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How Important is a College Admissions Interview

How Important is a College Admissions Interview


Some colleges and universities offer a college admissions interview, which allows applicants to visit with admissions officers or alumni interviewers and discuss why they are a good fit for next year’s freshman class. The importance of the interview, however, depends on the institution.

The top admission factors for freshmen have been consistent for decades, according to a survey collected by the National Association for College Admission Counseling. The survey found that the top factor for college admissions was a student’s grades in college-prep courses (79%). That was followed by strength of curriculum and grades in all courses (60%) and admission test scores (53%), the report stated.

In fact, admissions interviews aren’t included in a set of criteria that’s considered by most college admissions officials after grades, curriculum and test scores are taken into account. The second-most important criteria include essays or writing samples, teacher and counselor recommendations, a student’s demonstrated interest, class rank and extracurricular activities.

Admissions interviews hold moderate to considerable importance to only a small set of colleges and universities. These institutions, which are typically elite and private, use the admissions interview, along with other factors like subject test scores in Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) classes, portfolios, SAT II scores, state graduation exams and work experience to make admissions decisions.

Whether or not to do an admissions interview comes down to the type of institution a student is applying to. Doing one probably will help at private and elite colleges, but have less of an impact at larger public colleges. Regardless, an interview is a good way to get to know a college and ask questions about the curriculum and atmosphere.

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