24 08, 2023

The Significance of Demonstrated Interest in Ivy League Admissions

By |2023-09-04T16:40:40-04:00August 24th, 2023|Admissions Interview, College Admissions, Ivy Leage Admissions|0 Comments

As a college applicant aspiring to attend an Ivy League university, you may have encountered varying opinions on the importance of “demonstrated interest” in the Ivy League admissions processes. Although the Ivy League schools have explicitly stated that they do not track demonstrated interest, it doesn’t mean you should disregard showcasing your genuine interest in these institutions.

Understanding the Evolution of “Demonstrated Interest”

In the past, colleges tracked demonstrated interest through campus visits and events. However, the pandemic prompted a shift to virtual engagement with prospective students. Consequently, almost all of  the Ivy League schools clarified that  physical demonstrated interest no longer influences the application evaluation.

Emphasizing Genuine Interest

While physical demonstrated interest is no longer considered, Ivy League schools highly value applicants who still authentically express their interest in their chosen institutions. The “Why” essay in the supplemental application is your chance to articulate well-researched and compelling reasons for wanting to attend a specific Ivy League school.

Crafting a Convincing Application

To bolster your application, focus on connecting your high school experiences to your future goals at the college of your choice. Demonstrate a strong fit with the school’s values and showcase how you’ll contribute to the campus community. While exploring schools through campus tours and events can be beneficial, remember that these actions alone won’t significantly impact your admission chances.

Choose Ivy College Essay for Personalized Guidance

At Ivy College Essay, I understand the intricacies of Ivy League admissions. My private one-on-one admissions program provides personalized guidance to navigate your admission essays, Common App, extracurricular list, and overall college admissions strategy including demonstrated interest alongside other critical aspects of the college application process. Work with me to enhance your changes in college admissions success at the most competitive schools!

Ready to Ace Your Ivy League Application?

Don’t leave your Ivy League dreams to chance. Contact me today for a free consultation at IvyCollegeEssay.com. As a former Harvard admissions interviewer and Harvard graduate, I can help you stand out among other Ivy League applicants and get into the school of your dreams!

15 08, 2023

How to Prepare for Alumni Interviews for Ivy League Admissions

By |2023-08-03T17:55:38-04:00August 15th, 2023|Admissions Interview, Ivy Leage Admissions|0 Comments

Wondering how to prepare for alumni interviews for Ivy League college admissions? For students aspiring to attend Ivy League colleges, the admissions process can be nerve-wracking and highly competitive. One aspect that often adds to the stress is the alumni interview. While it is an essential part of the holistic admissions process, many students wonder how important it truly is and how to approach it effectively. In this blog, we will explore the role of alumni interviews in Ivy League admissions and provide valuable tips on how to prepare for a successful interview.

The Importance of Alumni Interviews

Of all the components in the college admissions puzzle, the alumni interview is generally considered less critical than grades, coursework rigor, extracurricular activities, essays, and letters of recommendation. While it does play a role in the evaluation process, admissions officers primarily focus on other aspects of an applicant’s profile. Therefore, students should approach alumni interviews with confidence, knowing that their academic performance and overall application carry more weight.

Navigating the Interviewer Landscape

Alumni interviewers come from diverse backgrounds, and some may not receive specific training from the admissions offices. As a result, interviewers’ perspectives and approaches can vary widely. Some may mistakenly overstate their influence on the admissions decision or ask inappropriate questions, such as inquiring about other colleges the student is applying to. Students should be prepared to handle such situations gracefully, redirecting the conversation back to their passion for the institution they are interviewing for.

Frequent Alumni Interview Questions

While the specific questions asked during alumni interviews can vary, there are some recurring themes that students can anticipate. Here are some common questions:

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What are your favorite activities at school and outside of school?
  3. What’s your favorite and least favorite class?
  4. What would a teacher and a friend say about you?
  5. What’s your favorite book, and do you have another favorite?
  6. How do you feel about your academic record as a measure of your high school work?
  7. What do you love about your school, and what would you change if you could?

