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How alumni interviews help the admissions process

With your help, here’s what we hope to learn about prospective students from your interviews:

  • Which of the Meliora values do they exhibit?
  • Are they a good fit for the University of Rochester, and vice versa?
  • How well do they know us (relative to where they are in the application process)?
  • What is most important for admissions to know about the applicant?

The importance of interviewing

This interview is our opportunity to learn their stories and add a personality to their application. What we want to know is what makes them unique. Your goal is to have a relaxed conversation from which you may uncover some additional insight about the student not included or discussed at length in their application materials.

It’s not just what they do, it’s why they do it. The application tells us how many AP classes the student is taking. We see their extensive extracurricular list. Rather than asking for a list of classes or activities they participate in, try to find out why. What are the student’s motivations, passions, or goals? These are things that are harder to determine from the application alone, so you can use the interview as a chance to dig deeper and find out what drives them.

We need you to have conversations with students that ultimately supply admissions with supporting information and insights that get to the heart of Rochester’s Vision and Values. Additionally, you’ll provide a window into how interviewees see themselves as part of a larger community and how their commitment to the betterment of others contributes to that community. The goal is not only to recognize the biggest, most public displays of service to others, but also to identify students contributing to the betterment of others in important, quiet, sustained, everyday ways as well.

2023 Supreme Court Race-Neutrality in Admissions ruling

Please take a moment to review important information regarding the 2023 Supreme Court Race-Neutrality in Admissions ruling and how this affects alumni interviewers.

Important information for alumni interviewers

The University of Rochester is committed to equal opportunity in education and fostering a culture of inclusion and belonging, and the Supreme Court decision in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard/UNC (making it unlawful for Institutions of Higher Education to consider an applicant’s race in deciding whether to grant admission) does not change the University of Rochester’s commitment to equal opportunity in education and fostering a culture of inclusion and belonging, a central tenet of our institutional vision and values.

We affirm the University’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we recognize that higher education and society-at-large benefit from the diversity of thought that emerges from the open exchange of ideas among people from different backgrounds, identities, experiences, and beliefs.

To comply with the Supreme Court’s decision supporting race-neutral admissions, our application readers must be careful not to base decisions – even in part — on an applicant’s racial status, as opposed to an applicant’s skills, knowledge or character-related qualities that arise from “experiences as an individual,” which may be associated with their racial identity, and the impermissible consideration of an applicant’s racial status, without more context.

According to the Court, in admissions, “the touchstone of an individual’s identity [must be with respect to] challenges bested, skills built, or lessons learned”—not their race or ethnicity. In this context, it is important not to make assumptions about a student’s experience based on their racial status, which the Court would consider to be unlawful stereotyping.

To ensure legal compliance, we ask that you take great care crafting the comments you include within an evaluation write-up. Here’s the verbiage from training materials, vetted by University Counsel:

Do not weight any application positively or negatively to any degree based on the applicant’s sex, race, color, religion, or national origin (“classes”), which may be disclosed specifically by an applicant or indirectly through one or more references that result in a presumption or conjecture. Statements that reveal whether the applicant’s character reflects the University’s mission, visions, and/or values may be considered even if their membership in one of the classes is mentioned, so long as membership in the class is not considered a positive or negative factor.

Interviewing best practices

We’ve compiled tips and advice to help you make the most of your interviews with prospective students.

