One Call Can Increase Admissions Chances by 40%

Weeks or months after your daughter has finished up all her college applications, you may find yourself wondering, “Is there anything else she can do to increase admissions chances—well after her applications have been submitted?”

Yes, there is.

Research shows that one phone call can increase admissions chances by 40% at many colleges.

How can a phone call increase admissions chances?

Let’s say your daughter has her eye on a favorite college for all the right reasons. It’s not necessarily a top-ranked university, but it is a private college where her grades, test scores, targeted volunteering, job shadowing, and well-thought-through career goals could make her a great candidate for merit aid (free college money that need never be paid back). This is exactly the kind of college you’d most like to have your daughter attend.

A college like this might love to have your daughter as a student—because she’ll enrich their campus experience for hundreds of others. But the admissions committee looks at her application, and hesitates.

The admissions committee worries. What if they accept your daughter, and then she turns them down? 

Gulp. If the college accepts her and then she turns them down, this’ll be bad news for the college, because it’ll diminish their yield. (Yield is an important statistic that reveals what percentage of accepted students actually enroll at that college. Colleges want their yield percentage to be high.)

Your daughter presents a little bit of a risk for this college. She’s not a genius with perfect SAT scores by any means, but she’s a decent candidate. What if she’s only applied to this college as her safety school—and she has little interest in actually attending?

Students can greatly increase admissions chances by showing “demonstrated interest.”

If your daughter would love to attend this college, have her call the college admissions office, ask three or four interested questions about the school, and express excitement about attending. If she does this, she’ll greatly increase her chances of being accepted (and being awarded free money merit aid to boot). Are you wondering what kinds of questions she could ask in this phone call? Get my free downloadable, printable list of fantastic questions to ask colleges. You’ll find it embedded in this college visit article.

As icing on the cake, at the end of the call, your daughter could increase admissions chances even more by asking to schedule a first or second college visit.

“This is so simple! Can this really help increase admissions chances?”

According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling, 50% of four-year colleges report that they view demonstrated interest as having “considerable importance” or “moderate importance”  on their admission decisions.

So, yes.

“How can we figure out whether a certain college offers merit aid?”

Head over to collegedata.com. Enter a college you’re interested in into the search bar. When you get to that college’s “Facts and Information” page, click “Financials.” Scroll down to where it says “Merit-Based Gift.” When I randomly did this for Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, I found that in 2021–2022, Carroll University gave free merit-based gift aid to 15.8% of financial aid recipients—and that 18.5% of freshmen had no demonstrated financial need and still received merit aid, with the average amount being $20,434.

This is good news! Especially for families using the suggestions in my book LAUNCH and in my TRIBE Membership. (Since students whose parents follow my suggestions tend naturally to be stronger candidates for merit aid.)

“Jeannie, why are you talking about private colleges here? What about state universities?”

Well—frankly—state universities are likely not your bargain options. You can see the helpful article I’ve written about state universities here.

“Yikes! We live in California. By the time our daughter gets out of school for the day, it’s 6:00 pm on the east coast and admissions offices there are all closed.”

No problem! Have your daughter identify a time during the school day when she can make the call without missing class. During study hall or homeroom? Right after her bus arrives at school? Or during lunch?

Have her get a pass from a school counselor to go to the counselor’s office and make the call from there. They’ll give her a quiet space to do it.

Be sure your daughter brings along several of my great questions to ask colleges—so she’ll feel super confident on the phone call. You’ll find my list of questions in the article you see here.

“We’ve not yet filled out college applications. How can we target the colleges most likely to give our kid free money merit aid?”

If your child has not yet applied to college and you’re wondering how to pick colleges most likely to hand your ordinary child free money merit aid that need never be paid back, be sure to read pages 153–184 of my book:

It’s a reference book, so nobody reads the whole thing cover to cover. Pick out what you need to read in it using the fast-paced, 10-minute video instructions here.

You can see hundreds of reviews of this book on Amazon by going to:

bit.ly/burlowski

You can see why financial advising professionals love LAUNCHhere.

You can see the top 9 questions parents are asking me about LAUNCHhere.

Read just one chapter of LAUNCH every 1–3 months while your child’s in middle school and high school, and you’ll know every viable strategy for debt-free college at exactly the right time to implement it.

And if your child’s already well past middle school? That’s OK; you can run to catch up. But the process of getting your kids through college debt-free goes more smoothly the earlier you start it—especially if you’re not planning to save up any money to pay for college.

Take a step on this right now. Get regular, inspiring help from me—every Monday morning.

Subscribe to my free weekly email newsletter here. (You’ll especially want to do this so I can alert you to important FAFSA changes that will affect you in the future.)

Do you have very specific questions for me about debt-free college and career for your kids?

My TRIBE Members get the most direct access to me—while feeling good that the pennies per day they spend on the TRIBE help me bring debt-free college strategy to families who could never afford to pay for it. Join my TRIBE Membership waiting list here.

Who is Jeannie Burlowski?

Jeannie is a full-time academic strategist, podcast host, and sought-after speaker for students ages 12–26, their parents, and the professionals who serve them. Her writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free, ready to jump directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, Parents Magazine, and US News and World Report, and on CBS News.

Jeannie also helps students apply to law, medical, business, and grad school at her website GetIntoMedSchool.com. You can follow her on Twitter @JBurlowski.

This article was updated on February 1st, 2024. No part of this article was written using AI. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Categories

Hi, I'm Jeannie Burlowski

I'm a full-time academic strategist, speaker, and podcast host, and I’m the author of the book LAUNCH: How to Get Your Kids Through College Debt-Free and Into Jobs They Love Afterward.

My writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free and move directly into careers they excel at and love.

My work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington PostUSA TodayNerdWallet, and US News and World Report, and on CBS News.

I also help students apply to law, medical, business, and grad school from my website GetIntoMedSchool.com. You can follow me on Twitter @JBurlowski.

My team and I are leading a debt-free college revolution. We hope you’ll join us.

Hi, I'm Jeannie Burlowski.

I'm a full-time academic strategist, speaker, and podcast host, and I’m the author of the book LAUNCH: How to Get Your Kids Through College Debt-Free and Into Jobs They Love Afterward.

My writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free and move directly into careers they excel at and love.

My work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington PostUSA TodayNerdWallet, and US News and World Report, and on CBS News.

I also help students apply to law, medical, business, and grad school from my website GetIntoMedSchool.com. You can follow me on Twitter @JBurlowski.

My team and I are leading a debt-free college revolution. We hope you’ll join us.

Almost there! Complete this form and

click the button below to get instant access.

 

Get my FREE article:
 
"THE EFFECTIVE COLLEGE VISIT: Questions to Get Answered Before the Day is Over"

Success! Check your email to find your free article. See you there!

Almost there! Complete this form and

click the button below to get instant access.

 

Get my FREE article:
 
"How to Give College Savings As Birthday Gifts and Get Happy Hugs in Response"

Success! Check your email to find your free article. See you there!