5 Tips to Prepare for Alumni Interviews for Ivy League Colleges

  1. Anticipate and Practice: Prepare answers to recurring interview questions, especially the “Why College” question. Practice in front of a mirror to gauge your facial expressions and engagement.
  2. Logistics Check: If the interview will be on Zoom, check your internet connection in advance. For in-person interviews, do a dry run to the interview location to avoid any last-minute issues.
  3. Dress Formally: Regardless of the interviewer’s suggested dress code, dressing formally shows respect and professionalism. For Zoom interviews, focus on the attire from the waist up.
  4. Avoid Googling the Interviewer: Resist the temptation to research your interviewer and impress them with your knowledge. Stay genuine and focus on your prepared answers.
  5. Consistency Matters: Treat all alumni interviews with the same level of formality and professionalism, regardless of the interviewer’s age or background.

Alumni Interview FAQ

Can the Interviewer See My Application? No, alumni interviewers typically have limited access to basic details about you, such as your high school and hometown.

What If They Ask About My SAT/ACT Score? Interviewers should not ask about test scores, especially now that many elite universities are test-optional. Redirect the conversation if necessary.

Should I Send a Thank-You Note? Sending a personalized thank-you note the next day is encouraged. Mention specific details from the meeting to avoid a generic message.

Virtual or In-Person Interview? Be flexible and accommodating to the interviewer’s preference. Make yourself available on their schedule to start the interview positively.

While alumni interviews are an important part of the holistic admissions process for Ivy League colleges, they are not the sole determining factor. Students should focus on their academic achievements, extracurricular involvements, and well-crafted essays to present a compelling application. By preparing for interviews with confidence and professionalism, applicants can make a positive impression on the admissions committee. Remember, the alumni interview is just one piece of the puzzle on the path to Ivy League success.

Ready to Ace Your Alumni Interview and Secure Your Ivy League Admission?

Getting into an Ivy League college is no small feat, and the alumni interview is a crucial opportunity to showcase your personality and passion for learning. If you want to maximize your chances of success and stand out from the competition, Ivy College Essay is here to help.

With personalized coaching and expert advice, we’ll equip you with the skills and confidence needed to ace your alumni interview.

Don’t miss out on this invaluable opportunity to prepare for your Ivy League interview. Schedule a free consultation today at Ivy College Essay and gain the edge you need to shine in the admissions process! As a former Harvard admissions interviewer and Harvard grad, I am committed to helping you get into the school of your dreams!

23 11, 2019

Your Ivy League College Admissions Interview

By |2022-10-04T05:13:54-04:00November 23rd, 2019|Admissions Interview, Ivy League, Ivy League Advice, Ivy League College, The Harvard Admissions Interview|0 Comments

Your Ivy League College Admissions Interview

How to Prepare What to Expect

So, you’ve been offered your first Ivy League college admissions interview.  Congratulations! Though, of course, now you actually have to do it.

It’s incredibly nerve-wracking to have to go into a room and have a stranger decide your future.  If you’re also a top student, it’s even more nerve-wracking to not know if you’re really going to get to go to a top-tier, super-competitive school like Harvard, Princeton, MIT or Yale and have your future and career laid out for you, or if you really even have the slightest chance of even getting in at all.

That’s why I’ve laid out the top questions students often hear during their Ivy League college interview.

Even if you’re not applying to the Ivy League, this will work for any other competitive top to mid-tier colleges, too.

So, whether you’re applying to Harvard and Princeton, Penn or NYU, studying these questions will help you be more prepared in terms of what to expect from your college interview, and how to be more confident during the interview itself, so nothing — and I mean nothing — will take you by surprise!

As an overview though, college admissions officers want to know that you have the maturity to speak clearly, that you can be comfortable even in a nerve-wracking situation, that you can look them in the eye, smile, chat, have a solid “adult” conversation on an adult level, and are clear in terms of who you are at this point in your life and where you want to go.  These questions will help you get there:

1. “So, what are you interested in studying in college?”

