A college admissions director both administers and controls programs that ultimately decide which students are granted access and enrollment in a particular college. The director may work for a private college or university.

The director of admissions is somewhat comparable to a ‘bouncer’. A college, much like a nightclub, only has so much room for entry and many people waiting for admission – someone has the job of holding the ‘guest list’ and determining who can enter and who cannot. However, unlike bouncers, they’re not looking for students with model looks, money, or even clout. Instead, they’re seeking students who are bright and ambitious.

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Application Review

Once a student selects a college, the typical first step is to submit their application. The admissions director, together with the specific guidelines established by the school’s board of trustees or governors, either approves the application or rejects it. The decision is usually determined by several key factors such as the student’s overall character, grade point average (GPA), and extracurricular activities. Recommendations or letters of referral by different people, whose assessments and opinions are typically considered respectable and fair, can validate a student’s general character.

General Duties of a Director of Admissions

Besides deciding which students are qualified to enroll, the director is usually expected to thoroughly review the school’s policies and curriculum. Also, they are required to ensure that the courses offered are up to speed with other similar colleges and held to the same academic standards. Quite often the director will confer with other professionals in relative positions in order to accurately compare the criteria for admissions as well as the guidelines for properly transferring credits between schools.

If a student desires special consideration for enrollment, the admissions director is often the one who assesses the situation and then makes the final decision. If more evaluation is necessary, they will take care of the necessary arrangements as well. When interviewing or testing procedures come up for evaluation, the admissions director ordinarily has a substantial impact on the revisions approval.

Student Orientation

When it comes to student orientations, and both the students and parents are interviewed on a personal level, the director of admissions is usually the one in charge. They answer any questions concerning the college’s academic philosophy, policies, and the curriculum.

Scholarships and Financial Aid Programs

Normally, the admissions director administers any scholarships, financial aid programs, work-study plans, and grants. They are quite involved in various studies that involve the demographics and diversity of the student body and often contribute to discussions associated with effectively marketing the college to the widest range of students. The director’s community involvement usually focuses on publicizing the school’s amenities in order to attract new students for enrollment.

Educational Requirements

In order to apply for the position of an admissions director, a bachelor’s degree is normally required. A master’s degree in educational leadership is even more beneficial (see: Top 15 Best and Most Affordable Graduate Educational Leadership Programs). Attention to public administration, counseling, and education is preferred as well. A minimum of four years of experience in the admissions field is required.

Again, the overall job of a college admissions director is comparable to a bouncer, or gatekeeper. The director basically decides if the student is in, or out. Therefore, a great deal of an admissions director’s time is spent both recruiting and evaluating students.