Streamlining the Harvard College Interview Process

Applying for college is a stressful process for high school seniors and their parents. Harvard College is the oldest and arguably the nation's most competitive college. In addition to answering a series of questions in their application, every prospective freshman is offered a personal interview, usually with a local Harvard alum.

FMS created and hosts a software application to manage the interview process for Harvard College by matching thousands of applicants with interviewers. The system collects the paperwork and provides the schools committee administrators with status updates throughout the process.

Harvard Admissions Application Interview System

Rather than having a large number of emails assigning students to interviewers, then verifying their acceptance, and other steps throughout the process, a desktop and web based system is implemented to:

  • Provide an online sign-up and approval process for alumni wishing to interview prospective students
  • Continually upload lists of candidates provided by Cambridge throughout the application season
  • Match candidates to interviewers while spreading the workload geographically noting interviewer preferences and conflicts
  • Minimize assignments of multiple candidates from one high school to an interviewer
  • Send personalized emails to notify each interviewer of his or her candidates, along with reminder emails if no response is received
  • Allow interviewers a secure online screen to view all their candidate assignments to accept or decline them, and upload their interview write-ups
  • Provide a simplified way to reassign candidates to new interviewers
  • Handle candidates who withdraw
  • Generate management reports to track the status of the entire process, so problems are detected as early as possible

Technology Platforms

FMS created this secure web site using Visual Studio .NET and Microsoft SQL Server. A Microsoft Access administrative interface also assists with the process. When a candidate is assigned, the interviewer is emailed information on the student using our Total Access Emailer program. The personalized email directs them to the web site to accept or decline the assignment. If they accept, they can upload their interview details online. A variety of SQL Server Reporting Services reports let administrators monitor all the activity and jump in when help is needed.

Best wishes to all who apply!