Admission Volunteers (OVAL)

OVAL Frequently Asked Questions

Admission Volunteers

General

  1. What is OVAL?
  2. Who can participate?
  3. How do I sign up?
  4. If I have volunteered for admission, am I a member of OVAL?
  5. I signed up but haven't heard from you.
  6. I have moved since I signed up to volunteer. How can I update my information for OVAL?
  7. I don't live in an interview area, should I still register for OVAL?

Attending College Fairs and Other Events

  1. I heard about a college fair in my area. May I attend it on behalf of Stanford?

Alumni Interviews

  1. Why is Stanford offering an alumni interview?
  2. Where are alumni interviews offered?
  3. What is the role of the alumni interviewer?
  4. How will the alumni interview be used when making admission decisions?
  5. Will a student's application be affected if he/she does not have an interview?
  6. Who is eligible to be an alumni interviewer?
  7. My son/daughter or sibling will be applying to Stanford in the next couple of years. Am I eligible to be an alumni interviewer?
  8. My son or daughter will be applying to Stanford this year and he/she does not attend high school in an interview area. Can he/she still have an alumni interview?
  9. I know a student who is applying to Stanford. Am I permitted to interview him/her?
  10. When will interviews take place?
  11. How many interviews do you expect each alumni interviewer to conduct?
  12. How will applicants and alumni be matched?
  13. I'm an OVAL volunteer and live in one of the areas offering an alumni interview. When can I expect to receive more details?

Contact

  1. If I have additional questions, how can I contact the Admission office?

 


1. What is OVAL?

Stanford's OVAL (Outreach Volunteer Alumni Link) is an initiative by the Office of Undergraduate Admission to utilize alumni (and sometimes parent) volunteers in our efforts to reach and engage potential applicants. OVAL members will represent Stanford in a host of outreach activities including but not limited to the interview program.

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2. Who can participate?

OVAL members must be Stanford alumni or parents of Stanford undergraduates. Although not required, we encourage volunteers to be undergraduate alumni themselves. A strong understanding of and identification with Stanford's unique undergraduate experience is essential.

You are not eligible to participate if you are a college admission professional (including a high school guidance counselor or independent consultant), if you have a child or sibling who is a high school senior or if you interview for any other undergraduate institution. (Please send an email to alumniadmission@stanford.edu if you are unsure of your eligibility.)

In general Stanford faculty and staff who are also Stanford alumni may serve as OVAL volunteers. Employees of the Office of Undergraduate Admission, Financial Aid, and Visitor Information Services are not eligible to participate.

Alumni interested in interviewing should live or work in one of the interview areas, and they must register as an OVAL (Outreach Volunteer Alumni Link) volunteer and complete interview training.

Note: Using contact with prospective applicants and/or admits and their parents for business other than Stanford Admission outreach is expressly prohibited.

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3. How do I sign up?

Please visit the OVAL registration page for step-by-step instructions.

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4. If I have volunteered for admission, am I a member of OVAL?

We ask that all potential admission volunteers, regardless of past service, sign up for OVAL. This will allow us to record your volunteer service and send you important program updates. Additionally, we recently transitioned to a new, online system for OVAL. We ask that all admission volunteers please register using the online system. Visit the registration page for instructions.

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5. I signed up but haven't heard from you.

The Admission process is dynamic and ever-changing. Our needs vary greatly depending upon time of year, geographic locations and our applicant pool. We will contact you on an as-needed basis.

Much of the success of OVAL depends on having a reliable group of volunteers at the ready. We ask for your patience as our network grows and evolves. We appreciate your enthusiasm and willingness to be on board.

Also, we expect to expand over the next several years, during which time more opportunities are likely to become available.

If you recently registered online for OVAL and did not receive an automatic email confirmation within 24 hours, please contact us at alumniadmission@stanford.edu.

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6. I have moved since I signed up to volunteer. How can I update my information for OVAL?

No matter where you move, you can still be an OVAL/admission volunteer!

Please log in to the MyOVAL website using the Volunteer Login portal. If it's your first time logging into the site, follow the registration steps to get to the MyOVAL home page (you'll be prompted to update your contact information and preferred chapter along the way). If you have previously registered in the MyOVAL system, log in and click on "My OVAL Profile" to update both your University profile and preferred OVAL chapter(s), as well as your volunteer status and eligibility.

Alumni interviewers: Please note that if you change OVAL chapters mid-cycle, any interview assignments you have not already accepted in your former chapter will be reassigned. It is your responsibility to complete interviews already accepted or alert your Regional Chair if you cannot.

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7. I don't live in an interview area, should I still register for OVAL?

Yes! There are a host of other OVAL opportunities available to alumni, such as representing Stanford at college fairs and regional information sessions, serving on panels, calling admitted or prospective students and attending/hosting admitted student receptions.

See the Volunteer Roles page for a list of OVAL opportunities.

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8. I heard about a college fair in my area. May I attend it on behalf of Stanford?

