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Adventures in Recruiting VIII: Scheduling the High School Visit

 Written by    August 27, 2014

Ready, Set, Go Go GO!

It’s time to hit the road!


“Rob,” you ask, “Go where?”

I’m glad you asked! (While I haven’t looked back at my other blogposts, I feel like this is writing device I lean very heavily upon for introducing subjects (C’est la vie)).

I’m talking about my staff and me hitting the road in our recruitment territories to do high school visits, college fairs, and other recruitment activities.

But really I’m getting ahead of myself so let’s back up.

We need to schedule visits first!


First let’s look at a chart I made to show travel time versus non-travel time for recruitment purposes in the autumn:

Travel Chart

So to better explain the above chart, we (Ohio State recruiters) have roughly 66 days in which we can travel for high school visits and college fairs. We have from the time school starts to October 31st.

So what does Halloween have to do with being the finish line for visits?

It's almost the deadline Charlie Brown!

It’s almost the deadline Charlie Brown!

Well it’s the day before November 1st which is Ohio State’s priority deadline for a student to submit a complete application.

So great, by looking at a calendar anyone can tell that October 31st is the day before November 1st, that still doesn’t explain the Halloween wall on recruitment. After all students can still submit an application through February 1st.

Let’s look at the following three items:

1. Merit based scholarship consideration
2. Morrill Scholars Program consideration
3. Honors and Scholars consideration

A student’s admission decision should not be impacted by whether the student chooses to apply pre- or post-November 1st. The student’s ability to get into receive merit based money or get into one of the above programs is impacted by when the application and supporting documents are received.

Last year the vast (vaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaast) majority of students received the following amount of merit based aid:


So to actually bring this conversation back around to recruiting, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for me to be actively out in my territory after November 1st (and really October 31st so I can let procrastinators know that time is running out!) because one of my most effective recruiting tools is essentially gone.

Now I won’t tell a student not to apply if they contact me after November 1st, but I am realistic with the student about the opportunities for scholarship money.

This basically boils down to the fact that I want to spend my energy recruiting students who are not only academically competitive for admission, but also likely to enroll. Students who do not receive scholarship money, particularly high ability students (by academic measures), are far less likely to enroll.

And that’s a “brief” explanation on why October 31st represents the end of doing (most) high school visits, college fairs, and other recruitment activities.

Anyways, there is a short recruitment period and we can’t even call…

This image is hilarious in my head.

This image is hilarious in my head.

…until mid- to late-August because high school counselors and other high school college coordinators aren’t back until that time.

And then as a recruiter I’m typically fighting with every other recruiter who recruits in my territory.



Now representing Ohio State does sometimes come with perks particularly in Ohio. Many high school counselors and other high school college coordinators will work with us so a visit with their school better fits our schedule.

Insert big dog metaphor

Insert big dog metaphor

Outside of Ohio it can sometimes be more challenging, but schools are often excited to have Ohio State coming to their school. (I just want to say in that I and my staff are aware that we are very fortunate to work for an institution that has strong name recognition.)

Not as big of a dog, but still carry name recognition

Not as big of a dog, but still carries name recognition

So right now we’re busy scheduling visits and preparing to hit the road! Our calendars are filling up and paperwork is being filled out! (Paperwork really should not have an exclamation point.)

Pretty soon you will be getting tales from the road from both my staff and me. I expect many tales will feature the continuous quest to find somewhere to hang out between visits and while waiting for college fairs to start (my preference is Panera, bottomless coffee and WiFi! Yes please!).

And with visits scheduled…OK…GO!

P.S. In the comments of my last post were requests to expand on topics or tell how stories end. I am more than happy to oblige, but if there are specific points or stories that would be helpful. Sometimes my posts (and thoughts) are a little all over the place so the more specific the request the better. šŸ™‚


One Response

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