Before the interview
  • Mentally prepare for the interview:
    • Know where they are from and what high school they attend. Their school will be included in their profile information on your alumni interviewer dashboard.
    • Look at how they answered the questions when they requested the interview.
    • Prepare what questions you want to ask.
  • If they have mentioned a particular area of interest or major, can you think of a fact, statistic, or story you can share with them?
  • Silence your phone or any other devices so the student knows you are focused on them for their time slot.
  • Make sure you have a view of a clock or can check a timepiece (phone, watch, etc.) so you can keep the interview on time.
  • Remember what you want to get out of the interview and that there is value in every interview.
During the interview
  • Welcome the student by name.
  • Introduce yourself.
  • Explain format of this interview (“This is a conversation,” “I may be taking notes,” “This is a chance to get to know you and your personality,” etc.).
  • Explain to the student: “I’m taking notes but it’s just so I can remember your words.”
  • Ask at the beginning of the interview if they’ve done any other interviews so you can benchmark them in this process; if this is their first interview, they may be a bit unpolished, but if it’s their 36th interview, they have it down.
  • Ask about what characteristics a student is looking for in their future college or university so you can make a connection between what they want and what the University offers. Don’t ask where else they are applying.
  • Expect that some students may not have an answer yet for why they want to attend Rochester; some students are interviewing early in the process and haven’t done their research, while others don’t yet have the context for who we are.
  • You may need to give students a prod or lots of support if they’re nervous, especially because interviewing is an intimidating process to some.
  • If students get stuck on a question, let them come up with an answer, or redirect to let them talk about a subject they feel more comfortable with.
  • If your interviewee has given you several examples of exhibiting Meliora values, please piece them together as part of your write-up.
  • Do your best to adapt your energy to the nervousness level of the student—do not expect them to adapt to you.
  • Allow them time at the end of the interview to ask any questions they may have.
After the interview
  • Keep the write-ups short:
    • Tell us if you think this student is or isn’t a good fit for the University with examples and rationale to back up your assessment.
    • Include what we won’t find in their application (we already have their GPA, test scores, resumes, letters of recommendation, and writing samples).
    • Be direct.
    • Provide context.
    • Provide a brief summation statement.
    • Your ratings should reflect your feedback.

Sample questions

In the Office of Admissions, we find it useful to ask personal, open-ended questions to get to know the student and to get an idea of how they might fit in at Rochester.

The questions and prompts sample below are examples of open-ended questions worded in different ways. Select or create interview questions that feel natural to you. Interviews typically last 30 to 45 minutes. Please do not just read all of the questions from this list.

Questions and prompts you might find helpful include:

  • The University’s core values of equity, leadership, integrity, openness, respect, and accountability – our Meliora Values – guide the members of Rochester’s community. Can you tell me about a time or experience in your own life when one or more of these principles empowered you to make positive changes in yourself or your community?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Describe yourself in three words.
  • Putting the University of Rochester aside, what characteristics are most important in your college search?
  • What do you want out of your college experience?
  • What are you looking for in your future college or university?
  • What are you most looking forward to in college?
  • Why are you considering the University of Rochester?
  • How did you find out about the University of Rochester?
  • Favorite/least favorite high school class?
  • How do you stay engaged in a class you don’t love?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • Tell me about the transition/growth you have made between 9th and 12th grade.
  • What is something you have changed your mind about?
  • Who inspires you?
  • How do you deal with stress?
  • What are you most proud of that you have accomplished in high school?
  • What is the most interesting Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat feed that you follow? Why?
  • Is there anything we didn’t get a chance to talk about today that makes you, you?
  • If you had to leave one message with the Admission Committee, what would it be?
  • If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?
  • If you could travel anywhere in the world (at any time in history) for 24 hours, where would you go? What would you do in your limited time there?
  • If you could have a one-on-one conversation with anyone, living or dead, who would you choose to talk to? Why?
  • If you could teach a class on any topic in the world, what would you teach?
  • What’s your favorite book?
  • Athletes: What is the best leadership skill you have learned from your sport? If you had to choose one area outside of athletics that has shaped you, what would it be?
  • What is your unique contribution to any group or community you’ve join?
  • Community service: Tell me a moment of impact you’ve had while being engaged in your community.
  • In the spirit of the University’s motto of “Ever Better,” what does a better version of you look like?
  • Tell me about your friends. What type of people do you like to surround yourself with?
  • How would your friends describe you?
  • Tell me about an important value or lesson you’ve learned from a mentor or family member.
  • If you decided to learn an additional language, which would it be and why?
  • What do you like to do for fun? (A helpful question to ask nervous students.)
  • Tell me something you do just for fun that you wouldn’t be able to list on a resume/college application.
  • What does a “free” Saturday look like? No homework, no practice. How are you spending your free day?
  • What’s the most impactful learning experience you’ve ever had (inside or outside of school)?
  • What is your legacy? How do you hope to be remembered by your high school community when you graduate?
  • What’s a typical school day like for you after your last class ends?
  • We greatly value community and family letters of recommendation. If your younger/older sibling were to write a letter on your behalf, what would it say?
  • What kinds of things ignite your curiosity?
  • What concerns do you have regarding college?
  • What has been the most meaningful activity you’re involved in (and why)?

