Regular readers of our college admissions blog may remember that back in June, we were critical of Harvard University for not better policing their alumni interviewers. We relayed the story about how one alumni interviewer in particular — whose task it was to promote the university to prospective students — was quite negative about Harvard. He even openly discouraged students from applying (in a public forum, too). It so happens that this alumnus’ child was applying for admission that same admissions cycle. Coincidence? We think not. This father likely wanted to discourage potential competition for his child.
Fast forward to just about six months later and Harvard has taken action. Allow us to share with our readers a note from the Harvard Radcliffe Club of Maryland that was sent to Harvard alumni: “The Harvard-Radcliffe Club of Maryland’s Schools and Scholarships Committee is soliciting Harvard alumni who are interested in interviewing applicants to Harvard College’s Class of 2020. (Please note that Harvard alumni with children in their senior year of high school are ineligible to interview). The purpose of the interview is to assess the alumni’s perception of the student’s “match” with the College, and the interviewer’s assessment of how well the applicant has taken advantage of available opportunities during high school.” Do note the ‘please note’ line! Way to go, Harvard!
Parents of seniors applying for admission to Harvard — or any school for that matter (Harvard is surely not the only guilty party here, to be clear!) — should absolutely not be allowed to interview prospective students. They have a horse in the race. They are by no means objective. It’s not fair to the students whom they are interviewing. It’s not fair to subject them to such ridiculous politics.
At Ivy Coach, we are mighty proud to use the platform of our widely read college admissions blog to keep people in the college admissions community (and colleges) honest. And we’re mighty proud about this ‘please note.’ It’s the best sidebar we’ve read all day.