Admissions Protocols: Diverse Students
Communicating with potential graduate students after they have inquired about your department significantly impacts their application and subsequent enrollment decisions. Timely and continuous communication across multiple mediums is vital. A typical communication schedule can look like this:
- First contact: A letter or email from a DOGE and/or professor should be sent following a student’s initial inquiry.
- Follow-up: If no response was generated from the initial contact, another letter or email from the department should be sent. Current graduate students and/or alumni should also occur during this follow-up process.
- Admission is offered: Following admission, students should receive communication from the DOGE, professors, students, and/or alumni to encourage them to enroll.
- The Graduate College allows partial reimbursement of travel costs for admitted PhD students from underreprsented ethnic groups (or masters if that is the highest degree offered at ISU). This is also open to programs who bring students to ISU as part of the application proces. For many students, making a trip to ISU to visit and meet with faculty and students is an important part of their decision process. Hence we would like to encourage and support departments/programs as they invite students to visit.
Employ a holistic review of applicants, not just the quantitative factors.
- Consider life experiences and resilience as positive indicators of success in graduate studies
- Be aware of your own unconscious bias(es) when reviewing application and reading letters of recommendation
Be proactive and regularly assess your department’s and your individual recruitment practices by gathering and tracking the following:
- Number of inquiries made by prospective students
- Source of the inquiry, i.e. website, email, interest cards
- Number of applicants
- Number of accepted students
- Frequency and type of correspondence to accepted students
- Enrollment yield
One additional piece of information is students who were admitted by your program, where they ended up enrolling for graduate school. This may help in your competitive analysis. Here are some tables on admitted students who enrolled elsewhere.