Grady College Visits Attract Students and Interest in College


Grady students listen to college representatives in the College Career Center. The college visits provide valuable information in college decision making.

Max Nevins

Grady students listen to college representatives in the College Career Center. The college visits provide valuable information in college decision making.
Grady students listen to college representatives in the College Career Center. The college visits provide valuable information in college decision making.

Each year, Grady seniors enroll in colleges across the country. To help students get a head start in looking for colleges, the Grady College and Career Center (CCC) hosts college visits during school hours, during which admission officers speak about the colleges they represent. With the majority of schools visiting from August to October, the CCC hosts about 150 visits in a school year.

“It’s a great way to learn about the schools because you can’t always visit every school, this is the next best thing,” CCC Chair Anna Winer said. “It benefits the schools too because they get to see which students are out here and interested and they have a chance to reach out to them.”

During the visits, representatives give an overview of their college and let students learn about the atmosphere of the school through discussions about campus life, academic requirements, or other aspects of the college. This way, students can ask questions and college representatives are able to talk to students and learn about their concerns and needs.

“[The most beneficial part of the visits is] to learn more about the students and where you come from, to get a whole entire view of what Grady is like, and [find out] what you’re interested in,” Alexander Zotos, Colby College Assistant Director of Admissions, said. “ I’m not always down here and you’re not always in Maine. [It is] nice to be able to meet with students if they can’t fly to Maine.”

When viewing applications, colleges look for unique characteristics or passions that separate certain students from the rest. By talking to the college representative, a student demonstrates interest in the college.

“One thing students don’t always realize is the person that comes to the school is the same person who’s going to be reading your application, for the most part. So you’re having a face to face conversation with the person who’s going to be reading about you,” Winer said. “Some schools are very interested in demonstrated interest so if you come to a college visit at their campus, email them. Every time you reach out to that school, they make a note of it. It matters.”

Students come to college visits for a variety of reasons. Some are trying to expand their general knowledge of different colleges and universities, while others are focused on specific schools. To learn what schools are visiting, students can go directly to the CCC, visit the Grady website under “College and Career Center”, or sign up for text notifications through Remind101.

“Some students are attracted to a specific school. They’ll come in and sign up or look on the website and see when it is or they get Remind101 and come in specifically for the school,” Winer said. “Other students are trying to find out what they’re looking for so they come in and talk to a range of schools.”

The first college to visit Grady was Brown University, on Aug. 23. Brown, along with other colleges such as Yale University and the University of Chicago, have drawn large crowds, with some students even having to stand during the Yale visit. Others like Colby and Macalester College, only had a few visitors.

“The better the known the school, the more students tend to come,” Winer said. “When fewer students come, you get that one on one attention.”

The students going to these visits have been able to get specific questions answered, which better enable them to determine whether they will apply to the college visiting. Junior Samaria Campbell said that finding out about financial aid and the majors provided at colleges was important to her. Both Campbell and senior Bailey Damiani agreed the college visits helped them tune the lists of colleges that they would be applying to.

“I had about 10 schools I was trying to decide between,” Damiani said. “These visits have helped me be able to narrow it down to the five or six schools that I’m going to be applying to.”

Many visits take place during lunch periods, but others are during class, depending on a student’s schedule. Both Campbell and Damiani said they had not missed much class. Although there have been concerns, Grady teachers have allowed students to go to these visits.

“I have mixed feelings [about the college visits],” Susan Salvesen, Grady social studies teacher said. “For some students, I think it’s great. It’s more exposure; it will help them narrow down their college search. For others who are struggling, they really need to be in class.”

Grady students agree that the college visits have been beneficial in searching for colleges and narrowing down their choices. With more colleges visiting in the next few months, the CCC is expected to have a room packed with eager college-ready students. For Damiani, the visits have shown her that her time in high school has been well spent.

“These [college visits] definitely have helped provide some perspective, especially my senior year, as to why I’m putting in all this work,” Damiani said.

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