Thursday, September 4, 2008

College Applications: To Interview or Not to Interview Is the Question

It’s fall now, and with fall each year comes the beginning of the college application frenzy. This is the time when parents, teachers or mentors harass students to get going on filling out those college applications.

If you’re one of these students preparing to apply to college, keep in mind that there are many different aspects to a college application, and each aspect has to be carefully considered. One such aspect is the question about having an interview with a representative from the college to which you’re applying.

And here’s the problem with this aspect: colleges have their own individual polices for interviewing applicants, which can become quite confusing if you’re applying to several schools. Here are examples of the range in policies:

  • A college does not interview any applicant on campus but requires an applicant interview with an alum of the college in the applicant’s home town.

  • A college offers interviews to any applicant who comes to campus but does not require an applicant interview with an alum in the applicant’s home town.

  • A college gives on-campus interviews only to students who are legacies of that college (the student’s parent or grandparent attended the college).

  • A college does not give interviews to applicants on campus or in their home towns.

Your first step is to find out the interview policy of each college to which you plan to apply. It might be a good idea to create a spreadsheet so that you can keep straight all the different policies. And then, of course, you have to follow the policy of each college.

(The slots for on-campus interviews at schools fill up. Schedule your interview early so you don’t lose out on this opportunity.)

Recommendation: Even if an alum interview isn’t required but is offered as an option, you should say yes to the interview because this shows a more sincere interest in that school on your part.

And who knows? What you learn in an alum interview may give you valuable information with which to evaluate that potential college application choice.


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1 comment:

Sun Singer said...

Gosh, what happened to the good old days when you sent in an application along with a buzz-worthy essay about why you wanted to go to that college?

And what the heck is an interview with an alum going to accomplish?

Malcolm