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How much time do admissions officers spend on each application?

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As part our College Q & A guide, we decided to ask your questions to the experts. Here are their answers.

Patricia Krahnke, President/Partner,  Global College Search Associates, LLC

One of the ways admissions directors are judged in their performance evaluation is by the increase in applications every year. If there is not an increase in applications, it is a black mark against them. In an economic crisis where budgets and staffing in every department are being slashed, colleges must do more with fewer people.

LaMeire College Consulting (lameirecollegeconsulting.com)

When I worked in private college admissions, I would spend about a half-hour on the application proper. However, this doesn’t take into account any of the following: The discussions I had with counselors regarding their students. The follow up I would (somewhat frequently) conduct with individual teachers regarding letters of recommendation…especially those with, “Please call me with any questions or concerns,” written in the body of the letter. Admissions/scholarship interviews. Meetings with prospects at information sessions. Meetings with prospects at college fairs. In other words, I was able to get to know the kids really well. When I was with the University of California system, I spent an average of five to seven minutes per application. And, this does take into account the following: I never spoke with a counselor regarding one of their students. I would not always be well acquainted with the high school from which the applicant was applying. We didn’t solicit letters of recommendation. We didn’t offer interviews. We would rarely attend college fairs outside of our area. So, here you have the two extremes. I would even go further, and claim that at a more prestigious private school versus a less selective public school than mine, the “attention gap” would be even wider.

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