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Articles / Admissions / Is Follow-Up Call to Alumni Recommender a Sign of Good News?

May 6, 2020

Is Follow-Up Call to Alumni Recommender a Sign of Good News?

Question: An alumni from an Ivy college wrote a letter of recommendation for my daughter. He was contacted and asked detailed questions about her— Should she be encouraged by this as far as acceptance is concerned? (assuming the responses were very favorable on her behalf)

If your daughter had not been a serious contender, it’s unlikely that an admission official would have interviewed the alumnus who wrote the recommendation. So this interview is most likely a good sign (although it would be helpful to know who, specifically, contacted the alum and what sorts of questions were asked).

BUT … Ivy admission officials always end up “rejecting” some strong applicants whom they would really like to admit. So just because your daughter probably scaled some preliminary hurdles, it doesn’t necessarily mean that she’ll get good news this week.

But … fingers crossed … she will.


Written by

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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