Principles of Good Practice

Are you eligible to participate? Please review our Eligibility Requirements to make sure.

All participants are expected to abide by the following Principles of Good Practice. These principles are updated annually, so please review them before each admissions cycle.

  • Members should create a positive and mutually respectful atmosphere when interacting with all prospective students and families.
    Interviewers will strive to establish a comfortable and conversational tone, using appropriate language and asking pertinent questions.
  • Members should be encouraging and resourceful, but must not convey any impression or expectation about the applicant's probability of admission.
    Students should be directed to contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions with any questions regarding their application status.
  • Members should be honest and forthright in sharing their own Penn experience, but should also remember that there is not only one Penn experience.
    Much of what makes Penn so special is the myriad backgrounds and perspectives that students individually bring to the campus community, and, as such, the myriad experiences that undergraduates can have.
  • Members will not conduct in-home interviews.
    Interactions with prospective students will occur at locations that are mutually agreed upon, and which present no difficulty or disadvantage to either the student or the interviewer. Meeting locations should demonstrate respect for the commitments and culture of both the student and the  interviewer.
  • Interview appointments should be made with as much advance notice as possible, and never with less than 24 hours’ notice.
    Scheduling and logistical arrangements for the interview should show respect for both the applicant's and the interviewer's obligations to  school, work, and family, and the interview should take place at a time mutually agreed upon by both parties.
  • Members will not communicate with applicants except to arrange and conduct the interview, and to address specific follow-up questions raised by the applicant.
    Members may contact students who have been admitted to Penn only after receiving communication from Penn Admissions or the Alumni Interview Program staff.
  • Members will not meet applicants socially, or establish connections with applicants on social media sites 
    (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram.).
  • All members with children applying to college are required to sit out for that application cycle and must inform their committee Chair and the Interview Program staff of this fact. 
    Chairs or Interview Managers with children applying to college are expected to identify a substitute who will perform the duties of Chair or Interview Manager during that cycle.
  • Members with an active, current relationship with a particular high school may not interview applicants from that high school 
    (e.g., parents with a junior or senior attending, employees, members of boards or steering committees).
  • Members may not interview applicants they know personally, or when a social/professional relationship exists between the interviewer and the applicant’s family.
  • Members shall avoid questions, comments, and discussions that lead to direct comparison or competition with another undergraduate institution or secondary school.
    Members should not ask an applicant about other schools to which they have applied, although they may record this information in their report if a student volunteers it. If another institution is mentioned in conversation, members shall show the utmost respect for that institution. 

Members will notify the Penn Alumni Interview Program if they commit or witness any breach of the above expectations. Any member found in violation of our Eligibility Requirements or Principles of Good Practice is subject to deactivation from the Interview Program.

When in doubt, please contact the Penn Alumni Interview Program with any questions or concerns.


[ See also: Eligibility Requirements ]