Stanford University announced last week that it will now be offering optional alumni interviews to all of its applicants. Stanford has long been one of the few elite colleges that does not allow applicants to interview. However, according to an article on Inside Higher Education, the dean of undergraduate admission and financial aid at Stanford, Richard Shaw, stated that the interviews “add texture” to the applications.
Admissions interviews are an opportunity for students to show colleges a more personal side. As a former associate director of undergraduate admission, I can attest to how much an interview can add to an application. Just being able to picture a face with the file makes the process more personal.
Students should try to interview with every college that provides the opportunity. It is essential that students who have unique circumstances, such as a dip in grades or an unusual interest, make every attempt to do college admissions interviews. Our previous post on college interview tips, provides information on what to expect during an admissions interview.
If you can not visit the school, contact the admissions office to see if a counselor will be traveling to your area. If you don’t have the opportunity to do an in person interview, you may be able to schedule a virtual interview. This is a great opportunity to add some “texture” to you application without living your home!