Post-interview write up

Within 48 hours of an interview, please submit a brief write-up of the candidate using the prompts on the interviewing evaluation form as a guide. Here’s an example of the type of feedback we’re seeking in your write-up.


Alumni Interviewing Program Instructions: How to use your dashboard and online request system


Log into the interview portal.

    • Your username is the email we have on record for you.
    • To create a password, click on “Forgot Your Password” and follow the prompts. A temporary PIN will be sent to your email address. Enter the PIN as your password. You will be prompted to create a new password.

Now, you are logged into the system and should see your “Alumni Interviewer Dashboard”.


The Dashboard represents a summary of your interviewing activity. It will be blank until you receive an interview request.

Your first action is to click on “Your Alumni Interviewer Profile” on the right side of the page, and complete your profile. You’ll only have to do this once unless you need to change your availability for different types of interviewing (In Person, Virtual, Phone) or to change your status from active to inactive, or vise-versa. Your availability, active vs. inactive, can be managed at the bottom of your alumni profile. Please note that changing your status to inactive will not prevent you from accessing your dashboard or communicating with interviews in progress. It will only prevent you from receiving additional interview requests.

If you’re ready to start receiving requests, uncheck the “inactive from all interviews” option, and select the type(s) of interviewing method(s) you will offer. Your selections will not be saved until you click Submit.

Once you receive a request you can continue the process. You will receive an automated email notifying you that a student has requested an interview with you. These notifications will come from so please be sure to add this email address to your contacts/safe senders list. Gmail users: automated notifications are often rerouted to other folders of your Gmail account. Please double-check for them there if you’re not receiving them in your primary Gmail inbox folder.


Take some time to familiarize yourself with the dashboard components.

In the center of the page you’ll see an area of the Dashboard that will eventually populate rows of requests. When that happens, each row will represent a different student – that student is now in your queue and you’ll see an Interview Status of “Requested”. The information in the columns is pre-populated from the student record and can be sorted. Depending upon if, or where the student is in the application process, the information that populates in these fields may vary, and some may be blank. Generally, the fields will include the following information:

  • Student name
  • Request Date/Time
  • Interview status (first status will be “Requested”)
  • Interview details (the date/time of the interview you schedule with your student will show up here when you’ve confirmed that information)
  • Type (the type of interview the student is requesting: In Person, Virtual, Phone)
  • Student’s preferred gender pronouns
  • Email
  • Phone
  • City
  • State
  • Zip Code
  • Admission Decision
  • High School
  • High School Award Recipient
  • Combined Degree Program applicant

Select a row to begin (or continue) the interviewing process with that particular student.

On the right side of the dashboard screen, starting at the bottom, you’ll see the Alumni Interviewer Profile you’ve set up (again providing the opportunity to change your availability for the type of interview and active/inactive status. This is available to you at any time).

Scrolling up, you’ll see a summary of information provided by the student you’ve selected. This information is in response to the alumni interview request form and is in addition to what is on your dashboard, which originates from our CRM student database.

Continue scrolling up, you’ll see a text box Message/Note to the Student where you should send a general note of introduction to the student. They won’t know who you are until they receive a message. Please send a brief introductory message to start the conversation. Any messages you send to the student, or the student sends to you, will be viewable underneath the Dashboard in the Messages section. They will be dated and time-stamped, and will help in the tracking process. You’ll need to refresh the page for new messages to appear.

Finally, at the top right side you’ll see a menu to track the interview progress for the student. Selecting the status option that correlates to the stage in the interview process helps you to keep track of where you are with each student, and helps us to track things should assistance be necessary. The status you choose will be reflected in the Dashboard row for that student – the initial status of “Requested” will change to the next status as you select the following options and submit:

