By Brooke Schultz
Elm Staff Writer
Washington College’s admissions process is progressively becoming more interactive.The Class of 2018 was the first to experience the admissions office’s new touch of handwritten notes when Vice President of Enrollment Management Satyajit Dattagupta began working with WC.
Stephan Jordan, Class of 2012, works as an admission counselor and as the executive assistant to Dattagupta. “The notes we put on the end [of admission letters] are things we’re reading from their applications. Our boss, he’s also reading through the applications as well, so if he sees something he likes, [he’ll] write it down. It’s one of the personal touches we like to give,” Jordan said.
The personal touch at the end of the letter is one of the many things that admissions does to give prospective students a reason to pick WC. “Our number one goal is customer service and to be as friendly to the families as we possibly can,” Jordan said.
The admission counselors spend a lot of time writing notecards to prospective students, asking them to visit, thanking them for coming to the school, and congratulating them on their admission. Counselors also call students and write follow up emails.
“We go out of our way to make sure every single student, every single family, feels like they’re not a number to us,” he said.
Bradly Booke, director of admissions, said, “The hope is that it shows the character of what the school is and that we are very intimate and we have a strong community. We take the time to get to know you, and we’re not just pushing paper.” Booke referred to WC’s above-and-beyond policy as “concierge level service,” which families have appreciated.
The process is totally different than when Booke went to school. In his experience, students applied to four to six colleges. Now, students can just as easily apply to 12. He said, “A thing that we can do to distinguish ourselves is go above and beyond and try to get to know them. We do everything we can to make it as personal as possible, and it best reflects the ethos of the institution.”
Freshman Sarah Touhey experienced WC’s personal touch first hand. She went through the application process and got emails from what felt like every school possible, but an email she got from WC caught her eye. Her counselor, Kelsey Kemp, called her often to make sure that everything was going smoothly with the application process. She said, “I was like, ‘Oh, they don’t just want my money.’ My mom even said that, too. She said, ‘This school seems like a school, not like a bank,’” she said.
When Touhey visited WC, Dattagupta approached her and remembered her application. “I thought that was cool. Out of all the applicants, they remembered mine and what I did. It was a nice touch,” she said.
Jordan furthered this concept. He said, “Kids apply to eight to 10 schools on average. [They’re] getting bombarded with a whole bunch of information and still, we stand out, which is great. I think it’s all because of the personalized touch we have.”