As you walk across a bustling college campus on a warm, spring day and witness students sunning and studying on the lawn, you may find yourself wondering how all of these students found this college. For many, a key component in finding and selecting the college was an important higher education administrator -- the admissions counselor. Admissions counselors work to ensure that the institutions for which they work draw students. They also serve as gatekeepers, allowing enrollment to only top-quality candidates.
Maintain Ties to High Schools
To effectively recruit new students, admission counselors build and maintain relationships with high school administrators. By fostering these relationships, they improve their chances of being invited to these schools and having the opportunity to sell their colleges or universities to the unsure-of-their-future seniors. Staying in contact with school administrators is vital to connecting with students who fit the college's criteria.
Reach Enrollment Targets
To stay afloat, colleges and universities need to meet annual enrollment goals. Admissions counselors must work hard to attract enough applicants to reach these financially vital benchmarks. Admissions counselors must sell their schools to potential pupils, encouraging them to apply and join the ranks of the students that fill the campus.
Capture Interest with Presentations
A major goal for college admissions counselors is to create and present engaging presentations that highlight the school’s strengths and entice potential learners. Because they may have only a short period of time to attract potential candidates, these presentations must be stellar and persuasive. If they fail to accomplish their goal of capturing the interest of students -- who may attend dozens of college presentations -- admissions counselors may fail to meet enrollment goals.
Many college applications require an essay. It is the duty of the admissions counselor to read and score these essays. Because the quality of the students the school recruits will influence the institution’s ability to attract high-quality students, admissions counselors must be critical and careful gatekeepers, working diligently to accurately assess essay quality. They must carefully read the essays and allow only a select few applicants the pleasure of receiving an acceptance letter.
2016 Salary Information for Postsecondary Education Administrators
Postsecondary education administrators earned a median annual salary of $90,760 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, postsecondary education administrators earned a 25th percentile salary of $66,730, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $126,750, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 180,100 people were employed in the U.S. as postsecondary education administrators.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Postsecondary Education Administrators
- The Job Explorer: Admissions Counselor Job Duties
- College Admissions Partners: What Does a College Admissions Counselor Do?
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Postsecondary Education Administrators
- Career Trend: Postsecondary Education Administrators
Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.