  • Option 1 : Accepted – When you reach out to contact the student you should select this option. The status on the Dashboard will then change to Scheduling in Process while you and the student figure out the logistics of scheduling the interview, and move on to Option 2.
  • Option 2: Confirmed – Select this once you’ve confirmed the date/location/time of the interview with the student, and you are both in agreement. Selecting “Confirmed” will open a calendar for scheduling the interview. *Choose the date, enter the location with as much detail as possible, enter the time of the interview, selecting AM or PM, and the time zone. Once set – Submit. The student will receive the details in a confirmation email and on their own alumni interview request dashboard. You’ll receive a confirmation email as well as see this information  populate in your Dashboard in the Interview Details field. *NEW* If you are using a virtual platform to conduct your interview, such as Calendly, Zoom, GoogleMeet, Skype, etc. you can now enter your personal meeting link in the “Location” text box below the calendar. When you submit the confirmation to the student, this will appear as a live link for them to use to join the interview when scheduled.
  • Option 3: Decline – Select this option only if you need to decline a new request or cancel one that isn’t working out (for example, no response from the student or you can’t find a mutually agreeable time to schedule the interview). A message field will then appear for you to submit the reason for your decision to decline. The reason field is mandatory. (The reason for the decline will be seen by the student.) After you decline a request, the student will be removed from your queue. However, if your availability is stil “active” it’s possible the student may send you another request.

Once Confirmed, the interview status in the Dashboard row for that student will change to an Evaluation button. Return there after the interview is complete. Click the Evaluation button to open the interview write-up form. Complete and submit the form within 24 hours, but no longer than 2 days after the interview. If you are unable to complete the Evaluation in one sitting, select “Save For Later” or the write-up you have started will be lost. This is also the case if the system times out, which it may for security reasons, so if you plan to step away, Save For Later! Submitting the form will check a box on the student’s UR application page indicating that the interview is complete. Until that has been done, it will appear to the student that their interview is not complete, often leading to anxious phone calls to our office from parents and students.

Once you have submitted the evaluation, the Evaluation button on your Dashboard will change to Completed. Congratulations!

If a student is a “No Show”, change the Interview Status to “Decline” and in the note field enter “No Show”.


  • Refreshing the page often may be necessary as you’re working.
  • Throughout the interviewing process auto-programmed email messages and notifications to you and the student will be sent using the email you and they have provided in your profile and in their record. Your personal email address is hidden from the student. Notifications will go out with each change of your “Interview Status and Confirmation” option, so it’s important that you monitor that email account throughout the process and/or check the messages in the Messages field in the system. Although the student’s personal email is provided with their information, please do not copy/past that email address and message from there –it’s important that all conversation stays within the system.
  • As the system loads your submissions, it may say “Loading” and there may be little blue bubbles that appear on the screen – please be patient with that process. If you feel it’s “stuck” loading, please let us know and we’ll work around it with you.
Admissions Volunteer Video Training Library
Helpful Links and Training Resources
Alumni Interviewer Timeline
  • Between now and January 19: High school seniors and transfer applicants can request alumni interviews. You will receive an automated email letting you know when a student has sent you an interview request. Students can’t submit interview requests after January 19 but you will have until mid-February to complete the outstanding interviews remaining in your queue.
  • Immediately or as soon as possible after receiving an interview request notification: Log onto your interviewer dashboard to view your request queue. Click on a student’s name, then either decline the interview or initiate contact with your interviewee via the Interview Status and Confirmation and Message to the Student areas on the right side of your dashboard.
  • As soon as possible, but no longer than 2 days after accepting a request: Contact the student through the Message to the Student text box on your interviewer page (this section is located on the right side of your dashboard page).
  • Confirm and schedule the interview in the Interview Status and Confirmation section of your interviewer page (this section is located on the right side of your dashboard page).
  • Schedule interviews within 2 weeks, or as soon as possible: Interviews for Early Decision students should be conducted and evaluations submitted, no later than November 20. Regular Decision students should be conducted, and evaluation forms submitted, no later than February 15. However, please be as expedient as possible in scheduling sooner rather than later.
  • Immediately after the interview: Submit the online evaluation form, found by clicking on the student’s name in your interview queue, then scrolling over to “Interview Status” column and clicking on “Evaluation.”
  • Between December and April 1: Admissions reviews applications and renders decisions. The interview evaluation form is added to the applicant’s file and considered among admission materials. A student’s application is held as long as possible for final review until the interview evaluation is received. Please don’t delay or your interview feedback may be too late to be considered!
  • By mid-April: You will be notified of your interviewees’ admission decisions via your interview queue. You are welcome and encouraged to congratulate admitted students.
  • Mid-August: Final admissions status for all your interviewees are available by request if not viewable in your interviewer account. This allows you to learn if the admitted candidate you interviewed accepted our offer of admission, if the waitlisted candidate you met was admitted, etc.

