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Regional Admissions Officer identity secret?

rmldadrmldad 1253 replies48 threads Senior Member
edited June 2012 in Northwestern University
When we have visited other schools, I have found it helpful to meet with our Regional Admissions Officer. I like knowing one person who will be reading my D's application and I believe it is helpful for them to be able to put a face (and a bit of personality) with the name when they read the app next winter.

However at NU, they weren't willing to tell us who our Regional Officer is. They responded to our queries with generalities like "An officer will be available to answer your questions during the Information Session" and "All applications are considered by the entire committee". Even when I pointed out that six other schools we have visited allowed this meeting, they would not relent.

Is there a reason that NU is so secretive? What is the downside of allowing these meetings?
edited June 2012
8 replies
Post edited by rmldad on
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Replies to: Regional Admissions Officer identity secret?

  • texaspgtexaspg Forum Champion Pre-Med & Medical 16600 replies343 threads Forum Champion
    I am surprised they did not tell you who your counselor might be but I wonder if they are shuffling people around if you just visited. I was trying to find their webpage but they don't seem to list them out.

    Secondary School Counselors: Office of Undergraduate Admission - Northwestern University

    Usually, your regional counselor is one who visits your school or sends invitations for a presentation in your area.
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  • WCASParentWCASParent 2095 replies16 threads Senior Member
    It might also be that they don't want to open the door to having every prospective applicant ask to meet the regional admissions officer during a visit to the school. It could simply overwhelm them.
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  • rmldadrmldad 1253 replies48 threads Senior Member
    We visited in early June. If they are overwhelmed at that point in the year, then they will be in trouble next January.

    Even if they were simply not available to meet with us, or have a policy prohibiting it, they should simply say so. I would be fine with an email address or a phone number. It might be more efficient to have all prospective students send an email to a general office address, but it is far less personal. And isn't it the whole point of the Admissions Office to make the application process personal?

    As I mentioned, we have been to six other schools (Vanderbilt, Duke, Notre Dame, Emory, Case Western and Cornell) that were happy to introduce us to our Regional Officer. What is NU hiding?
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  • LJGoBlueLJGoBlue 196 replies17 threads Junior Member
    NU isn't hiding anything. It's simply the policy used by the Department of Undergraduate Admissions. If it's really that big of a deal, then save the $70 or so and don't apply.
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  • wildcatalumwildcatalum 318 replies31 threads Member
    My sense is that they want to minimize personal bias in the process as much as possible. If you know the officer's identity, you can court them in a way that can influence their decision greatly. This puts those who can't visit or don't have parents who are as involved at a great disadvantage. You might also be tempted to play on their biases if you are able to look them up and predict which way they might vote on an applicant based on their personal tastes.

    It's great you're involved with your daughter's application process, but I would not let the admissions officers see that-- a lot of the officers at these schools might be nice to you, but in the back of their heads, they're probably thinking you should back off a little and let your daughter take the initiative. Unless you're there to write them a big check, I would not be present in the meetings because doing so could actually negatively impact her application.
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  • texaspgtexaspg Forum Champion Pre-Med & Medical 16600 replies343 threads Forum Champion
    It is usually not a secret. Texas has had the same person for over 4 years and all school counselors have his contact information. Your school may have the contact for NU regional officer.
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  • SteveCSteveC 721 replies6 threads Member
    I wouldn't call it "secret," but neither would I say the information is readily available. It frustrated us a little when S wanted to update his application to show he'd made all-state band and didn't want to send an e-mail to the general Office of Admissions address.

    Texaspg is correct in pointing out that the region rep is usually the person who comes to school presentations and that sort of thing (see [post=14196973]Calmama's post[/post] from a nearby thread). Depending on where OP lives in Kentucky, there may not be any school presentations from NU. Here in the sticks, we got a representative from UT Austin's redneck outreach program (East Texas Admissions Center), someone from Texas A&M, and maybe a few of the regionals. I think there are some in the counselor's office that are convinced S is headed to Northwestern State U in Louisiana even though they've sent (or are sending) a final transcript to Evanston, IL. :)

    While it could be meant to prevent bias, it seems to me to introduce bias in favor of those whose schools get official visits. I would agree that OP's D should check with her counselor. Best of luck!
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  • MomCaresMomCares 3058 replies90 threads Senior Member
    S and I attended an NU pre-college presentation in our city a couple nights ago, and both the Regional and Local reps were there and freely introduced themselves as such, so I'm rather sure their identity is not a secret. When D applied a couple years ago, though, she met with an admissions person in Evanston and never had any contact with a rep who had specific ties to our region.

    One thing they've emphasized with every contact is that each application is read by multiple people, so perhaps the identity of a regional rep is not particularly important.
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