Training Materials

We ask that all AARs review the basic training document below, in addition to the rest of the AAR website, at the beginning of their term. The manual can be downloaded as a document, or viewed as a quick reference guide as a pdf file.  

Wellesley College Alumnae Admission Representative Guide (downloadable document)

Wellesley College Alumnae Admission Representative Quick Reference Guide PDF

Overview of the admission cycle

FALL

The Admission cycle begins each year in September.

Recruitment continues through December in the form of college fairs, interviews, alumnae-hosted events, and admission counselor travel; applications are due by January.

WINTER

From November through March, the Board of Admission reads and evaluates applications. For ethical reasons, alumnae may not initiate any contact with applicants once the final application deadline (January 15) has passed, although you may respond if applicants reach out to you.

SPRING

Admission decisions are released right before April 1, and enrollment is mostly concluded by the first week of May. During the 4 weeks between admission decisions being released and enrollment concluding on May 1, alumnae are encouraged to connect with admitted students.

There is some movement in and out of the class during May and June as Wellesley and/or other institutions make use of the wait list. Wellesley’s incoming class is mostly solidified in early July, and enrollment lists are then released by the College.

SUMMER

If applicable, AAR duties are handed off to incoming volunteers in June and July.

Local alumnae host send-off events in August to wish the newly-enrolled students well, and recruitment begins anew in early September.

SUMMARY OF WELLESLEY COLLEGE RECRUITMENT CYCLE ACTIVITIES

 

Month

AAR priority activities

Other AAR activities

Admission Office notes

September

College fairs; planning for fall prospective student events

Meet with any Admission representatives traveling to your area. Some interviews possible.

Admission counselors traveling extensively

October

College fairs; interviews (primarily Early Decision applicants)

Meet with any Admission representatives traveling to your area; host prospective student event (parent-student gathering)

Admission counselors traveling extensively; Early Decision applications are processed

November

Early Decision interview reports due; interview demand strong

Limited college fairs; host prospective student event (parent-student gathering)

Admission counselors have some travel; Early Decision applications due; Board of Admission convened for the first time this year

December

Interviews

Reach out to admitted Early Decision students; host prospective student event/holiday event

Board of Admission processing and reading applications

January

Interviews; Early Evaluation interview reports due

No contact with applicants can be initiated after January 15; plan yield events

All applications for first year students due

February

All interview reports due

No contact with applicants; plan yield event

Early Evaluations released

March

Yield event details due to Admission Office

Limited college fairs; no contact with applicants

Admission decisions reached

April

Reach out to admitted students, answer any questions they may have

Host admitted student meet-and-greet events (“yield events”); limited college fairs

Admission counselors and financial aid counselors working heavily with admitted students; Wellesley hosts Spring Open Campus for all admitted students

May

Book Award presentations, if applicable

Limited college fairs; start thinking about fall recruiting event

Enrollment commitments postmarked by May 1; admission counselors managing wait list

June

Turnover, if applicable

Planning for send-off event

Managing wait list

July

Turnover, if applicable

New and returning AARs begin reviewing material for upcoming recruitment season

Lists of enrolling students released by College

August

Send-off events; train/refresh on current admission practices

Connect with your regional admission counselor

Admission counselors making fall travel arrangements


1.      AAR responsibilities

Alumnae are a link between Wellesley and the local community, and the AAR serves as the “head alumna.” AARs should think of themselves as the quarterback, helping to coordinate the efforts of a team of alumnae. For information on forming a team of alumnae in your area, refer to the Alumnae Admission Representative Manual.

As an AAR, you are responsible for relaying important admission-related updates to your team and/or alumnae club. Each month, you will receive an email newsletter from the Admission Office with information requiring immediate action, and with reminders about upcoming events and deadlines. You will report this information to your team and ensure that all volunteers understand their duties.

You are NOT responsible for conducting all recruiting activities on your own, and in fact, you may choose to assign all interviews and fairs to members of your team.

You will also confirm that your team members report all necessary information back to the Admission Office. This includes interview reports and college fair reports, as well as any other important information such as feedback on events. If your team is not able to keep up with the volume of work, it is imperative that you, in your role as AAR, communicate this to the Admission Office so that we can reevaluate priorities in your area and help you to manage assignments.

