During application season, the Collegewise counselors are a little bit like the legend of Santa Claus. We know which kids have been naughty and which have been nice. We notice the seniors who were on time for all of their appointments, who always returned our phone calls, and who said, “Thank you so much” after our meetings. And while we don’t treat them any better or work any harder for them than we do for our few naughty kids, we do notice them. We’re human, after all.
College admissions officers are the same way.
If we’ve learned anything from our counselors who used to work in admissions, it’s how human the college application process is. Applications are reviewed by real human beings. These live readers would much rather admit a kid than deny him, but they also can’t help but be a little put off by kids who are rude on the phone, or who don’t say, “Thank you” at the end of a conversation where they are
I don’t mention this to put even more pressure on kids; in fact, I’m trying to do just the opposite. A student may not have the highest test scores, a long list of awards, or a transcript filled with "A’s" in AP classes. But every student can be nice and respectful. These traits aren’t limited to the great test-takers or to the kids with the highest GPAs.
That’s why we always tell our students to call the admissions offices themselves. Don’t let a parent do it for them. And while the kids make the calls, say “please” and “thank you.” The live human being on the other end will probably appreciate it, and there can never be too many nice kids in a freshman class at college.
Kevin McMullin founded Collegewise in 1999. He admits that while he’s accomplished quite a bit by being nice, his courteous and respectful demeanor did absolutely nothing to help him through college calculus.