How do you go about contacting alumni from a school you're interested in?

College Search

Our counselors answered:

How do you go about contacting alumni from a school you're interested in?

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis
Founder Educational Advisory Services

Contacting Alumni

I am always a big proponent of going through the admissions office. There is never any harm in demonstrating interest in a school--and one way to do this is to send queries through the college admissions office. Ask the admissions officer responsible for your geographic area to put you in touch with alumni who reside close by to your town.

Erin Avery
Certified Educational Planner Avery Educational Resources, LLC

Alumni 411

Reach out to the Alumni Office or the Career Services office at said college of interest. Also, you may reach out to the local alumni association in your area.

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

Alumni Connections

The admissions office will typically keep a list of alumni who are willing to talk to prospective students. Typically these will be recent grads who can relate to your phase in the search process. Keep in mind that you will do best just to listen to what they have to share. While it may feel biased, you can be sure it is sincere, as these folks are volunteering their time to talk to you. Make sure you have a list of questions to keep the dialogue going and in a direction that is useful to you. Recognize that there is a difference between an information interview and an evaluative interview and proceed accordingly.

Helen H. Choi
Owner Admissions Mavens

How do you go about contacting alumni from a school you're interested in?

Many colleges have alumni associations which you may contact. You can access those associations via the school's main website. In addition, if you contact the admissions office, you might also be able to find alumni who volunteer with the admissions office to act as liaisons between the school and prospective students.

Helen Cella

How do you go about contacting alumni from a school you're interested in?

Contact the school's alumni office

Suzan Reznick
Independent Educational Consultant The College Connection

Contact the school first.

It is not your job to reach out to alumni. Assuming that you might be interested in an alumni interview, you need to request them. Often an interview will only be offered after your applications has been submitted. Schools prefer to ensure that they would not be wasting their alum's time, unless you are serious about their school. But you cannot be sure of the schools' policy unless you reach out to admissions. Then you may be given the contact info or the alumni might be contacting you first. While alumni interviews do not "count" much in your admissions decision; it can give you some needed insight into a campus. And it would put you on the radar of a college, especially if you have not yet had the chance to visit.

Deborah Heller
Director of College Counseling Beacon School

Alumni Contacts

The place to start if you are trying to contact an alumnus from a particular college is with your guidance counselor. They should have a list of previous students from your school who went to that college. These will be students who are currently attending the college and who are alumni of there. You may want to contact someone who currently goes there as they will likely have a better idea of what is happening on the campus now and you may be able to set up an over night visit with them. While alumni are great resources for info about finding jobs after college and how the degree helped them in terms of entering the workforce.

Alan Sheptin
Owner Sheptin Tutoring Group, LLC

Alan Sheptin, Sheptin Tutoring Group, LLC

There are several ways in which to do this: 1. Call the college's alumni relations office, and find out the secondary school chairperson of the region. 2. Contact the admissions office, speak with the admissions dean of your region, and find out the contact person. 3. If you know of an alumnus in your area, contact him/her and have that person help you find out the name of the alumni rep in the area.

Corey Fischer
President CollegeClarity

There are a number of ways to try to contact alumni

1) Some colleges will put you in touch with a local alumnus once you apply (possibly for an interview). 2) Call the college's Alumni Office and ask them to give your name, phone number, email address to a local alumni or alumni in your field of interest. They will not give you the contact information, but they will usually be willing to call the individuals to see if they would be willing to get in touch with you. 3) Network. If you know someone who knows someone who went to the college, don't be afraid to ask for their name and number. When you meet/talk with the alumnus, be sure to have done your research and have good questions prepared. You do not want to find yourself drawing a blank, nor do you want to ask questions that are easily answered with a little research.

Mr C Coakley
President Academic Coaching Services

How do you go about contacting alumni from a school you're interested in?

University alumni are usually excited to meet or communicate with prospective students. Many colleges and universities actually have alumni admissions counselors who are informed about the college, the admissions process, and, sometimes, financial aid policies. To speak with a local alumnus, contact your intended schools's admissions office and ask if there are any alumni who work directly with admissions outreach. Also, you can search the university's website to locate the "almuni office" and ask directly if a local alumnus is available to speak with you. Before contacting the alumnus, be sure to prepare your questions in advance, as a courtesy to the person who is volunteering his or her time to you. Answers to questions easily found on the admissions website should be avoided (i.e. test scores, gpa requirements, etc.). Instead, focus your questions on academic experiences (interesting courses or professors), campus traditions (activities most popular with students), or, most importantly, the best places to eat off campus! If you prepare, the conversation will be so much more informative, and rewarding. Have fun!