Alumni Representative Committee
What It Is
The Alumni Representative Committee (ARC) is a network of Columbia College and Columbia Engineering volunteers who support Undergraduate Admissions by conducting interviews with undergraduate applicants. These conversations provide applicants with an opportunity to speak with an ambassador about the Columbia undergraduate experience as well as the “off-the-page” aspects of their application.
Please note: Interviews for the 2022–23 application cycle may be conducted virtually (video chat or telephone), or in-person providing applicable public health restrictions in your area - as well as the preferences of the applicant and interviewer. The applicant and interviewer should discuss and agree on what format works best. It is imperative that interviewers strive to create a safe, positive, and mutually respectful environment and interaction.
Read more about Undergraduate Admissions's interviewing expectations.
Why It Matters
ARC volunteers connect with thousands of high school seniors, sharing stories of their Columbia experiences to help shape impressions of Columbia broadly, as well as, and most importantly, to offer applicants the opportunity to share information about themselves that might not otherwise be available to Admissions. Interview reports submitted by ARC members play an important role in the application review process and support a holistic evaluation of applicants.
Why You Should Join
Volunteering with ARC makes you a valuable contributor to Columbia’s future. For many applicants, the interview is their first, and often only, human interaction with Columbia, and your role helps to further create a valuable impression of the school. As alumni, ARC members are uniquely qualified to share insights about what it’s like to attend the College and the value of a College education — and applicants want to hear from you. Plus, you will have fun interacting with young people and hearing their stories.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much time is involved?
Interviews take 30–45 minutes. Volunteers may meet with as few or as many applicants as they like from any region around the world.
In-Person: The applicant and interviewer must meet in a public place, such as a coffee shop, food court or library.
Virtual: The applicant and interviewer must identify a mutually agreed upon platform for the interview (such as Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, Phone call or FaceTime). If a video meeting is agreed upon the expectation is that both parties will have cameras on and appropriate virtual backgrounds.
Am I eligible to interview?
Columbia College and Columbia Engineering alumni are eligible to participate in ARC. All members are required to complete online training and must agree to adhere to the University’s terms and policies. Additionally, ARC members must disclose any possible or actual conflicts of interest to ARC staff and refrain from conducting interviews that might be impacted by the conflict of interest. Read more about interviewing expectations.
What are some tips for a good interview?
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you are interviewing a high school student who might not have interviewing experience. It’s helpful to create a relaxed and mutually enjoyable conversation that allows the applicant to be themselves. You’re encouraged to share your stories about Columbia and New York City.
ARC members must not convey any impression or expectation about the applicant’s probability for admission. Read the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s Code of Ethics and Professional Practices.
How can I learn more about Columbia College today?
Keep in mind that you are not required to know all the facts about Columbia.
Read about what’s new on the Columbia Undergraduate Admissions website; check out the calendar for virtual events on campus and around the world; and read about important initiatives such as My Columbia College Journey and Columbia Engineering for Humanity.
When do interviews take place?
Interviewing for early decision applications is in November and for regular decision applications is January–March.
What happens after I submit my interview report?
Your report will be included in the applicant’s package for Undergraduate Admissions.
What if my child or grandchild is applying to Columbia College or Columbia Engineering this admissions cycle?
This presents a conflict of interest, and you will be ineligible to participate that year. Please send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.