When universities interview you, is it okay for them to ask how many other universities you've applied for? Why would they ask this?


What if they ask if they were your 1st or 2nd 3rd etc. choice?

12 Answers

  • Neil
    Lv 4
    3 weeks ago

    They can ask. You don't have to ttell them. Of course, they also don't have to admit you.


    Why would they ask? They want to know if there is any likelihood you will actually enroll if accepted. For most schools, a great many of the seats in their entering class will be filled pretty much straight by the numbers - GPA, SAT scores, gender, intended major, whatever their formula is. A - generally much smaller - number of seats will be filled by by subjective criteria. This is the point where essays and references actually get read. So it's much more labor intensive. If  know that you applied to five other schools and they are your bottom choice, why would they bother? You're not going to go there anyway, so they may as well move on to someone else.


    Years ago, when I applied to Berkeley out of state, there were actually FOUR rounds:

    1. Athletic, music, and probably a few other special "good of the institution" scholarships.2. By the numbers.

    3. Subjective (I think I remember 10%, but I'm guessing it was actually 5%.)

    4. Appeals/adjuctments for fairness (5%)

  • 4 weeks ago

    There's a stock answer you can always give.  It's "Why do you ask?"  Make them at least tell you WHY they want to know this information. If they already know the answer, you can always say "I don't recall." I think it's intrusive and unnecessary, but there may be some reason they think they need to know. Frankly, I can't see what it might be, but who knows. 

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    I was told as I went into the interview - "I see you have been rejected by X and Y Universities" (this was news to me but they share info directly so they know). In the UK they also know what your choices were so do not lie about it. My off-the-cuff response was "What do you expect? I didn't put them as 1st choice." Turns out this was (by fluke) the best response as they were only interested in taking candidates who had put them first. I received an unconditional offer.

  • Lili
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    For one thing, they do want a sense of where they might stand on your list of choices. If they ask directly, tell them they are the first choice even if they are not, but depending on the other schools on your list, they might well guess that they are not.

    There's no law forbidding them to ask.

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  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    You watch too many movies. Schools don't do interviews. It's just some grunt sitting in a cubicle reviewing your application. 

  • 4 weeks ago

    I do alumni interviews for a university (Ivy League), and we are not allowed to ask or talk about other universities to which the student may have applied (or intend to apply, for early admission).

    That might just be my university's policy, but I would bet that it's a pretty common one. As others are saying, it's not relevant. 

    Just make sure they get the impression that they are your first choice. It doesn't have to be a lie; I always had different first choices for different reasons. A Harvard degree would be the most impressive, but Dartmouth has by far the best skiing; Princeton has the prettiest campus, but how can you beat going to Columbia and living in New York City? Then again, with my grades and SAT scores, I could get a full ride at State; etc. 

    So tell your interviewer why that university is amazing and the perfect fit for you.  

  • 4 weeks ago

    It’s certainly not illegal for them to ask, but I agree, why? No one usually applies to one university, and they know that.  They may inquire however, your dedication to attending their uni over others and that’s fair.

  • Murzy
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Ask them, "why are you asking?".

  • drip
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    I would doubt they would ask. All universities know students are applying to more than one school. Students normally apply to 3-6 schools.

    They will assume if you apply to their school and are at the interview you are very interested in them. 

    They could ask you why you want to go to their school. Or what you will bring to their school. 

  • 4 weeks ago

    I don't know why that info would be useful to them.  It's like applying for a job an they ask you how many other jobs you applied for.  I would say 'A few.  I don't remember exactly.'

    'Is this your first choice?'  Again, really none of their business.  I'd say 'Of course!'  What difference does it make?

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