I don’t remember how many years I’ve participated as an alumni interview, more than a decade or two. Frankly, after meeting so many outstanding young people who were not admitted, I find the role humbling.

I have interviewed three students over the years who were accepted. Alumni interviewers have zero access to the content of students’ admission files; so, we have no way to really know how those that were accepted differ from those who were denied. However, I do generally look into the general reputations of the applicants secondary schools, and I have seen evidence that acceptance rates differ noticeably by what school they attend.

I do not envy the task of the admissions office faced with having to select a handful from among a tsunami of qualified applicants. It seems an impossible task, but I’m a regular attendee of major reunions that provide opportunities to interact with Princeton undergraduates. I have always been impressed by Princeton students both individually and collectively. Nevertheless, I suspect that applicants who have access to and resources for coaching and counseling have an advantage that I believe is a superficial difference that the Admissions Office doesn’t fully account for. I intend to keep interviewing and advocating for applicants from ordinary public high schools.

Murphy Sewall ’64
Windham, Conn.