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A college recruiter is a professional in a college or university who identifies prospective students and tries to convince them to apply for admission. They visit high schools, host recruitment fairs and other events, and contact students and their parents directly. Usually, they work with high school students, but recruiters in four-year schools might also recruit students from community colleges. They compile recruitment and admissions statistics, and analyze them to aid in effective recruiting. College recruiters usually work for the admissions office, but might work for an institutional division such as arts and sciences or engineering.
A college recruiter is typically expected to travel extensively. High school visits, or even visits to students' homes, might take a college recruiter anywhere from just down the road to across the country. Night and weekend work is nearly always required, because recruitment events often take place at sporting events or other activities at the college. Recruiters might go to these events in teams or alone.
College recruiters often work with other professionals to develop marketing campaigns and materials. They might coordinate with a public relations department to produce press releases, brochures, pamphlets, and posters to promote the college or university. They might work with an information technology or marketing department to contribute to the school's website; in some cases, they might do much of this work themselves.
A college recruiter might focus on recruiting students for a specific department within a college or university. A school with a strong performing arts program, for example, could have a recruiter who specializes in recruiting student musicians, actors, and dancers. Athletic departments often have their own recruiters. Large athletic programs might have recruiters dedicated to specific sports, although recruiting is often part of a coach's or an assistant coach's job.
A typical college recruiter is an outgoing person who enjoys working with young people and their parents. College recruiters usually have an aptitude for research, because they must be able to thoroughly research the high schools they are recruiting graduates from. They need to be able to find out the number of students graduating, data on test scores and overall college attendance, students from that high school who currently attend the recruiter's college — even how the basketball team's season is going. That research is often done by calling people and asking. College recruiters establish contacts in high schools who can help them identify potential students, and they reach out to alumni, administrators, and faculty to ask for help with recruiting.