Follow these tips to help your child secure an on-campus college admissions interview. With college application deadlines less than six months away, your child has likely begun the college search process and has started visiting potential schools. If you and your child are planning college visits this fall, call ahead and try to schedule an on-campus interview. Completing an interview now, before applications are submitted, is a great way to give a school advance notice of your child’s interest, and get his or her name on their radar.
Depending upon the school and your child’s interests, there are several members of a college’s staff or faculty with whom your child may wish to secure an interview:
Admissions Officers – The opportunity to speak directly with an admissions officer is a great way for your child to make his or her interest in a school known. Some schools do not offer admissions interviews, while other schools will offer interviews, but only as part of the application process. Students should call well in advance of a planned campus visit if you are trying to schedule this type of interview.
Coaches & Advisors – If your child will be participating in a club or playing on a sports team, try to schedule time to speak with the club’s advisor or team’s coach during your campus visit. Extra-curricular commitments may require a significant portion of your child’s time on campus; interviewing with a team coach or club advisor is a great way to help your child determine whether he or she is a good “fit” for that school’s program.
Faculty – If your child knows that he or she will be declaring a particular major or field of study, meeting with a member of that department’s faculty is another way to help your child evaluate his or her “fit” for a particular school or program. Generally, these interviews are conducted by a department head and are available only by request. If your child is planning to interview with a department head, make sure he or she enters the interview prepared—your child should be familiar with the department and its requirements, information. This is generally available on the department’s website.
Fine Arts Faculty – If your child is planning to major in one of the fine arts, an art, music, or dance performance may be required as part of admissions process. Student's need to contact the school’s department for more information on scheduling these types of interviews.
Alumni – Alumni interviews are usually held off campus and are generally available as part of the admissions process for schools that require an interview. If a student is unable to travel to the school’s campus for an interview with an admissions officer, alumni interviews are an opportunity for a school to evaluate a student remotely.
Students – Student interviews are generally less formal than an interview with an admissions officer or alumni, and do not usually factor into admissions decisions. Student interviews are a great way for your child to gain additional, first-hand information about the student experience at a particular school.
Do research ahead of time. Do NOT ask questions whose answers can be easily found on the school's website or college catalog. Do bring a copy of your resume, a copy of your transcripts, and a pen and pad of paper for note-taking. Never show up unprepared.
As you and your child make campus visit plans, keep in mind that it’s not always easy to secure an interview in the summer and fall. Many colleges only conduct interviews as part of the admissions decision process, and will therefore only grant interviews in the winter and spring to students who have already submitted an application. Other colleges will not conduct one-on-one interviews, period. Be sure to visit each school’s website, call ahead, and explore your options. Remember, it never hurts to ask!
Stephenie, having been a tutor/instructor/mentor since 1996, discovered her passion and founded Lee Academia Educational Consulting, LLC. after she left the dental and medical field. She loves teaching/mentoring and counseling her students. Her passion lies in educating others and helping them pursue their educational path. Today, certified in College Counseling and with more than 10 years of experience, Stephenie and her team continues to blog about current updated educational news and events.
Lee Academia Educational Consulting, LLC