Spread the Word About a Pioneering Education

Stefanie Niles

Photo by Carl Socolow ’77

by Stefanie Niles, Vice President for Enrollment Management

Have you ever found yourself thinking, “My nephew would be a great fit for Dickinson” or “Our babysitter would really thrive in the Dickinson community”? It is likely that you know someone who is thinking about going to college, or someone who has influence on a student who is starting the college search. Do your colleagues have children in high school? Do your friends have grandchildren who are contemplating their next steps after senior year? Perhaps you are volunteering in your community and have met some young people with great potential. I encourage you to consider the people in your life who would benefit from a Dickinson education.

Once you have future Dickinsonians in mind, tell them about your Dickinson experience. Students in the college search process benefit greatly from the insights offered by those who know the college best. Hearing about your time at Dickinson—the experiences, activities, connections and relationships that helped mold you into the person you are today—can enable young people to understand how a Dickinson education might also provide them with a terrific foundation as they explore their future. If you’re a parent, sharing your own child’s story of growth and discovery is incredibly valuable as well. The admissions staff often hears from applicants that a Dickinson alum or parent had an influence on their college search and selection process. Whether that Dickinson grad was a parent, grandparent, teacher, relative, family friend or other connection, their stories and insights help prospective students take the first step toward exploring what the college has to offer and often may be one of the final selling points as they consider which college they would like to call home for four years.

But while sharing information with prospective students is fantastic, I’m asking you to go a step further. As you consider students whom you would like to see attend Dickinson, please share those names with us! You can recommend students at any point during their college search. How and what we communicate evolves as students get closer to selecting a college, and we are happy to start that conversation at any point in their consideration process! It’s worth noting, though, that the earlier we can begin communicating with students, the more we are able to find opportunities to engage them, gain a sense of their academic and co-curricular interests and share information they might find helpful in their deliberation of Dickinson as a potential college of choice. I would be remiss if I did not mention that Dickinson’s admission standards are rigorous, so admission is not guaranteed for any individual. But your recommendation could help us to identify a student who might be particularly well suited to this environment.

When you are ready to make a recommendation (or several) to us, please visit dickinson.edu/refer. You will need to provide some specific information so that we can start an electronic record, including the student’s name, address and high school graduation year. It is also extremely helpful for us to receive the name of the student’s high school and email address— having those pieces of information allows us to reach students right away with tailored messages and connect them with their regional admissions counselor.

The name of a potential future Dickinsonian is truly a gift to the college. I hope you’ll consider giving this gift to Dickinson. Your contribution will help us continue to foster Dickinson’s legacy and secure a bright future for the college.

Read more from the fall 2017 issue of Dickinson Magazine.


Published November 3, 2017