Nakia Letang, associate admissions director at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Conn., talks about college applications.
Nakia Letang, 33, is an associate admissions director at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Conn.
Q: What does your job involve?
A: Recruiting is my largest responsibility. I read students’ applications and plan my travel schedule and recruiting events. Another part of my job is what I call customer service: educating parents and prospective students about college and the admissions process and what Fairfield has to offer. You have to be a people person and really like talking to have this job. Admissions counselors are very social and constantly on the move.
Q: Do you recruit students from the entire country?
<p”>A: I’m assigned to New York City and 11 states, including Alabama, Mississippi, West Virginia and Kentucky. I recruit from two groups: home-schooled students and those from the Community Partnership Scholars Program; these are urban youth who are largely the first generation in their family to attend college.
Q: What is your role in the admission decision process?
A: We read applications from our own territory because we’re familiar with the students’ schools and can provide a holistic assessment of the application. Each counselor decides on the best candidates from their territory, which students have the best chance of success here. We base our assessment primarily on academic ability, but also on what that student brings to the college community. If I’m on the fence, I’ll have a second admissions counselor take a look, and if we’re still not sure, I’ll assemble the entire admissions office.
Q: How long have you worked here, and has the admissions process changed since you started?
A: I’ve been here 10 years. Students used to pore over huge books to learn about colleges. Now Instagram and Twitter are viable sources for that. I would lug huge mail bins of files home to read applications, but now they’re all submitted online.
Q: Can you relate personally to the students who send applications?
A: Like many of the students I recruit, I’m the first person in my family to go to college. I tell students my story and let them know I understand. I assure them that they can be successful in getting into college and making it through.