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Articles / Applying to College / Does No Ivy Interview Mean I'm out of Contention?

Does No Ivy Interview Mean I'm out of Contention?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | Feb. 13, 2020
Does No Ivy Interview Mean I'm out of Contention?


I'm a little stressed out. I applied to seven top schools and only one (Princeton) asked me for an interview. I know they all have interviewers in my town because other people I know have gotten interviews. Is this a bad sign? I'm assuming it is. Should I write to the admissions office and request one?

Although it may be hard to convince yourself otherwise, Ivy League interviews are not awarded to the most promising candidates. The fact that you haven't been contacted to interview doesn't mean that those students in your community who did receive interview requests are more likely to be accepted than you are. Some of these students were probably selected randomly; others may have been picked because the admission committee needs more information that wasn't clear from the rest of the application (e.g., "Why all those absences in 11th grade?") You should not reach out to the admission office to request an interview. This is strictly a "Don't call us; we'll call you" situation.

As the decision notification dates draw closer, there will probably be more "tea leaves" that you'll be tempted to read (e.g., 'The admission office asked my counselor for a friend's trimester grades but not mine"), but often these "signs" are meaningless. As you know, the vast majority of qualified Ivy applicants are not accepted. So you may need to steel yourself for bad news, but your lack of an interview invitation is not a harbinger of what's to come.

Good luck!

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About the Ask the Dean column: Sally Rubenstone is a veteran of the college admissions process and is the co-author of three books covering admissions. She worked as a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years and has also served as an independent college counselor, in addition to working as a senior advisor at College Confidential since 2002. If you'd like to submit a question to The Dean, please send it along here.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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