AARs must avoid conflicts of interest, and as part of our new ethical guidelines, Wellesley requires that AARs and other alumnae admission committee members meet the following criteria:

1.      Admission volunteers may not have any family members in the applicant pool for Wellesley College.

2.      Admission volunteers may not serve as for-profit educational/college consultants, or receive remuneration for any services relating to college applications, such as essay writing, test prep, or application review.

3.      Admission volunteers may not be employed by admission, financial aid, or any other related offices at other colleges.

4.      Admission volunteers may only serve as representatives of one institution (i.e., if you also hold a graduate or professional degree, you may not conduct interviews for both alma maters).


You will work closely with your regional admission counselor in the Wellesley College Office of Admission. Each September, you will be sent the name and contact information of your regional counselor for the year. You should share this information with members of your team as well as any prospective students who wish to speak with an admission counselor. Regional counselor information is also available on the AAR website.

AAR activities

A.     Alumnae Interviews

WHY? Alumnae interviews (or off-campus interviews) help to personalize the application process and bring Wellesley to the student. In many cases, the alumnae interview is the only direct contact with Wellesley a student will have during the recruitment cycle, and many admitted students cite their positive contact with alumnae as a deciding factor in their choice to enroll at Wellesley. Over 90% of students who interview with an alumna will apply to Wellesley. The greatest impact of the interview is not the write up; rather, approach the interview as an opportunity to exchange information and to help the candidate to form a connection with Wellesley.

HOW? As AAR, it is your responsibility to keep track of incoming interview requests and then assign each student to an alumna interviewer. You may conduct some interviews yourself, but Wellesley does not expect you to manage a large load of interviews alone. If you find that you and/or your team cannot keep up with interview demand, contact the Admission Office as soon as possible.

Suggested questions, interviewing tips, and a sample report are posted on the interviewing section on the AAR website.

WHEN? Although the Admission Office offers interviews on campus from April 1 through December 31, alumnae are only asked to conduct interviews from mid-September through January. We begin taking off-campus requests in early September and typically close our interview registration process shortly after the final application deadline in late January. All deadlines, including deadlines for submitting your interview reports, are on the AAR website.

WHERE? In keeping with our new ethical guidelines, we require that alumnae meet prospective students in public venues. Cafes, coffee shops, community centers, and schools are all acceptable interview sites. If a place of employment or private residence are the only options, we ask that you not meet with the student alone (i.e., that someone else be present in the building) and that you allow the parent or guardian to remain on site if s/he would like.

B.     College Fairs

WHY? High school students, their families, and guidance counselors all find college fairs an attractive and convenient way to connect with many post-secondary options in one location. By representing Wellesley in your community, you are raising the College’s visibility and bringing it to the attention of students and teachers who might not otherwise consider Wellesley. You also bring a personal touch to the application process and can assist interested students with joining our contact list or connecting with a member of our admission team.

HOW? College fairs that are selected by the Admission Office will be sent to you via email. You should then contact the members of your committee or Club to obtain coverage for the fair. Send our office the name and address of the representative and the College will ship all necessary materials prior to the fair.

You will notice that Wellesley (like other top institutions) does not distribute much in the way of admission brochures at college fairs. Instead, we ask that students fill out an “inquiry card” when they visit the Wellesley table. The College’s admission communication plan has been carefully designed to provide relevant information to high school students at key points during the year. Filling out the inquiry card is the only way to ensure that the student receives these critical updates from Wellesley.

WHEN? College fairs are most often held in the fall, with October being the busiest month. You will see high numbers of high school seniors, as well as some juniors, at these fairs. A small number of fairs take place during the spring and summer, as well (typically April-July). At these fairs, you will often meet high school juniors and some sophomores. Parents, teachers, and guidance counselors also attend fairs in limited numbers.

WHERE? Fairs are most often held in high school gymnasiums or cafeterias, although community centers, colleges, and other large venues may be used.

C.     Prospective Student Events (Parent-Student Gatherings, or PSGs)

WHY? For many students, particularly those who live outside of New England, meeting Wellesley alumnae is a top factor in their decision to apply to Wellesley. Prospective students are excited to hear your personal stories and learn more about why you chose Wellesley and what you did when you were a student here. Parents are eager to hear how Wellesley has shaped your personal and academic growth, and how the College has impacted your career.

HOW? PSGs can take several months to plan, so you should start the discussion with the Club in late spring or over the summer. The Admission Office can assist you with planning.

Once the date, time, and location are finalized, send the details to the Admission Office. The Admission Office will send out electronic invitations and with enough advance notice (at least 3 weeks) will produce and mail paper invitations as well.