What college interviewers are looking for here, is an answer that reveals your academic and possible future professional plans and interests, but also shows uniqueness and a background (however slight it may be) related to your answer.

In other words, just saying you’re interested in pre-med is fine, but saying you’re interested in pre-med because you spent time interning over the summer at a make-shift hospital in India, or at an inner city hospital in Chicago, is better because it shows you have actual experience to back up your goals. .

The main thing that will get you bad marks here on this question?  Being too vague – that’s what this question is trying to screen for.  Your college interviewer wants to make sure that you have the focus and ambition needed to truly succeed in a top Ivy League college (and in life).  They want to make sure you’re someone who has a plan and has a direction…even if that direction later changes course.  Just show them that you have an initial thought-out plan.

 So, if they ask you this question, pick an academic subject and back it up, even if you end up changing your major 4 times once you’re in.  First, get in!

2. “What high school accomplishment are you most proud of?”

Here, your college admissions interviewer is trying to get a sense of what you value, as the accomplishment you are most proud of will not only show off your best strengths academically (or extracurricularly, as could be the case) but will show him/her what things and pursuits you actually  identify with, in your own life – and that gives them great information about YOU.

The main thing that will get you bad marks on your college interviewer’s report with this question? Not showing a real passion or energy behind your answer.  You can’t expect someone to be excited about what you’ve done in life, if you yourself aren’t that interested.

3. “Tell me about your family background? Where did you grow up?”

What the admission officer is looking for here, is a sense of trying to place you = what I call, trying to paint a picture of your home life in their mind.  Did you grow up in a big city, a suburb, a rural farm?  Were you home-schooled, or did you attend a highly competitive science magnet in your area?

They are trying to place you, but they are also trying to discern how you yourself feel about your background.  There’s no wrong answer here, except a one-word answer.  That will get you a bad mark on the interviewer’s report, and you don’t want that.  If someone asks you a question, expand and expound!

4. “What is an example of something difficult you’ve had to go through, or an important event perhaps that took place in your life in the last few years?”

Here, as with the question above, the admissions committee (through the college interviewer’s report that they will write about you)  is simply trying to get a sense of who you are, what you value, and what stands out in your mind.  They are simply trying to understand who you are as a person, and how you see yourself in relation to others.

The one thing that will get you bad marks on this question?  Not having a strong and solid answer.  It’s really not so much what you say with any of this, but how you say it.  Always speak with confidence and self-reflection = that’s what they really like.  Don’t be afraid to show them who you are as a thinker and a person.  The fastest thing to get you dinged on all of your questions is, again, a weak, one-word response!

5. “Why Harvard” or “Why Princeton?” or “Why Columbia?” or “Why Berkeley?”

Most likely, you already wrote an admissions essay covering this question, so I strongly suggest you review all of your essays before going into your college interview.  Your answer “Why Harvard, or University of Pennsylvania, or Columbia, Brown, Duke, UCLA, MIT, or NYU?” (just to name a few), should focus on that particular school’s program, core curriculum, professors, classes and extracurriculars that are specific to your interests.

The focus should be academic at the core, but don’t be afraid to let your personality and true interest in a school’s outside extracurricular activities also shine through.  Do your homework and understand the differences between different programs and how they’re set up with their own unique flavor, especially when we’re talking about the Ivy League colleges and universities.

In the end, your college admissions interview should be conversational, interesting, educational and engaging!  In other words, just try to have a very real and connected conversation. Most interviews last 30-45 minutes, and if you’ve gotten this far, it’s a very good sign that you are already on your way!

I currently have a 10 page ebook titled “Ivy League Interview Tips” available for download on my website.  This short book highlights all of the top Ivy League interview questions and strategies you need to succeed. Click here to get my interview tips eBook today!

Buy Interview Tips Book

Still want more help?

I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer + Harvard grad, and  I currently run the Ivy League college essay admission consulting firm: www.IvyCollegeEssay.com.  

I provide expert advice on college essays and applications to students all over the world. And I specialize in the Ivy League and “Top Ten” schools.  Feel free to contact me today for more information, and get into the school of your dreams!

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