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College Interviews Take to the Internet!

Interviews: never the most easy-going task. Between the suit, the awkward pauses, and the stress of the office waiting room, it's an uncomfortable mission no matter what the circumstance; when the future of your college acceptance hangs in the balance (especially a college you may have flown or driven hundreds of miles to converse with), it can be outright nerve-wracking.

But what if there was another way? What if you could conduct a college interview on your terms, assured of a chance to show your interviewers the real you without all those external stresses that might turn a normally bright student into a stammering mess? It's something Wake Forest University thought of, and they are making history with a new option: the online college admissions interview.

David Hawkins, public policy director of the National Association of College Admission Counseling, said he knew of no other colleges using Webcams for student interviews. But for years now, college students in the United States have turned to the Internet to find their dream campus - using virtual tours, chat rooms, online applications. They've been known to e-mail professors to find out about academic programs before setting foot on campus, so it's not surprising that the virtual interview has arrived.

"It's kind of interesting that we're using the technology to be more personal," Allman said. "It allows the personality to come through, and it allows us to ask them questions."

Of course, WFU officials still encourage prospective students to come to the college itself for a live interview, but this new option is huge in its implications for students whose social or outright physical and distance limitations might otherwise have seriously hindered their chances at acceptance. It's a definite leap forward in the admissions model, and one that will likely, before long, be coming to a college near you.

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