How to Interact with your Admissions Counselor

Chances are if you are applying to college or just starting your search, you will have the opportunity to interact with an admissions counselor – and you definitely should (many colleges track something called demonstrated interest and these interactions show your interest).

So just how should you speak to this mystical figure also known as an admissions counselor? Here are some helpful hints on how to handle these interactions:

Interaction via Email:

Start with a clear and concise subject line. Sound like the intelligent and fun human being that you are. Greet the counselor and be polite – simply say hello, please, and thank you. Remember all those manners your parents taught you when growing up? They still apply today! While an email can seem detached, there is a human answering on the other side of the computer. Write in full sentences and not text lingo – “ur school is gr8” is not the best thing to write here.

Collegewise Pro Tip: Put your full, legal name, in your email signature along with your birthdate, email address, and phone number. This way they can make sure that they know which Mary Jane you are out of the other hundred Mary Janes who applied.

Interaction via Phone:

If you have a call scheduled with a counselor, make sure you are in a quiet place with good reception. Answer clearly and confidently. Make sure you have an appropriate voicemail greeting set-up and that you don’t have a full inbox. Check your voicemails regularly and respond in a timely manner.

Collegewise Pro Tip: You can expect to get calls from schools once you get on mailing lists, and especially once you start applying. Consider not answering unknown numbers when you are in a loud setting where you cannot clearly hear and respond to the person on the other end. Let it go to voicemail and make sure to address the voicemail tips above.

Interaction in Person:

You may meet a counselor at a college fair or at a visit to your high school. You may even meet up with them in an interview for admission. Remember these are human beings, probably a lot closer in age to you than you think, who genuinely love students and the school they represent. Make sure you show them your interest and treat them well. Start with introducing yourself. If you are going to ask a question, actually listen to the response and show your engagement. Fill out the inquiry cards (please write legibly) so they can remember you stopped by and mark that demonstrated interest.

Collegewise Pro Tip: Read the room. It may seem mature to initiate a handshake when you introduce yourself at a college fair, but if the counselor has their hands behind their back or in their pockets, they may be trying to send a message. Their lives are full or travel and shaking many hands, and sometimes counselors prefer to not shake hands if they are sick or trying to avoid getting sick. Do what feels right to you, but don’t ignore their body language.


Thursday, March 22nd
6:00 pm to 7:30 pm – Paying for College

Saturday, April 21st
10:00 am to 11:30 am – Finding the Right Colleges

Our seminars are open to anyone interested (so feel free to spread the word or
invite your friends!), however, space is limited for each event. 
To reserve your space,
click on the link of the seminar you’d like to attend and follow the RSVP
instructions at the bottom of the page.

Any questions about the seminars may be directed to Megan Carlier
at meganc@collegewise.comor 949-292-6264

We look forward to seeing you this spring!


Megan Carlier,  College Counselor

Collegewise – Mission Viejo