Thank you for your initiative! College fair attendance must be approved by the Office of Undergraduate Admission. If you are interested in attending a college fair for Stanford, please email alumniadmission@stanford.edu with as much notice as possible so we can put you in touch with the Admission Officer who coordinates fairs for your area.

The same procedure applies to other college information sessions, panels and events that may come up in your area.

Our resources do not extend to every informational opportunity, but we appreciate knowing about these regional events in your area.

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9. Why is Stanford offering an alumni interview?

The Office of Undergraduate Admission has identified two compelling reasons for offering an alumni interview:

  • An alumni interview offers a unique opportunity for candidates to learn about Stanford in a personal and meaningful way
  • An alumni interview offers the Office of Undergraduate Admission an opportunity to learn more about candidates beyond the written application

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10. Where are alumni interviews offered?

For the 2013–14 admission cycle the Office of Undergraduate Admission will offer an optional alumni interview to applicants attending high school in the following areas: Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham, Washington D.C., the states of Colorado, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming, as well as Ireland and the UK.

New interview locations will be added over the next several years.

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11. What is the role of the alumni interviewer?

Alumni will make initial contact with applicants and invite them to meet. The optional interview is designed to be a one-hour, casual, comfortable conversation. After an interview is completed, the interviewer will submit a report which will become part of the applicant's file.

An alumni interview in no way supplants the role of the Office of Undergraduate Admission in making admission decisions.

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12. How will the interview be used when making admission decisions?

The interview report provides a supplementary perspective of the candidate. The admission committee will consider the interview as one piece among many in its holistic review process.

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13. Will a student's application be affected if he/she does not have an interview?

No. The alumni interview is not required even if an applicant lives in an interview area. In addition, alumni resources are limited, and while we will make every effort to offer an interview to applicants in the interview areas, we may not be able to reach everyone.

Applicants who do not interview, whether by choice or due to program limitations, will not be adversely affected, and their applications will be considered complete without an interview.

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14. Who is eligible to be an alumni interviewer?

Alumni interested in interviewing should live or work in one of the interview areas, and they must register as an OVAL (Outreach Volunteer Alumni Link) volunteer. Once registered, you'll be in our OVAL database and will receive all communications relating to the interview program.

OVAL members must be Stanford alumni or parents of Stanford undergraduates. Although not required, we encourage volunteers to be undergraduate alumni themselves. A strong understanding of/identification with Stanford's unique undergraduate experience is essential.

You are not eligible to participate if you are a college admission professional (including a high school guidance counselor or independent consultant), if you have a child or sibling who is a high school senior or if you interview for any other undergraduate institution. (Please send an email to alumniadmission@stanford.edu if you are unsure of your eligibility.)

In general Stanford faculty and staff who are also Stanford alumni may serve as OVAL volunteers. Employees of the Office of Undergraduate Admission, Financial Aid and Visitor Information Services are not eligible to participate.

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15. My son/daughter or sibling will be applying to Stanford in the next couple of years. Am I eligible to be an alumni interviewer?

If your child or sibling is a high school senior (regardless of whether he/she plans to apply to Stanford), we require that you suspend your OVAL volunteer activities until the application and decision process is complete.  If you are already an OVAL member, please go to the Volunteer Login page and update your OVAL profile to reflect your change in eligibility status.

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16. My son or daughter will be applying to Stanford this year and he/she does not attend high school in an interview area. Can he/she still have an alumni interview?

No. Alumni interview resources extend only to the designated interview areas. A student's application is complete with or without an interview.

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17. I know a student who is applying to Stanford. Am I permitted to interview him/her?

No. If an interviewer is assigned a candidate he/she happens to know, even peripherally, we require that the interviewer recuse him or herself and request another candidate to interview. Similarly, if you have a social, business or professional relationship with an applicant or a member of an applicant's family, we require that you excuse yourself from interviewing that particular applicant. This policy safeguards the best interests of candidates and the University.

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18. When will interviews take place?

We will offer applicants in the selected areas an optional alumni interview for both Restrictive Early Action and Regular Decision. Interviews for Restrictive Early Action will take place from approximately October 15–November 20, and Regular Decision interviews from approximately January 1–February 20.

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19. How many interviews do you expect each alumni interviewer to conduct?

We estimate alumni will conduct at least 3–5 interviews over the course of the admission cycle (October – February). This number may vary due to the makeup of the applicant pool in any given year or region.

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20. How will applicants and alumni be matched?

The Office of Undergraduate Admission and regional alumni leaders will identify students in the interview areas and send their contact information to alumni. Alumni will call or email students and invite them to interview. Interviews will be assigned based on geographical location and the number of available alumni. Applicants may not request an interview; rather they will be contacted if one is available.

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21. I'm an OVAL volunteer and live in one of the areas offering an alumni interview. When can I expect to receive more details?

We expect to provide alumni interview volunteers with training and logistics details in late summer/early fall. Registered OVAL members in interview areas who have indicated Alumni Interviews as an area of interest will receive updates via email.

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22. If I have additional questions, how can I contact the Admission office?

Please email us at alumniadmission@stanford.edu

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Last update: January 15, 2014 8:56 AM