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Seniors to hold admissions interviews

Published: Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 08:11

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Scott Tingley / Tufts Daily Archives

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions is for the first time enlisting the help of seniors to interview prospective students over winter break.

Members of the Class of 2013 will now serve as interviewers of prospective students over winter break, filling the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Tufts Alumni Admissions Program (TAAP)’s need for more interviewers in certain locations.

Though TAAP and the admissions office have used senior interviewers in the past, this is the first year seniors will conduct interviews in their hometown over the winter break, according to Associate Director of Admissions Emily Roper−Doten.

According to Roper−Doten, there were not enough alumni interviewers to meet the demand of prospective students in rural areas.

“When you think of a typical college kid coming out of college, you graduate and move to a city,” Admissions Senior Intern Taylor Schwartz said. “All of our big cities have a lot of people. Not saying there’s not a need there, but we’re really lacking the alumni interviewers in rural and suburban areas.”

By inviting seniors to interview hopeful members of the Class of 2017, more prospective students will have the opportunity to be interviewed, according to Schwartz.

“It’s kind of a way of covering more ground,” he said. “Applicants may not have to travel into a city to go do an interview.”

Roper−Doten hopes each participating senior will conduct around three or four interviews at home, or however many the local committee needs him or her to complete. If a senior is not able to meet with interviewees in person over winter break, she said, Skype interviews are also acceptable.

The idea was conceived over the summer when several Tufts admissions officers attended a conference at which other universities’ admissions officers discussed their alumni interview practices, Roper−Doten explained.

“A couple of the schools there had talked about how they were using senior interviewers over winter break, and [it] seemed like something we potentially could replicate here, so that’s why we were doing this expanded pilot this year,” she said.

Roper−Doten said that, in the past, around 20 to 25 seniors per year were used as interviewers. They were often affiliated with the admissions office either at the time or previously.

“We’ve used them to help relieve some local TAAP committees that have really high percentages of students in boarding schools,” she said. “We’ve had senior interviewers who go up to some of the boarding schools in the area and [do] interviews there.”

In total, there are around 3,700 alumni interviewers around the world, Roper−Doten said. Over 150 Tufts seniors have volunteered so far, and all interested seniors are welcome to partake in the program, she said.

“This was the first time that we were expanding it to a larger campaign of advertising because we thought that there might be more students out there who maybe haven’t been involved in admissions before but might have an interest in interviewing,” she said. “I think right now 150 is a great number.”

Roper−Doten believes that allowing prospective students to meet with current undergraduates can help high school seniors gain further perspective into the student experience at Tufts.

“The benefit of having an undergraduate student do the interview gives that applicant another person to think of in terms of their potential classmates,” she said.

As in previous years, these optional interviews will not decide who gets admitted, instead adding another dimension to a student’s application, according to Schwartz.

Roper−Doten said that interested seniors must attend one of two training sessions, which will take place on Nov. 14 at 5 p.m. and Nov. 19 at 12 p.m. The program is still accepting seniors who would like to sign up, Schwartz said.

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