The Lament of the Disappointed Alumni Interviewer

If you’re allergic to the Ivy League, then you really shouldn’t read this intriguing article published by Bloomberg today. After all, it includes quotes from disgruntled alumni interviewers at Ivy League institutions.

Disgruntled? Yes, that’s right. Some alumni don’t like that few of the students they interview end up getting acceptances. In the article, an alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania laments that his alma mater denied all but two or three of more than 50 applicants he’s interviewed over the last decade: “Is it worth it to interview if I’m not going to have any influence on the students getting in?”

Whatever you might think of his understanding of the words “any” or “influence,” he raises an interesting question. Will  ongoing application inflation (so often touted in press releases) disillusion the very alumni that some admissions offices rely on? Or is this a non-issue for all but a handful of graduates with a roaring case of self-importance?

“I’ve always thought it was an ambassador-type role,” a graduate of Princeton University says in the Bloomberg story. “That being said, what great purpose is being an ambassador to 20,000 people who are not going to get in?”

While you’re pondering that, you might want to check out an article my colleague Beckie Supiano and I wrote last year about the enduring mystery of the admissions interview…

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