Communications to Alumni Interviewers 2023-24

Think you may have missed an important email about alumni interviewing or can’t find one you need? Check here for all of this season’s communications to interviewers.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

UR Alumni Interviewing 2023-24 Start Date Information

Hello alumni admissions interviewers! I hope you are all doing well and looking forward to a new interviewing season! I’m reaching out with an update on this year’s program start date. We plan to go live with student requests in three weeks, on Wednesday, October 25. Before that date, we’ll be clearing your interview dashboards of last year’s interviewees and I encourage you to log into your interviewer account ASAP to make any necessary changes or updates to your profile, including the type(s) of interview requests you’ll offer. Just before the program goes live, we’ll default all accounts to the “Inactive from all interviews” availability status which ensures that anyone not participating this season will not receive requests. I’ll let you know when that happens so you can update it to “active” when and if you’re ready to interview this season.
In the meantime, please check out the alumni interviewing training and resources page. There’s a lot there, but in particular, I want to call your attention to an alumni interviewing video that features a mock video with tips and suggestions. Click here to watch on YouTube, or here to access via Wistia. Additionally, check out our new 2023-24 Admissions Handbook, which provides a very thorough overview of the admissions process and may help answer questions you receive from students.
I’ll be back in touch shortly, but please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.

Friday, October 13, 2023

As we continue to prepare for the interviewing season, I wanted to share a couple of notable updates with you regarding this year’s alumni interviewing program.

First, in response to alumni feedback, we have done away with the “required” Meliora Values question, as many found it awkward to incorporate into the interview. While we’re still looking for you to glean the same type of information from your students, we leave it up to you to determine how best to elicit information that demonstrates their alignment to one or more of our Meliora Values of equity, leadership, integrity, openness, respect, and accountability. If you need some ideas for questions that could help to prompt this information, check out the sample questions on our training and resource materials page. (Meliora! is the password to access these resources.)

Second, as a reflection of this change, we’ve also changed the alumni evaluation form. Last year, over 15% of completed interviews were missing an evaluation form.  This updated form is faster to complete than in the past, enabling you to easily submit it ASAP after each interview without taking up much time. Below is a screenshot of the new form.

How knowledgeable is the student about the University of Rochester
Somewhat Knowledgeable
In your conversation, did the student speak to or demonstrate any of our core Meliora Values (equity, leadership, integrity, openness, respect, and accountability)? Please indicate which value(s) and rate their alignment with that characteristic.
Equity Leadership Integrity Openness Respect Accountability
Very Good

300 words remaining

50 words remaining
How would you rate the overall interview:
1- Very Poor
2- Poor
3- Below Average
4- Average
5- Above Average
6- Excellent
7- Exceptional


The most notable change is the Meliora Values section. The feedback you’ll provide answers the question “In your conversation, did the student speak or demonstrate any of our core Meliora Values? Please indicate which value(s) and rate their alignment with that characteristic.” If a student demonstrates or provides examples of any of these values, you’ll simply check the box that corresponds to it and a rating with optional text section will drop down for you to complete. A rating is required, but comments to support your rating are discretionary.

We’ve also done away with some other text box responses by changing them to ratings. Our hope is that these changes will make the evaluation process more efficient, enabling you to complete and submit your evaluation forms ASAP after each interview.

I’ll be back in touch shortly with additional details and resources before our go-live date of Wednesday, October 25!



Friday, October 20, 2023

UR ALUMNI INTERVIEWING PROGRAM 23-24- IMPORTANT INFORMATION – Please keep for reference throughout the season

Greetings from Rochester! You are receiving this email because you are an approved alumni interviewer for the University of Rochester. If you don’t plan to participate this season, no need to take any further action as the default interviewer availability is “Inactive”.

This season’s alumni admissions interviewing program will be going live on Wednesday, October 25. If you’re planning to participate, please take some time to learn or refresh your memory as to how to use the system in advance so you know how to log in, navigate the program, and update your profile and interviewer availability.

