Our department is awesome. But every year, I think: “why aren’t we getting more awesome applicants? They could be super happy here, and we could do a great job of jump-starting their careers.”

Well, this year, I am on the PhD admissions committee.

What can I do to improve the quality of our applicant pool? Of course I realize reputation is a big component, but that is a long-term game (and we are already quite well-ranked by USN≀ I don’t think that’s the core issue here). I’m wondering more about short-term, actionable, guerilla mercenary acts I can execute in the next few months.

If you have participated in grad admissions at your university, what (if anything) helped you get more quality applications?

For reference I’m in North America, in the sciences.

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