Chapman University's Memorial Hall
Institutional Compliance

» Admissions Guidelines (FAQ) for Governing Boards

This FAQ lays out guidelines and suggestions that hopefully will be helpful in dealing with these requests.  It focuses on undergraduate admissions because it is the area about which we receive the most questions.


What happens if I want to recommend a prospective student into Chapman University?

  • We invite input from you if you know an applicant personally.Knowledge of an applicant’s family is far less useful than direct knowledge of a candidate for admission.  If you know Chapman is unambiguously an applicant’s first choice you can recommend the student utilize Early Decision.
  • Please communicate your knowledge of an applicant in writing. To ensure that your comments are noted in the applicant’s file, please complete the internal recommendation form and send them to President Struppa. Given the volume of applications, a written recommendation is critical.

When am I able to be notified if the applicant is admitted?

  • Feel free to ask for a heads up on the outcome. We can provide you advance (24-hour) notice if an applicant you recommend is denied. This is designed to protect you from being caught off guard in case the applicant contacts you.  We generally don’t explain why students are denied admission. For equity considerations within a given high school, the Admissions Office requests that “good news” should only be delivered in the form of the official letter of admission itself, with a congratulatory call afterwards.   Typically, Early Decision Round I notifications are mailed by December 15; Early Decision Round II notifications are mailed by February 10; and Regular Decision notifications by March 31. 

Am I able to intervene in the process of an individual’s admission decision?

  • You might find it helpful to remind people who ask for your assistance that your role is limited to providing input into the process. We ourselves make it a point never to intervene in an individual admissions decision and hope that you too will respect the process.
  • We find it is best never to suggest based upon your own review of an applicant’s qualifications that an applicant is “likely” to be admitted.It is very hard to predict who will be admitted based on the data that is shared with you, even when it appears to be “strong.”  Family members and advocates often do not know the full story of an applicant’s record.

Am I able to enhance my applicant’s admissions position through other means?

  • Please do not promise admission or suggest that an applicant’s admissions prospects would be enhanced if the family were to make a donation to the university. We always tell people that while we appreciate their desire to support the university, they will have plenty of opportunities to support Chapman in the future, after the admissions process has run its course.
  • We appreciate your understanding of the difficult job our Admissions staff faces.  Many candidates in Chapmans’ applicant pool are highly qualified, and there is an art as well as a science to college admissions.  Our staff seeks to achieve diversity across a broad range of factors as well as to assemble a class that will meet the challenge of a Chapman education.  Your understanding will help to ensure that we have a strong class where each student is capable of contributing significantly to our academic community.  We are grateful for your engagement and support.



Approved by the Audit Committee on 2/28/20.