|Megha Vora, B.S.Ch.E. '01, and APAP volunteer in Los Angeles, chats with Harald Boerstler, B.T. '90, chair of the Central St. Louis APAP Committee.
Around the World
Every former college student remembers the challenge of applying to college: Where should I go? How will I afford it? Can I get in?
At Washington University, alumni and parents help make the process much less daunting. The Alumni and Parents Admission Program, more commonly referred to as APAP, reaches out to prospective undergraduate students and their families throughout the year.
Volunteers interview students who have not had an on-campus interview, answer questions, establish relationships, serve as a resource for parents, encourage students to visit the campus, and congratulate admitted students.
"When I applied, there were no on-campus or APAP interviews," says Andrew Grossman, A.B. '92, APAP executive chair. "Since then, APAP has achieved incredible success by creating a network of ambassadors who reach out to thousands of prospective freshmen each year. The personal touch we inject into the recruiting process helps convince students and parents how special Washington University is."
A significant impact
APAP was launched in 1992. Today the program has 2,500 volunteers organized into 69 domestic committees, six international committees, and four regional committees for those who live outside major metropolitan areas. This year, volunteers offered more than 5,100 interviews to applicants in the United States and abroad.
"As one of the nation's top academic institutions, Washington University competes with other elite schools for outstanding applicants," says Ashley Cade, director of APAP. "By building one-on-one relationships with students and their families, we convey the same warm and lasting impression one would experience visiting campus. That makes an impact on the number of admitted students who enroll."
Members get involved
APAP volunteers participate in the yearlong undergraduate admissions cycle. Committee chairs from all over the country convene on campus for their annual conference in late August, and "Kick-Off" training meetings are held from September through November in committee areas, alternating with alumni events in major cities each year.
Student interviews are offered from September through January. Many take place at "Interview Days" in a relaxed, informal setting, often a local high school. Following each interview, the APAP member acts as a student advocate, presenting information beyond grades and test scores to the admissions committee. The volunteer emphasizes the applicant's special qualities and the motivation that inspires each applicant to pursue his or her interests and activities.
In April, APAP members host "Admitted Student Receptions" to congratulate students from their area who have been offered admission. Spring is also a busy time for APAP parent members. The Parents Resource List includes APAP parents who volunteer to answer questions from parents of prospective students. In the "Parent-to-Parent Calling Program," APAP parent volunteers call parents of admitted students in their area to congratulate them.
Beth Reising, APAP chair of parent members, says: "It's easy to be enthusiastic about the outstanding programs and experiences that Washington University provides to all students. Parents want to hear from other parents that a school goes above and beyond to support each student's goals and dreams."
APAP encourages all admitted students to attend "April Welcome," a month-long series of events that provides an opportunity to visit the campus and meet current students and faculty. In August, APAP plans "Summer Send-Offs," where members can celebrate with students from their area who will be entering the University as freshmen in the fall.
How to get involved
APAP focuses on recruiting new members from May through July, but they are happy to have alumni and parents join anytime. If you enjoy meeting outstanding young people and sharing the latest news from Washington University, APAP has opportunities for you.
To learn more about APAP or to become a member, please call, write, or visit any time throughout the year:
Telephone: 1-800-935-4826 or (314) 935-4826
Web site: http://apap.wustl.edu
Address: Alumni & Parents Admission Program
Campus Box 1028
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899