Life as an Admissions Counselor at USD

With keys to the rental car in hand, a small plastic hotel key card in pocket, the GPS plugged in, and admissions materials packed tightly into my travel bag, I find myself on the road once again to recruit high-achieving high school students for the University of San Diego.  I feel extremely fortunate to be able to visit high schools and speak about my alma mater, my former home, the beautiful and harmonious University of San Diego.

Since I manage our Bay Area applicants, my first of four weeks of travel this year was spent in the San Jose area.  Over the course of five days, I met with 286 students on site at their high schools, along with countless other students and their families at college fairs in the evening.  I was consistently inspired by the students who I meet with.  Their achievements in the classroom and involvement in their communities is humbling. Students who are Changemakers.

As I answer questions and provide insight about the USD experience, I am reminded of the ambiguity that a senior in high school faces as they begin to think about their academic future.  With over 3500 colleges and universities to choose from in the United States alone, applying to an institution can be a daunting task.  My goal then, when talking to students, is to ease any anxieties regarding the application process for our institution and the educational experience that is offered.  Yet, more than simply talking with students about the University of San Diego, I hope to ignite some curiosity about the limitless opportunities that are offered through higher education.

The more I think about it, I am beyond grateful for this opportunity to share the value of a college education with high school students.  For some students that I meet with the idea of pursuing a university degree is an expected outcome, while for other students it is a distant and almost unfathomable concept.  As an admissions counselor I have the privilege of educating all students about the admissions process, a privilege I don’t take for granted.

I am looking forward to the remaining weeks of the recruitment season.  I will be traveling throughout the San Francisco Bay area visiting high schools and attending college fairs until November 2nd.  Each morning that I leave my hotel room and hit the road I remind myself to treat each day as if it were the first day on the road and to show continued gratitude for the opportunity to speak with students about their educational futures.

Written by our Counselor Lisa Saldias

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