What’s a “stealth applicant”? It’s an applicant who has no contact with a college’s admissions office before submitting his or her application. This means no campus visits, no emails, no place on the mailing list, and no contact with reps at college fairs.
While a stealth applicant might have a genuine interest in a school, he or she comes across as less serious than other applicants. Admissions officers often view such an applicant as someone who applied on a whim and has probably sent out a large number of applications.
A recent post on the College Solution blog confirms that this perception can adversely affect a student’s admissions chances. Admissions officers want to admit students with a serious interest in the school who are likely to attend if admitted.
If you do end up as a stealth applicant at a school, the College Solution writes that you should pay particular attention to any “why this college” questions on its application. Make sure your responses are well informed and based on the school’s actual offerings (e.g., don’t say you look forward to majoring in physics if the school doesn’t have a physics department).
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