If you participated last year, just click on the link below to log in. If you’re new this year and haven’t yet accessed your new alumni interviewer dashboard, follow the directions below for set-up and access:

  • Log in here
  • Your Username/login is the email at which you’re receiving this message
  • To create a password, click on “Forgot Your Password” and follow the prompts as though you have forgotten your password.
  • A PIN will be sent to your email address. The PIN will act as a temporary password.
  • Click on the link in the email, enter the PIN as your password. You will be prompted to create a new password. At that point, you’ll be logged into the system and see your Alumni Interviewer Dashboard.

A few things to note before you get started:

  • Directions to walk you through the interview process and your alumni interviewer portal can be found on our alumni interviewing self-training materials page. The password for this page isMeliora!’. It’s critical to review this before the season begins, even if you are a returning interviewer. In particular, please watch the mock-alumni interview video for some great tips and pointers! Additionally, you’ll find some very helpful information about Admissions and the University in the Admissions Publications tab, including our Admissions Handbook and current Fact Sheet. (Fact Sheet will be updated when the new version is available). Finally, please review the Alumni Interviewing Program Instructions (towards the bottom of the training page) – this will provide step-by-step instructions for how to use the online system.
  •  Automated email notifications for this program will be sent from Be sure to add this email address to your contacts/safe senders list. Gmail users: These automated notifications are often rerouted to other folders of your Gmail account. Please double-check for them there if they’re not showing up in your primary Gmail inbox folder.
  •  You control your availability throughout the program. You can opt to receive in-person, virtual, or phone interviews, all three, or none at all. These options can be changed as often as you need by checking and unchecking the appropriate boxes in your Alumni Interviewer Profile (on the right side of your account page) and clicking “submit.” Note that a check mark in the “Inactive from All Interviews” will render you completely inactive, regardless of any other boxes you may also have checked.
  • Students are not assigned to you by the Admissions Office – they choose you. They select their alumni interviewer from a drop-down box in their request portal based on interviewer availability, location (city, state & country), and the type of interview they’re seeking. They do not see your contact information until you’ve responded to their request.
  • You are responsible for the interview requests you receive – either completing them or declining them ASAP so that the student can go back into the system to resubmit their request to a new interviewer. The Admissions Office does not manually reassign your students to new interviewers if you can’t accommodate them, so please manage your requests accordingly.
  • You have the option of declining an interview request (see drop-down box in the Interview Status and Confirmation section). Please use this as sparingly as possible. If you decline, know that your reason for declining the interview is also sent to the student. Once you’ve declined a request, the student is then able to return to their student portal to submit their request to a different interviewer. The decline function also serves to cancel an interview scheduling in progress and may be utilized in situations where a students has been non-responsive or you are unable to find a mutually agreeable date and time to meet.
  • You and your interviewee(s) will receive automated email notifications of new messages received between you, directing you both to log in and respond via the messaging section of your dashboard page. Please do not reply directly to the automated notification email alerting you to a new message as it will not reach the student. Additionally, even though you will see the student’s email address, do not use email to communicate outside of the system. Your conversation with a student will be viewable underneath your interview request grid when you click on their name in your list. Students will be able to track their conversations with you in their portal as well.
  • The interview is intended to be a casual conversation of open-ended questions with the intention of learning more about a student than is evident on their application. It is, however, evaluative and you’ll be rating your interviews in an online evaluation form. You can read more on the training materials page about what we’re looking for, and the questions and best practices to help you draw that information from your interviewees.
  • Alumni Interviewers are representatives of the University, and in that capacity, you may be the only face-to-face contact an applicant has with us, so to them you are the University of Rochester. Leave a lasting and positive impression by being responsive and attentive throughout the interviewing process. Timely communication is essential. Unfortunately, with few exceptions, we will have to permanently remove from the program any alumni interviewers who are repeatedly unresponsive to students and/or our outreach from the Admissions Office.
  • If you have questions or need assistance, just reach out to me at at any time. Please use my email address (rather than the for the speediest response. I’m here to support you, so let me know how I can help.

