How can universities cut back stress for college kids throughout the utility course of

On a heat afternoon this previous spring, we welcomed about 50 college steerage counsellors from worldwide colleges in China’s Larger Bay Space to our campus to debate the purposes and admissions processes.

One adviser requested me a few scholar of hers who obtained a rejection from us. “What number of As ought to he need to get in? There can’t be any Cs?” she requested. I felt awfully sorry for the child. After years of onerous work on grades, assessments and extracurricular actions, being rejected is a bitter expertise.

College admission selections are based mostly on many components. The minimal entry necessities are revealed on college web sites, however this doesn’t make the choice standards any much less “summary” to most candidates. The choice course of is an excellent greater thriller.

It’s a shared duty of highschool, household and college to assist college students all through the appliance course of. What can universities do to decrease candidates’ stress?

Assist college students to know the choices out there

College students make strenuous efforts to handle a number of college purposes. College admissions groups can work intently with highschool counsellors to assist college students make knowledgeable and balanced college lists. This may help college students in recognising that they’ve loads of decisions and ease their nervousness if they don’t get into their most popular establishments.

This may be supported by fleshed-out recruitment talks to college students to assist them determine which establishments will go well with their future profession plans and pursuits. Admissions officers ought to level out the distinctive options of the establishments they signify and key components that can assist college students to check establishments.

First, cut back college students’ nervousness within the utility course of by shifting their focus to a consideration of what they will get from a college schooling somewhat than a sense of being judged by every establishment they apply to. Don’t outline an establishment just by rating.

Second, construct clear connections between majors and profession prospects. There’s typically a disconnect between the themes on a highschool curriculum and the majors provided by a college, a lot of that are interdisciplinary or vocational. Take time to elucidate the connections between highschool curricula, college majors and future careers. This may assist college students to determine the place their strengths lie, visualise completely different profession trajectories and choose universities that greatest assist their private growth.

Third, paint an image of every day life on the establishment. It is not uncommon to introduce a college from its location, prices and lodging. The secret’s to assist college students piece the data collectively and see the entire image. For instance, when speaking about location, clarify a bit in regards to the place, what it has to supply, the transport hyperlinks and the way lengthy it takes from city centre to the college. Some college students need to keep near their households, some need to work part-time on the town after lessons, so these sensible particulars assist college students select universities that fits their existence.

Enhance effectivity within the utility system

Establishments ought to simplify purposes to cut back the period of time it takes candidates to finish. Easy adjustments resembling displaying all of the questions without delay allow candidates to get oversight of what they have to present and put together and handle their efforts accordingly.

Admissions groups ought to evaluation the appliance system earlier than every recruitment season begins and take away any questions that didn’t assist with final yr’s analysis and choice. For instance, chorus from asking candidates to put in writing private statements or essays in the event that they carry little weight within the closing determination. Give clear directions on the content material and format of the information for importing.

Embody a message of encouragement within the rejection letter

It’s pure that universities are inclined to pay extra consideration to the wording and design of the acceptance letters. Nevertheless, messages which are going to convey rejection and disappointment can bear nice weight in a scholar’s life. How universities deal with rejected college students reveals their actual understanding of schooling.

Rejections ought to be delivered with respect and kindness. Present appreciation of scholars’ efforts in making the appliance. Rejection letters can tactfully place extra weight on the attitude that the college may not be the very best match for the applicant, somewhat than hitting on the painful indisputable fact that the applicant failed within the competitors to get in.

Simply as a level from a widely known college shouldn’t be a golden ticket to success, a rejection from a specific establishment doesn’t consign a scholar to failure. The younger Steven Spielberg was rejected by the College of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and the College of Southern California a number of instances – and that is only one of many such tales. By explicitly stating this, universities can and will assist college students perceive that they’ve a vivid future forward even when they obtain rejections from their desired establishments.

Treasure the connection

There’s a price related to processing unsuccessful purposes, however this funding shouldn’t be a waste and rejected candidates should not all “worthless”. In the long run, the unsuccessful candidates may connect with the college in different significant methods. They will apply once more for postgraduate research, suggest the college to mates and family, and even turn out to be potential donors. Steven Spielberg ultimately turned a trustee of UCLA.

A rejection letter mustn’t reduce off the connection between a college and an applicant. It will possibly do greater than “reject”; it will possibly additionally supply an informative bundle signposting many different methods to connect with the establishment.

It may share suggestions for spending a productive hole yr, which could assist college students who need to apply once more subsequent yr. It may promote recruitment occasions for the following season. It may share an inventory of alternate and summer time programmes provided by the college and encourage the rejected candidates to affix in the event that they enrol at a companion college. It may even promote postgraduate and different programmes.

Rosemary Bai is advertising and marketing coordinator for worldwide undergraduate admissions on the Chinese language College of Hong Kong, Shenzhen.

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