Your recruitment material should simply tell students why, when, and how to apply to the program. They’ll need to know the program’s dates and what they can expect to do during that time.
The application should gather basic information about the students, offer them ways to articulate their interest in the program, and demonstrate their writing ability. Carthage is able to do this with a brief form and one essay question, while Columbia’s application is quite lengthy.
See sample recruitment materials and applications from Yale, Carthage, Rochester, Ursinus, and Columbia.
Consider asking students for some or all of the following information. Keep in mind that longer applications could discourage students from applying but could also help you identify the best possible candidates.
- Date of birth
- Contact: cell phone, address, parent contact
- Gender (if necessary)
- Country of birth, Parents’ countries of birth
- Do you need to ask this? You might, if you want to provide immigrants or their children with extra resources such as ESL,TOEFL, or targeted college application help. This question could also discourage applications, so you might wait to ask until after they have been admitted.
Determine your program’s eligibility standards: how will you be sure to accept students from your targeted demographic? At Columbia the eligibility requirements are stated: “Students must be current juniors in a New York City high school to apply. We give preference to students from low-income families and those who will be the first in their families to attend college. Other students are encouraged to apply as well.”
- High School, current year in school, GPA (if necessary)
- Highest level of education for parents
- Low-income status
- You may wish to rely on Federal TRiO income levels to determine if your applicants are “low income.” If so, you’ll need to ask for the family’s taxable income and number of people living in their household.
- Alternately, you might ask your recruitment partners if they have a shortcut for identifying low-income status (i.e. eligibility for free school lunches)
All of our current programs ask for an essay or statement from the student explaining why they are applying for the program. You might ask for some of the following attachments to gauge a student’s preparedness, interest, and commitment to the program.
- Personal statement or response to writing prompt
- High school transcript
- Letter of recommendation
- Writing sample
- Parental permission (signature)