All students at Georgetown know how overwhelming the undergraduate admissions process can be. As we reflect on the application ordeal, however, we can often neglect to recognize the stress placed on admissions officers, committees and alumni interviewers. Handling 18,000-plus applications is no easy task, especially since Georgetown requires an interview for every prospective, student unless it is geographically impossible.

The Alumni Admissions Program – with almost 5,000 active members in 223 committees spanning all 50 states and 50 countries – is a key component of Georgetown’s application process. An interview lends a personal element to the application process, allowing the interviewer to imagine the applicant as a potential student on campus based on the interviewer’s experience as a Georgetown student. The interview report gives an admissions officer a better understanding of an applicant’s personality and fit for Georgetown.

As applicants, those of us who received interviews did our best to retain good posture and tried to anticipate as many questions as possible to prove that we belonged on the Hilltop. For alumni, there is a considerable amount of time and logistical planning that goes into scheduling the multiple interviews that the interviewer is often assigned.

Alumni dedicate hours of their day to this endeavor while balancing their personal and professional lives. To streamline the process, the AAP Web site allows interviewers to access their portfolios of assigned applicants. As with most university portals, a NetID is required to access the Web site’s content.

For some alumni, this may be their first interaction with NetIDs and, ostensibly, University Information Services. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions has no role in securing or verifying NetIDs for the AAP, so UIS is the organ used to deal with alumni’s technological issues. Unfortunately, the limitations of UIS make for a frustrating experience for those alumni experiencing technological woes. Alumni become subjected to the same inefficient service that many students encounter on a daily basis.

Even calling UIS is confusing. There is no option for alumni to choose when they hear the selection menu; consequently, many can get lost in the shuffle of the automatic phone system. The UIS Web site is also burdensome for alumni seeking to fix their NetID problems.

UIS must improve its services for alumni interviewers. In the admissions process, time is essential. If alumni are unable to access their assignments and submit reports, the admissions cycle could be delayed – particularly in the Early Action process – and selection committees may have to review a student’s application without a complete file because of a missing interview report. A backlog does not serve anyone – neither the admissions office nor the applicants.

The undergraduate admissions office is already working with students, their parents, teachers and counselors, and does not have the time or manpower to handle technical questions. Each year, alumni are generous with their time and attention in cultivating the next Georgetown class, and their contributions add a personal dimension to the often impersonal application process. UIS should likewise offer a human element to its services when dealing with alumni. If we want to keep these dedicated alumni around, UIS should reciprocate.

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