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Secret Admissions Committee??!?

iheartmilesiheartmiles Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member
edited February 2010 in Princeton University
princeton is my #1 and so through a bunch of mutual acquaintances and such i was able to visit with a current junior there. she said she was a the student panel of the admissions board and she gave me a bunch of tips and advice for increasing my chances of admission. she really seemed to know the inside scoop. we talked for about 3 hours and we ended up really clicking and she seemed to really like me.

she then said that she was part of a secret admissions committee that interviews prospective students without them knowing that it's an interview, and then gives her opinions on the students during the admissions process. she said that she doesn't have much weight, but that she does have a bit of input.

i told my guidance counselor of my experience, and then when she talked with the princeton representative that came to my school about a week later, she said that the admissions representative said that no such secret committee exists.

has anyone else heard of this? is anyone on this? any opinions on this?
i'm wondering if the admissions representative was lying in order to keep it secret, or if the current student was lying in order to... who knows. there is no reason i can think of for her to make up such a lie, and how else would she know all of the information she gave me?
Post edited by iheartmiles on

Replies to: Secret Admissions Committee??!?

  • tristan101tristan101 Registered User Posts: 939 Member
    "interviews prospective students without them knowing" how? like by email or something?
  • iheartmilesiheartmiles Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member
    no, by meeting them in person i guess, like me.
    i have no idea how this would work, but i'm guessing if it existed it would be based on random chats and stuff so wouldn't have much weight at all, like the girl i met with said.
    has anyone else ever heard of this sort of thing or is a part of it?
  • AParentalUnitAParentalUnit Registered User Posts: 124 Junior Member
    It would seem strange if there is an official secret admissions committee, but I sometimes wonder if a student tour guide or faculty member will "flag" a kid for the admissions staff if the kid is particularly rude or reveals something really negative during a tour or class visit. I guess it makes sense for visiting students to always be on their best behavior when on campus, since you never know who might be overhearing you.
  • randombetchrandombetch Registered User Posts: 1,079 Senior Member
    LOL, I really don't believe such a committee exists.

    If there is, I would love to be a part of it.
  • xAAAxxAAAx Registered User Posts: 1,465 Senior Member
    probably just made a joke...
  • treeamitreeami Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
  • R124687R124687 Registered User Posts: 1,513 Senior Member
    Well, seems like your secret interviewer might have discovered an applicant that might be a tad on the naive side. ?? Just kidding of course (well, not REALLY kidding but trying to explain that I'm not being mean).

    I mean...reallly ...how SECRET was this secret interview you think you might have had...if she TOLD you she was on the "Secret Committee"? (just typing those words feel so funny). What was that Super Secret Double Probation or something on "Animal House"?

    Hmmmm...was anyone partaking of any illegal substances during this 3 hour secret interview maybe?
  • iheartmilesiheartmiles Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member
    No there were obviously no illegal substances involved. If she was pranking me, then she played her part well because she said it in complete seriousness and said it as if it was something she really couldn't reveal, but felt comfortable with telling me by the end. Believe me, I think it sounds crazy too, which is why I'm inquiring on CC. Also, my cousin who is 2 yrs older than me met with her 2 yrs ago and he is extremely awkward and quiet and antisocial. He didn't get in and I know this is due to probably a billion other reasons besides his visit with this girl, but I can't help being curious as to whether this sort of thing is real.
  • PtonGrad2000PtonGrad2000 Registered User Posts: 1,368 Senior Member
    I'm afraid that the student with whom you met was just teasing you.

    There is no secret committee and current undergraduates have absolutely no role in assessing applicants. The only role they play is to act as hosts for visiting students and as tour guides all year round.

    The decision regarding your application will be made solely by the professionals in the admission office. Here's hoping you receive good news in the spring!
  • GiffordGifford - Posts: 146 Junior Member
    Several prep schools, colleges & universities utilize "stealth interviews" during which only the interviewer knows that the essence of the conversation between the applicant & the school representative "interviewer" will be reported to the admissions office to gauge the candidate's level of interest and the candidate's qualities. (Refreshments are served in the library between group events & individual interviews.) But I am unaware of any "secret admissions committees" at any school.
    At one very elite prep day school in a major U.S. city the librarian reports overheard conversations among prospective applicants & their parents & other applicant families to the admissions office that occur during the open house events.
    Many student tour guides at private prep schools, colleges & universities fill out forms at the end of each private tour assessing the prospective student's level of interest.
  • GiffordGifford - Posts: 146 Junior Member
    Stealth interviews are quite common in the working world. An invitation to a casual lunch by another person in your field who just happens to have run into a co-worker on the way to your informal lunch may really be an interview. Happens a lot in the legal field.
  • BigGBigG Registered User Posts: 3,885 Senior Member
    The sad and humorous circumstance is that this is a minor "urban legend" in the college admissions process. The real situation is much more dark and unfair.

    But "if you don't bet, you can't win". So give every part of the process your best shot and recognize there may even be "parts" of the process which actually are secret.

    Gifford, Yeah, engineers do this also. Who wants to work on a project with someone who is "nice" only duing an "official" interview?
  • midatlmommidatlmom Registered User Posts: 1,693 Senior Member
    The secret admissions committee doesn't exist and I don't know why this student decided to make this claim. Logically, you must realize that it doesn't make any sense, since any of these types of encounters are fairly random (this junior might not meet any other prospective applicants and so her input would be limited to her meeting with you) and Princeton has no way to judge the nature of the encounter, whether she's your brother's girlfriend etc.

    Now it is possible that a current student who meets with a Princeton applicant can send in a report to the admissions office if they want, but I doubt it would be given much credence unless it was extremely negative (i.e., the applicant took drugs, stole things etc.) and even then, the committee would probably try and verify it. It's also possible that the student has friends in the admissions area, or even has a student job there and that's why she appears knowledgeable, but many students and alumni know facts about how the committee works.
  • mathsciencedudemathsciencedude Registered User Posts: 1,802 Senior Member
    Just the fact that everyone denied the super secret admissions committee tells me that it is real. Faulty logic has never failed me before, so it must be a conspiracy!
  • Silly PuddySilly Puddy Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    Haha, this is one of the funnier threads on CC. If the current student who told you this was a guy, I might've guessed he was trying to sleep with you.
    At one very elite prep day school in a major U.S. city the librarian reports overheard conversations among prospective applicants & their parents & other applicant families to the admissions office that occur during the open house events.

    Many student tour guides at private prep schools, colleges & universities fill out forms at the end of each private tour assessing the prospective student's level of interest.

    All I can say is: ***? Who frankly believes that these snippets of information truly help strengthen the appraisal of a candidate?
This discussion has been closed.