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What does a Director of Admissions do?

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  • Written By: Cassie L. Damewood
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2016
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A director of admissions controls and administers the programs that determine which students are granted enrollment in educational institutions. She may work for a publicly-funded or private university or college. Private elementary, middle and high schools also commonly employ admission professionals.

When a student or parent chooses a school, the first step is commonly to submit an application. The director of admissions, in conjunction with guidelines established by the school’s board of governors or trustees, approves or rejects the application. This decision is normally based on a variety of factors, including grade point average, extracurricular activities, and character. The latter may be substantiated by letters of referral or recommendations by persons whose opinions and assessments are generally considered fair and respectable.

In addition to determining which students are eligible for enrollment, a director is normally expected to review the school’s curriculum and policies. She is generally required to make sure her school’s course offerings are on par with comparable educational institutions and accredited classes are held to the same scholastic standards. She typically consults on a regular basis with professionals in similar positions to compare conditions for admissions and guidelines for transferring credits among schools.

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If an applicant requests special consideration for admission, the director of admissions is often the person who evaluates the situation and makes the final decision. If further evaluation is required, she ordinarily makes the necessary arrangements. When testing or interviewing procedures come up for review, this professional ordinarily has a significant influence on the approval of revisions.

When student orientations are conducted, or parents and students are personally interviewed, the admissions director is commonly the person in charge. She is typically the person who answers questions regarding the school’s educational philosophy, curriculum, and policies. If there are issues she is not qualified to fully address, she ordinarily refers them to admissions counseling personnel.

Financial aid programs, including scholarships, grants and work-study plans, are customarily administered by this person as well. She is frequently involved in studies involving the diversity and demographics of the student body and regularly contributes to discussions on how to successfully market the school to the most diverse population. Her community involvement commonly concentrates on publicizing amenities to attract new students to the school.

To apply for a director of admissions position normally requires a bachelor’s degree. A concentration in education, counseling, or public administration is normally preferred. Four years experience in the field of admissions is often required.

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titans62
Post 4

@Izzy78 - Now that you say that I have to wonder how vast the differences are between Directors of Admissions at certain colleges.

I would have to think that at a school like Harvard, who are amazingly strict on their admissions, that they would personally review most candidates or at least have a small group of assistants that review them.

I would also think that a state university Director of Admissions would not review every candidate and someone who was of good academic standing and good character in school would be let in. However, at a place like Harvard this may not be enough, thus the Director of Admissions may have more responsibility with their job.

Izzy78
Post 3

The Director of Admissions usually has a big responsibility but they usually do not sit and review each and every applicant.

At the small college I went to I could see it being possible that the Director of Admissions reviewed every single person applying that was not a sure fire let in, but I could never imagine the Director of Admissions reviewing everyone that applies to a major state university.

Even considering that there are a lot of people that probably need reviewed I imagine most people applying to a college are usually let in if they got good grades in high school and they are not applying to a prestigious Ivy League type of school with strict requirements.

cardsfan27
Post 2

@kentuckycat - I have always thought that they could not turn down someone who had a disability or a disorder, but I guess there could be certain instances in which they could.

I know that you have to be honest on your applications to college or some colleges will turn you down immediately. That happened to someone I know after he added a few extra-curricular activities he was not a part of and the college he was applying to found out about it.

I guess if you have special needs the Director of Admissions must decide whether or not they could appropriately accommodate the individual and if they could be able to succeed at a college. That is one of the many duties that the Director of Admissions has and they usually hear the most important issues with applicants, which could probably include appeals of some kind.

kentuckycat
Post 1

I have always assumed that most of the time admitting people to colleges is a simple procedure that involves a really short review of the person applying.

I went to a small college and worked in the admissions building, I was only a student worker, and most of the time when they reviewed students they simply looked at a one page resume type of thing they filled out and looked at their academic records in high school and unless there was a serious issue with the person they were let in.

When there was an issue, such as if the student had a disorder that the college needed to be aware of or some other extenuating circumstances that is when

the Director of Admissions would review the person and decide if accommodations could be made by the college for that student and whether or not they should be let in and accepted as a student of the college.

When something like this happens there is a lot to consider, such as if the college is legally allowed to turn someone away for this reason. Usually they cannot turn someone down if they have a disorder, but there are instances in which a review is necessary and that usually involves the Director of Admissions.

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