A graduate admissions coordinator works for a college or university and assists in recruiting qualified students to apply to and enroll in a graduate program. She works with the institution’s senior administration as well as its graduate program staff to identify prospective students and build relationships with them.
Responsibilities and Duties
Graduate admissions coordinators are among the first people a prospective student speaks with when they are researching graduate programs. Coordinators educate students about admission policies and procedures, arrange for campus tours and interviews, gather information on graduate inquiries and maintain databases for mailings and communications. They also guide prospective students through the admissions process, maintain application files, contact students for additional information, and communicate the status of a student’s application. Graduate admissions coordinators regularly prepare admissions reports that include data on inquiries, applications and admitted students.
Many colleges and universities prefer to hire applicants with at least a bachelor’s degree. The area of study can vary greatly. Some admissions coordinators have degrees in education or education management, but applicants can hold a degree in a variety of different areas, including accounting, management, marketing or communications. To advance into leadership positions in college admissions offices, a master’s degree or doctorate is often required.
A range of skills are important for graduate admissions coordinators. Because they need to maintain accurate records, organizational skills are a must. Graduate admissions coordinators are responsible for inputting data, coordinating activities, scheduling a wide range of appointments and prioritizing multiple tasks. People skills are also crucial. A coordinator must be clear and concise when providing information to prospective students and administrators. He must also be good at building relationships, engaging students and their parents and answering a wide range of questions about graduate program curricula, career outlooks and student life. Problem solving skills are necessary as coordinators deal with difficult scenarios, such as when they must turn down an applicant for admission. They must be calm, offer alternative solutions and provide constructive feedback on an applicant’s deficiencies.
Salary and Career Outlook
Salaries for graduate admission coordinators vary depending on the institution and its geographical location. According to the Indeed.com website, graduate admissions coordinators in New York earned an average annual salary of $59,000 as of October 2013. Among other big cities, the average salary was $48,000 in Houston, $51,000 in Chicago and $46,000 in San Diego. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment for postsecondary education administrators, which includes graduate admission coordinators, is expected to grow by 19 percent from 2010 to 2020, which is above the 14 percent projected growth rate for all occupations.