Alumni and Admissions: A Partnership Continuum

Alumni have the opportunity to be involved in Vanderbilt’s admissions process from beginning to end, thanks to a unique partnership between the Office of Alumni Relations and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions that encourages alumni volunteerism at each stage along the way.

For many prospective students, the beginning stage of the admissions process is marked by attendance at high school college fairs, at which alumni may volunteer to represent Vanderbilt. Last year alumni volunteered at 76 college fairs, or 75 percent of the total number with which Vanderbilt was involved.

Through the Commodore Recruitment Programs (CoRPs), alumni also may serve as prospective-student interviewers. Last year alumni interviewed 3,014 applicants, or about 14 percent of the total pool of 21,820. Applicants who were interviewed by alumni were more likely to choose Vanderbilt upon acceptance.

After applications and interviews comes admittance to the university, the middle stage of the admissions process. Each April the alumni relations and admissions offices, along with the Alumni Association, present a series of “Vanderbilt & You” receptions for admitted students. Last year 30 such receptions took place. Alumni are involved in planning and hosting these events.

Alumni Involvement, from Beginning to End

• Represent Vanderbilt at local college fairs • Participate in “Vanderbilt & You” receptions for admitted students • Volunteer at a Summer Send-Off Party
• Interview prospective students   • Join the Alumni Fellows program


The final stage of the admissions process is marked by two milestones: an applicant’s acceptance of an offer of admission, followed by his or her move into one of the first-year houses on The Commons. Again, alumni involvement is crucial. Once applicants have accepted their offers, they are welcomed at Summer Send-Off Parties hosted by local chapters of the Alumni Association. Last year 43 such events took place in cities nationwide, with alumni as hosts.

Finally, once these students have settled into their new campus homes, alumni have the opportunity to interact with them through the Alumni Fellows program, a new initiative that was recently introduced by the Alumni Association. The Alumni Fellows program enables alumni to “adopt” a first-year house on The Commons and to meet with that house’s students to share meals and their respective Vanderbilt experiences. The program aims to build new traditions between alumni and students, and to increase students’ awareness of the global Vanderbilt network.

“According to my colleagues in admissions, alumni have a 98.6 percent satisfaction rate with the applicant interviewing process, and more than half say they’d like to do more,” says James Stofan, associate vice chancellor for alumni relations. “This demonstrates the commitment Vanderbilt alumni have toward their alma mater.”

Find out how you can get involved with the admissions process by emailing


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