Director of Admissions Job Description

by Ron White

Admissions directors work for colleges, universities, community colleges, and technical and trade schools. Some elementary, middle and high schools also employ admissions directors. The admissions director serves as the top administrator for the admissions department. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), postsecondary education administrators received a median annual salary of $83,710 in 2010. Admissions directors generally must hold at least a master’s degree. Some admissions directors begin their professional careers as counselors in the admissions department.

Leads the Department

The director of admissions manages and directs the entire admissions department. The director serves as the chief decision maker and determines how many students to admit. She also hires other department administrators, supervises staff, sets the department’s budget and monitors all admissions department operations. She ensures that the department follows procedures and policies regarding admissions testing, transcript review, applications processing, admissions interviewing and correspondence with students. The director plays a key role in establishing special programs for nontraditional students, including adult students, international students and students with disabilities.

Handles Records

The admissions director oversees the handling of official records submitted by students applying for admission to her school. The director ensures that records are all filed and stored. She decides how the department will store records, including high school and college transcripts, financial forms, application forms, student essays and financial aid documents. The director also coordinates with other departments at the institution to ensure that certain documents are dispersed in appropriate fashion. For example, the admissions department may forward financial aid documents to the financial aid department.


The admissions director plays a key role in recruiting new students by hiring and supervising ambassadors who help promote the school. College and university ambassadors schedule visits to high schools and talk to students about what their institution offers, its general environment and how its degree can lead to a promising career. The admissions director coordinates open house events that bring in prospective students for visits to the school. She also works with the athletic department to ensure that athletic recruits meet school admission standards.

Strategic Planning

The director of admissions develops, implements and revises a strategic plan for her department. This plan establishes the policies and procedures governing admissions and puts an emphasis on effectiveness and efficiency. Her strategic plan provides a detailed blueprint for the department’s operations. The director compiles the strategic plan with input from other administrators, including the institution’s board of directors, president and vice president. The strategic plan often provides detailed information regarding how the admissions director intends to meet goals such as the improvement of the institution’s academic profile and the task of ensuring student diversity.

About the Author

Based in Central Florida, Ron White has worked as professional journalist since 2001. He specializes in sports and business. White started his career as a sportswriter and later worked as associate editor for Maintenance Sales News and as the assistant editor for "The Observer," a daily newspaper based in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. White has written more than 2,000 news and sports stories for newspapers and websites. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University.

Photo Credits

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