Jaclyn Tungesvik, Iowa State University assistant director for scholarships and early outreach

“I wish they understood the difference between the types of institutions of higher learning and also the types of programs.” For example, knowing the difference between a vet tech degree from a two-year school, a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a doctoral degree in veterinary medicine. “Students need to know what degree they must attain to go into a certain career field.”

Abby Freeman, University of Nebraska-Lincoln associate director of admissions

“I wish high school students knew the value of a campus visit and what types of questions they should ask while there. I highly encourage a campus visit experience, and I recommend a few questions to ask throughout their day. First, who are your advocates on campus? These are individuals who will support you in your goals and help you navigate the college experience. Second, what opportunities are in place to help me get connected my first year on campus? Becoming connected your first year is critical, and it is important to understand what activities and resources are in place to help you become involved. Third, what types of experiences are available that will help me grow, not only in my academic area of interest, but as an individual? At Nebraska, our goal is to not just recruit incoming first-year students but to recruit graduates. We want to help prospective students find their best fit in an institution and ultimately graduate outstanding students and future members of our community. I believe visiting campus and asking questions connected to a students’ success is critical to finding an institution that can help you achieve your goals.”

Gina Ponce, Bellevue University director of high school outreach and admissions and South Omaha community outreach

“First, it’s not that difficult to find the right school for you. Second, I would recommend that students really do their homework when searching for a school before they make a decision. They should make sure to pay attention to scholarship availability, class size and a good support system.”

Kevin Halle, Wayne State College director of admissions

“I really stress the campus visit — the opportunity to see what the campus looks like, feels like and getting connected to people and opportunities on campus. Students should make a commitment to the campus visit, which is most important to really begin to narrow their top choices and make a decision.”

Aubrey Baxter, Metro Community College trades enrollment specialist

“I wish more high school students, educators and parents were aware of the amazing opportunities the trades can offer them. There is a very high need for people who like to work with their hands, which leads to comfortable wages for those who want to become skilled tradesmen/women.”

Sara Hanson, College of St. Mary vice president for enrollment services

“It is important students visit campus to discover the right college. A campus visit will also provide students the opportunity to learn about the academic, athletic and student life experience at the institution as well as the financial and scholarship opportunities.”

Chris Schukei, Hastings College admissions director

“At Hastings College, we wish that more families would realize that after scholarships, the cost of private schools is often very close to the cost of state institutions.”

Gordie Coffin, Nebraska Wesleyan University admissions director

“I wish all high school students knew about and took advantage of the resources, expertise and personal attention offered not only through the admissions office, but also from other areas on a college campus. At Nebraska Wesleyan University, we acknowledge there is apprehension from high school students, but those emotions are suppressed when we get to know our prospective students and help facilitate the relationships across campus and equip them with relevant information as they go through their college search.”

Ryan Deprez, University of Nebraska at Omaha transfer admissions representative

“I wish all students would take the time to actually visit the school they are considering. If you get to campus and it doesn’t fit the student, it doesn’t matter. Then (students should) stay in contact with the admissions office to guide you through all the steps and processes they have.”

Mary E. Chase, Creighton University vice provost for enrollment management and university planning

“Admissions professionals are not gatekeepers. So often students perceive us as people they need to impress so they can ‘get in.’ Honestly, other than the top 50 most selective schools, those of us in the admissions profession are here to get to know and engage the students. Our goal is to find students who are a good fit for the academic rigor and mission of our institution. When we deny a student admission, it is because we perceived the student to not be a good fit. It isn’t anything personal. My best advice to a student is to get to know the admissions representative at each school where they apply. The more they engage with the representative, the more the student will get to know about the school, and the more the representative will get to know about the student. The college search should be about finding the right fit, not about ‘getting in’ to the best or largest number of schools. Remember you have one alma mater, so choose wisely!”

Steph Peters, director of admissions at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa

“We would encourage students to communicate with admissions counselors at schools they are applying to so they can be of assistance to them and guide them through the admissions process.”

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