On behalf of the Admissions Office, we’re looking forward to working with you this season! Thank you so much for your commitment to this program and representing the University of Rochester in this professional and high-profile capacity. Your work is greatly appreciated by applicants and Admissions staff alike. Now, it’s time to meet some outstanding future alumni! Have fun!


Thursday, December 21, 2023

UR Alumni Interviewing Update 12/21/23

Greetings, Alumni Interviewers!

I hope many of you have met some outstanding applicants so far. We’ve seen just over 300 alumni interview requests come through the system as of today. Typically, we sit around 700 requests this time of year, but we also have student interviewers in our office fielding requests which is affecting our numbers. They’ll be wrapping up this week and from then until January 20, alumni interviews are the only option remaining for students seeking an interview.

As many of you know, we see the most activity come over the holidays through January 20 (the last day students can request an interview – but you will have until mid-February to complete them). On average, we see about 900 requests come in during this time. If you find you cannot accommodate any requests you’ve received, please decline them ASAP so that students can return to their portal and select a new interviewer. They can do this up until 11:30 p.m. EST on January 20. You also have the option to go inactive if you’ve reached a point where you cannot take on additional interviews and need a little breathing room. Going inactive will not affect your ability to communicate with interviewees already on your dashboard, and you can always change back to active when/if you’ve caught up.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out any time. We are deeply grateful to each of you for your commitment to and representation of your alma mater!

Warmest holiday wishes to you and your family!


Friday, January 5, 2024

UR Alumni Interviewing Update – Deadlines, Declines, and more

Happy New Year!

As many of you may have seen by now, we’ve had a significant spike in alumni interview requests over the past 24 hours. While we do our best to strongly encourage students to interview earlier in the season to ensure plenty of time to complete an interview and to avoid a situation where you may receive a barrage of requests in a short period of time, this is fairly typical as we reach the application deadline date (today, January 5) and the few weeks beyond until we shut down the request portion of the program.

Students can request an alumni interview through January 19th. The volume of requests likely won’t slow down until then, which is why you have an additional month after this date to complete your interviews, until February 17. We understand that everyone’s situation and availability to continue accepting student requests differ. If you need to go inactive to catch up on what is in your queue now, please go ahead and do that! Going inactive will not change your ability to communicate with your interviewees already on your dashboard, it only prevents you from receiving new requests.

If you currently have students in your queue that you know you will not be able to accommodate, take the opportunity now to decline their requests and change your status to inactive. Your decline action then allows the student to submit a new request to another interviewer. Please don’t leave them in your queue until/close to January 19 and then decline them. Students will not have the time or ability to submit that request to a new interviewer at that point.

Thank you all so very much for taking on this incredibly important role, helping to identify and enroll a new class of fascinating, diverse, and intellectually curious students, and future alumni! Getting to know these applicants so that we can make better informed decisions throughout the application process would be impossible without you and your unique insight. Our gratitude extends beyond words.

Always feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns!


Thursday, January 18, 2024

UR alumni interviewing – IMPORTANT & TIME SENSITIVE

We’re almost to the finish line – the request portion of this year’s interviewing season will end Friday night (January 19) at 11:59 p.m. EST!!

Our immense gratitude to those who’ve been tirelessly fielding and scheduling student requests. I know this season, most of which has seen the majority of requests come in throughout January, has been incredibly demanding of your time which you’ve given freely, on top of other responsibilities in your lives. This doesn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated – you are all rockstars and we are so grateful for you.

Couple of important things to keep in mind and take action on ASAP, but by Friday morning/afternoon at the latest –

  • If you have students on your dashboard who have been unresponsive to you for over 4 days, go ahead and decline them now. In the decline message, indicate that the student was unresponsive to your outreach.
  • If there are students on your dashboard that you are going to be unable to accommodate, decline those now as well, indicating that you are unable to accommodate them due to the volume of requests you’ve received. Please decline the most recent requests first, then work your way through any others. If interviews are not declined before tomorrow night, you are still responsible for scheduling the interview.
  • Don’t wait until Friday night to decline any interviews. This won’t allow students enough time to submit a new interview request to another alumnus/a before the 11:59 p.m. EST cutoff.
  • You have until February 18 to complete the interviews on your dashboard and submit your evaluation form.

Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to support you as the season winds down. The Admissions Office genuinely appreciates all your outstanding work this season!

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