The goal of the Bates College Admission Office is to enroll students with strong academic potential, special talents, and excellent personal qualifications. These students should represent diverse social, economic, and geographic backgrounds. Your role as an AIA volunteer is to assist the Admission Office as we strive to reach this goal.
Bates Alumni in Admission was founded in 1977 in response to a growing demand for interviews from students across the country who were unable to visit the campus for a personal interview. The network has grown to approximately 1,200 volunteers all across the U.S. and in many foreign countries. The activities of AIA volunteers encompass all aspects of the admission process.
The purpose of a college night (or a college day) program is to give a large number of students, parents, and guidance counselors the chance to talk with college representatives and to be placed on college mailing lists. Many of these programs are regional, drawing students from several high schools; some are simply single-school programs.
Bates is invited to several hundred college nights and fairs each year. The admission staff will represent Bates at many of these, but other travel commitments make it impossible for our staff to be at all of them. The Admission Office evaluates the invitations and selects those programs where we would like to have a representative.
Most college nights occur during the fall to serve the new seniors and early-bird juniors. Some programs take place in the spring to get the college search underway for the soon-to-be seniors. Our office will supply you with all the necessary materials when you represent Bates at a college night.
Bates admission deans, senior fellows and staff conduct several thousand interviews on campus every year. Each year several hundred students are unable to visit the campus for an interview or are unable to schedule an interview for the day they can visit, and so they request an alumni interview. An alumni interview carries the same weight in an applicant’s folder as does an on-campus interview.
The hallmark of Bates Admission is the personal connection we make with every prospective student. As the inquiry and applicant pools to Bates have grown significantly in recent years, the AIA network has become an increasingly important element in maintaining our commitment to a personal admission process. In recent years, upwards of 25% of Bates admissions interviews were conducted by AIA volunteers.
There are many possible sources of qualified students for Bates. The sons and daughters of your business associates, friends and neighbors, and young people working part-time or summers in your offices might become interested in Bates due to your involvement with the College. Many of you also have hobbies or special interests which bring you in contact with interesting, young men and women. Encourage them to visit Bates!
Bates Liaison Program
Our professional relationship with high school guidance offices and community-based organizations is very important in the admission process. Each fall and spring Bates admission deans visit many secondary schools and CBOs. Through our AIA Liaison Program alumni volunteers act represent Bates to many schools and CBOs which staff cannot visit each year.
If you volunteer to be a liaison to a local high school, you will be considered a professional representative of the College. An introductory letter or phone call to the guidance office is an appropriate way to make it known to the high school that students interested in Bates can be directed to you.
You can check if your local guidance office has current Bates materials; if not, let us know and we will put the school on our mailing list. If an admission staff member will be visiting high schools in your area, please feel free to accompany him/her on the visit to the school.
During April the Admission Office hosts evening receptions for students and families. These April receptions are for accepted students. Alumni participation is extremely valuable as many of these students are choosing among several excellent institutions and your personal anecdotes and experiences are very powerful.
Each AIA presents the David G. Russell ’66 Award to exemplary AIA volunteers. Usually presented during Homecoming weekend, the David G. Russell Award is named in honor of our late Hartford, CT chairperson. David was devoted to the AIA program, and this award is intended to celebrate those in AIA who embody David’s same loyalty to Bates.