As the school year comes to a close for seniors, families with juniors/sophomores in high school are making plans to visit college campuses this summer. Though you may have been asking your fellow Asian Pacific Americans for perspective or reading about the latest trends on college admissions; the fact remains you are unsure as how to make the most of the campus visit.
There are things you can do to maximize your experience on campus . As a veteran admissions officer who both manages the campus visit experience and is an advocate for APA recruitment, let me tell you the three things you can do to make your college visit a productive one.
1) Disregard the college rankings: For whatever reason our APA community places a high value on the perceived “ranking” and reputation of institutions as a means to measure its worthiness. Does educational brand really determine life success? Don’t get caught in this trap. Getting into college is not a trophy to place on your mantel. The sooner you accept this fact the less stressful the college search process will be for your family. If you’re not going to create your own set of criteria to determine your college list then you have to question why you are only considering schools with so called high rankings.
2) Consider the Liberal Arts experience: Just because a liberal arts degree does not “guarantee” a particular professional path into one of the preferred “Asian American approved majors” like pre-med, pre-law, engineering or business; it does indeed provide a broad set of perspectives and skills that make you quite marketable. In fact, it’s an educational approach that teaches one how to think, not simply what to think. Next time someone in your family questions the viability of this education respond with why not a liberal arts education to prepare for medical school. Ask the medical schools how many students are being admitted with non biological science degrees. You might be surprised.
3) Ask about the APA resources on campus: Find out about the opportunities that exist for the APA community. What kind of clubs do they have on campus? What kind of events do they have? What’s the demographic like on campus for students, staff and faculty? You want to get a sense of the APA pulse on campus. Is it present? Are they recognized? What about academic programs related to Asian studies? The answers you get to these questions will tell you a lot about how they both see and value the APA community. If this matters, you want to be sure you find out as much as you can upfront.
If you have topics you’d like covered or have specific questions, feel free to let Patrick know.
About the blogger: Patrick Lorenzo is an Associate Director of Admissions at Saint Mary’s College of California. He’s worked in higher education for nearly ten years, six of them in college admissions and all of it completely dedicated to access for APA’s. Feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’d like to be a guest blogger for AsAmNews, contact the editor at Randall@AsAmNews.com