4 Tips for Successful Admissions Teams in Response to COVID-19 Complications

Admissions teams are being asked to work from home as schools across the nation are bringing classes online in reaction to coronavirus (COVID-19). For some, this has proceeded in a smooth transition, but for others, it’s a challenging adaptation where steps can be overlooked throughout the admissions cycle.

In the list below of best practices, there arises a common theme of flexibility and speed. Cambridge Network is here to support your needs and address your challenges during this unprecedented period. We are in this fight together!

Please reach out to your Program Manager (PM) or Student Support Associate (SSA) for additional guidance or recommendations

1. Be tech-savvy.

Many of us underutilize technology by accepting the mindset that the “old way is the best or easiest way”. Explore some of the below concepts to keep you and your team in alignment on projects, milestones, and communication efforts.

  • Download mobile APPs of commonly used platforms, including Skype, Zoom, Gmail, Outlook, etc. to implement these various tools.
  • Mobile alerts can also be a useful tool for staying on task.
  • Brainstorm digital marketing strategy – centralize your content in response to COVID-19 on your school’s website or blog and keep your Cambridge team informed!

2. The show (interviews) must go on.

First impressions matter! It is in your best interest to continue business as usual. Ideally, limiting disruption to those applicants who already have scheduled interviews. It is essential to show that while your campus may be closed, your school is up to the task of continuing to operate successfully and efficiently. See our blog on How to Prepare for Interview International Students.

Remember, it’s peak recruitment season (March-June), and many programs are still seeing interview requests offering hope to the health of Fall 2020 international student numbers.

For Cambridge Network programs, your US-based PM can conduct and record interviews on your behalf should you need to cancel or postpone. We are here to support you and your program’s future.

3. Widen your pool of accepted English proficiency tests.

English proficiency tests are an important screening tool for many admissions teams. With ETS (TOEFL/TOEFL, Jr. creator) centers postponing exams in until at least the end of March, it’s critical for programs only accepting TOEFL/TOEFL, Jr. to consider allowing other proficiency tests to continue their flow of applications and general admissions processing.

Thankfully the testing market is quickly adapting and has created affordable, proctored, valid, and reliable at-home options for students worldwide. Consider the below exams as replacements or interim solutions

4. Understand the visa interview scheduling process, ship I-20s fast.

The six US Embassy’s in China are operating understaffed and on prolonged timelines. Students still need their SEVIS number in order to schedule an interview, so there is more pressure than ever to send I-20s in a timely fashion. Any delays could prolong student arrivals or defer fall enrollments to spring/mid-season.

Based on unreliable Embassy operational timelines in the months to come, consider implementing rolling admissions or “late arrival exceptions” for students intending to attend your program this Fall 2020.

Visit our blog section to learn about industry trends, international program best practices, ways to engage students, and more.

For schools looking for more information on Cambridge Network and our services, please submit an inquiry form.