wang, Assistant Provost & International Recruitment, University of California, Riverside

“The world changes at a rapid pace and interests for undergraduate students also change quickly. Choose a university that has diverse academic offerings in multiple areas you are interested in. Being able to combine disciplines will help you develop a diverse skill set. A well rounded and interdisciplinary education is attractive to employers.”

Andrew Kupec, Associate Director of International Admission, Bryant University

“Be proactive in applying to the schools you are interested in and engage with them through interviewing, virtual or live events etc. Demonstrated interest is considered more highly at some institutions than others and overall suggests commitment and allows us to get to know you!”

Brett Luther, Assistant Director International Admissions, University of Rochester

“There are over 4500 colleges and universities in the US, but most international students apply to the same 3 percent of those institutions, which only increases the hyper selectivity and competition. My advice for students is that once they are ready to apply to their list of universities, half of those should be universities they hadn’t heard of before they started the process. Otherwise, they haven’t done their research or considered their own fit, and may be setting themselves up for disappointment. There are hundreds of excellent institutions, if not more, and student need to open their eyes to wider options to truly find the place where they will thrive not just survive”

Claire Wilkins, Director of International Admissions,Temple University

“My best recommendation is to embrace Microsoft Excel as a tool to keep you organised in the admission process. There are so many facts, data points, deadlines and requirements to keep in mind, and they differ for each school. Keeping an ongoing Excel document to remind you of these things is key to forming your college list and staying organised. Whenever you find out something new, meet someone from the university, or learn about a requirement, add it to your Excel to revert back to later in the year.

Paul Burgess, Director of International Admission and Global Initiatives, Tulane University

“ Keep striving for excellence in your endeavours and enjoy your journey towards it!”  

Ankur Vohra, Head-Outreach & International Admissions, O.P. Jindal Global University

“My advice to students would be to connect personally with the admission officer and attend university information sessions and events to learn more about the institution. When showcasing your achievements, never just rely on a title or certificate: always show the impact you’ve made beyond yourself, how your achievements have shaped you as a person and don’t be afraid to even share mistakes you’ve made and how you’ve learned from them. Together they go a long way in making you a leader with heart.”

Anjali Anand Seth, International Recruitment Specialist – India, Huron at Western University

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The fundamental role of independent educational consultants is to help students explore college opportunities and find the right place for them to succeed academically and socially. IECs don’t get students admitted—they help students demonstrate why they deserve to be admitted at appropriately chosen schools. They help students find colleges they might not have heard of—often out of their region—and they help students put their best foot forward.

Here are 5 things families should consider when looking to hire an IEC:

  1. Does the IEC belong to a professional association such as IECA with established and rigorous standards for membership?
  2. Do not trust any offers of guaranteed admission to a school or a certain minimum dollar value in scholarships.
  3. Ensure that the IEC adheres to the ethical guidelines for private counseling established by IECA.
  4. Find an IEC that visits college, school, and program campuses and meets with admissions representatives regularly in order to keep up with new trends, academic changes and evolving campus cultures.
  5. Do they attend professional conferences or training workshops on a regular basis to keep up with regional and national trends and changes in the law?