Most PSGs last about 2 hours, include some light refreshments (cookies, cheese plate, bagels, etc.), and include both structured and unstructured time. You should allow alumnae and prospective students to mingle and chat informally, but still provide a forum for alumnae to talk about Wellesley and to answer any questions.

Alcohol may not be served at these events, even to those who are of age. Prospective students and their families cannot be charged a fee to attend.

WHEN? PSGs take place in the fall, typically from late September until sometime in late December or early January. Please note that you may not host any events once we have passed our final application deadline of January 15.

If an admission counselor from Wellesley will be in your area during the fall, scheduling your event to coincide with her visit is an ideal way to help students connect with the College.

WHERE? Wellesley recommends that you select a free or low-cost, public venue for your event. The College is unable to assist with site rental fees, so locations like community centers, libraries, bookstores, or school gathering spaces are ideal. The address of the event will be publicized in local schools, so we suggest that you not host the event in a private home. Please note that any charges or costs incurred by the club to hold the PSG event cannot be passed along to prospective students and their families in the form of a fee.

D.     Yield events

WHY? Top applicants often net acceptances to many wonderful colleges and universities, and have only the month of April to decide which institution they would like to attend. Yield events are an excellent way for accepted students to meet other accepted students and Wellesley alumnae, and to learn how Wellesley may be a good match for them.

HOW? Yield events can take several months to plan, so we recommend starting the conversation with your committee in January.

When the date, time, and location are finalized, send the details to the Admission Office no later than March 1. The Admission Office will print invitations and include your invitation in the acceptance letter of each student admitted from your area.

Short panel presentations by alumnae can be especially effective at these events. Consider a theme, such as “young alumnae” or showcasing Wellesley graduates from a variety of fields such as law, education, science, medicine, business, or not-for-profit.

Alcohol may not be served at these events, even to those who are of age. Please note that any charges or costs incurred by the club to hold the yield event cannot be passed along to admitted students and their families in the form of a fee or charge.

WHEN? Yield events take place in April. Accepted students will receive your invitation on April 1st (plus or minus 3 days), so we recommend that no events be scheduled before April 6. All students must make their enrollment decision by the National Candidate Reply Deadline, which is May 1, so no events may be scheduled after April 30. To be most effective, we recommend you schedule your event for the 2nd or 3rd week of April.

WHERE? Yield events are by private invitation only, so you may host the event in the home of an alumna. Public venues are also acceptable.

E.      Send-Off Events

WHY? The applicants from your area who choose to attend Wellesley are eager to form friendships with you and with future classmates. Hosting a summer send-off event is a great way to connect them with current Wellesley students and alumnae, and can help to lessen the anxieties of incoming first year students.

HOW? Meet with your Club or committee to choose a date, location, and theme if applicable. Some Clubs will host a pot-luck dinner, others host an ice cream social, while some groups choose to attend a free outdoor concert together. Get creative!

Call the Admission Office to request a list of current and enrolling students. You’ll be given the mailing address and email address for each student, and you should use this information to contact the students. The Admission Office does not provide invitations for summer send-off events.

WHEN? Any time in the summer, although some Clubs prefer to host the event in mid-August just before the students move to campus. Remember that first-year orientation is always the week before classes begin at Wellesley, and that international students, athletes, and students with significant campus leadership roles typically arrive on campus a few days before Orientation. To be safe, do not schedule your event within 2 weeks of the first day of classes.

WHERE? Anywhere near you—the home of an alumna, a local park or beach, a museum. Please note that any charges or costs incurred by the club to hold the event cannot be passed along to admitted students and their families in the form of a fee.

F.      Book Awards

WHY? Many of the nation’s top colleges and universities award Book Awards at area high schools. A member of the junior class who best exemplifies the qualities we seek in our graduates is selected as our Book Award winner, and many applicants report that this is the first they have ever heard of Wellesley. The award raises the visibility of the College in schools and communities and helps to maintain Wellesley’s reputation as the nation’s top college for women.

HOW? Your Club or committee will raise funds to sponsor books for the Book Award. The Book Award is administered through the Alumnae Office at Wellesley, and more details may be found on their website.

Once the awards have been given, you should submit the names of the winners to the College using the form available on the website provided above.

WHEN? Book Awards are typically given at end-of-year ceremonies at high schools, often in April or May.

WHERE? Award ceremonies are often held at the high school, and the school will likely request that an alumna be available to present the book to the winning student.