What are your chances of acceptance?

Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Duke University
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

How to Write a Great College Interview Thank You Email

What’s Covered:


You’ve just finished your interview, and you’re wondering if there’s anything else you can do to cement the great impression you’ve just made on your interviewer. There is one thing that we recommend, and that’s sending a thank you note. Doing so will help you stick out as a thoughtful, respectful candidate who pays attention to details and expresses gratitude to the people who’ve helped you along the way. 


When to Send Your Thank You Email


Ideally, you will send your thank you email within 24 hours of your interview. This way, your interviewer knows it wasn’t an afterthought, that you’re genuinely appreciative of the opportunity to interview, and an overall organized, attentive person. Sending a late thank you can make you seem forgetful or sloppy. At most, your thank you can come 48 hours after your interview if you have a busy next day and truly can’t find the time to write it, but we don’t recommend waiting any longer than that. 


Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that your email is sent around normal business hours, or 9 am to 5 pm. It’s okay to stray a little outside this; it’s fine to send an email at 8 am, or 6:30 pm, for example. Sending an email too early or too late, however, can strike your interviewer as odd. You shouldn’t be emailing them at 10 pm or 4 am, as this will seem strange, and you run the risk of your note getting lost in spam or promotional emails, which tend to come in at odd hours. 


What to Include in Your Thank You Email


Your Interviewer’s Preferred Title


In starting out your email, make sure you use the name that you used during the interview, which includes your interviewer’s first name if that’s how they asked you to refer to them. Although interviewers of course feel greatly important to you, many interviewers are alums who view these conversations as quite casual, so being too formal if they’ve requested the opposite may feel strange to them.


On the flip side, if your interviewer didn’t explicitly state that they would like you to use their first name, make sure that you’re using the correct title—using Mrs. or Mr. instead of Dr. can rub people the wrong way, as can using Mrs. instead of Ms. or vice versa. 


Appreciation for Your Interviewer’s Time


Someone took time out of their day to meet with you and assist in your college process. You should thank them for that! Interviewers who are not working for the school and are merely engaged alums likely weren’t even paid for their time. You don’t need to dwell on the point, but a quick, genuinely appreciative acknowledgement of the time your interviewer invested in you is a great way to begin your email.


Reiterated Interest in the School


Your thank you email is a great place to underscore one more time how excited you are to have the opportunity to interview for, talk about, and present your candidacy for a place at this school. Like with everything in college admissions, the more specific you can be, the better—mentioning the science program you want to join, or the art class you hope to take will remind them how deep your interest goes much more than just talking vaguely about the location.


Something Specific From the Interview


Maybe your interviewer told you about their time working for the student newspaper, or how the Lunar New Year celebration coordinated by students was their favorite event on campus. Perhaps you joked about your support of rival sports teams, or you realized the two of you shared a favorite book. You could even comment on a question you particularly appreciated. 


What’s important is that you demonstrate that this thank you note was written for this interview in particular, with time and care, and that you were paying attention. 


Offer to Keep Them Updated


If you feel especially confident in the bond with your interviewer, you may offer to let them know if you receive an offer of admission. You can do so in the form of a direct statement (“I’ll let you know about any updates to my admissions status”) or an option (“If you would like, I will let you know what admissions decision I receive”). 


Do keep in mind that for interviewers who work in admissions offices, this offer may be redundant or unnecessary. 


How to Format Your Thank You Email


While you may have a lot that you want to say about yourself, the school, and why you should be admitted, your thank you email is not the place for that. It may be tempting to add just one thing that you forgot to mention during your interview, but doing this takes away from the purpose of the email as a thank you note, and can make your thank you seem opportunistic and insincere. 


Instead, keep your email brief and to the point. This note should be two to three paragraphs max, and should focus on your appreciation for the interviewer, their time, and the meeting the two of you had. To make the best impression, you should also proofread your email carefully, and get a friend or family member to look it over for typos or grammatical errors before you send it. A thank you email with obvious spelling or writing errors is a terrible final impression to leave on your interviewer. 


Finally, though these emails seem formulaic and it may be tempting to get some help, avoid using AI to write this kind of message. You may believe that the email still sounds original and authentic, but as AI writing becomes more and more prevalent, people are getting better at figuring out when something doesn’t sound quite right. If your interviewer suspects that you’ve used AI to write a thank you email, they may believe that your application isn’t that important to you, after all. 


Example of a Good Thank You Email


You may be wondering what all of these elements look like brought together. To answer that question, we’ve included an example of a thank you email a hypothetical student might write after their interview at Vassar:


Dear Mr. Smith,


Thank you for taking the time to meet with me on Saturday! It meant so much that I got to talk to a Vassar alum about the school, especially studying abroad while doing the Vassar/Columbia BA/MPH program. Hearing about your experience in Lisbon settled it for me – if I do pursue the BA/MPH track, I’ll still find a way to get to Europe, too!


I really enjoyed speaking with you, and I’m so grateful that I had the chance to interview for my top school. Your stories about living in Raymond House and the annual Halloween haunted house made Vassar sound like a community and a home, and made me that much more confident that Vassar is where I want to spend the next four years. 


Thank you again for meeting with me! I will be sure to keep you posted on updates to my admissions status. 






You can see that in this example, Amanda thanks Mr. Smith, her interviewer, for his time, his aid in her college process, and his particular stories and advice about Vassar. She brings up a specific program she’s interested in, a story that Mr. Smith shared with her, and a few details of why Vassar is so special to her—namely, because it’s a community, a home. All of these elements come together to make a meaningful, unique, and memorable thank you note. 


How to Calculate Your Odds of Acceptance After Your Interview


While the interview is often one of the aspects of the college process that applicants stress about the most, in reality it is unlikely to be the determining factor for your application. So, once you finish writing your thank you letter, you may be wondering how the other, more crucial aspects of your application stack up at your dream schools.


To answer that question, check out CollegeVine’s free chancing engine. It takes into account just about every element of your application (other than your interview, letters of recommendation, and essays, which aren’t quantifiable), including your grades, course rigor, test scores (if you have them), and extracurriculars, to give you personalized odds of acceptance at all of your top choice schools.

Short Bio
After graduating from Wesleyan University, Francesca Jette is pursuing a Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at George Washington University. She has been helping high school seniors with college essays for three years now.