Nightmare in the Admissions Office: 13 Applicant Horror Stories

by Sumair Sattar on Oct 28, 2015 12:13:00 AM

We asked our clients to submit their favourite applicant "horror stories" and we were blown away by the number of entries we received.

We've read and heard some absolutely crazy stories. Some made us laugh, some made us shudder, and others just left us plain confused. 

This Halloween we've got our picks for the top 13 applicant horror stories we heard from admissions teams.

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  • The Undead Father

“We admitted a student who wrote his essay on the death of his father. It moved our entire admissions team to tears. Later on in the semester I was speaking with the student and he began talking about how he went skiing with his father over the weekend.”

  • The Stubborn Applicant

“I love admissions but one of the hardest things to do is saying no to a qualified applicant. We rejected an applicant years ago after meeting them in person only to receive weekly phone calls, strange voicemails, emails, LinkedIn invitations, and even a gift basket sent to our office asking us to reconsider. This went on for months."

  • The Shirtless Applicant

“We had an international applicant submit their Kira video responses with no shirt on. He didn’t say a word the whole time. He just stared at the camera until his recording time was complete. Our team will never forget that."

  • The Vampire

"Our application asks students to describe a difficult experience they endured and how they overcame it. One student explained that she's always had a fascination with the idea of drinking another human's blood. She apparently still struggles with the idea."

  • The Most Dangerous Man in Asia

"This guy is either insane or a genius. He built his own house out of sticks and mud, and lived in it for 5 years. He also won the award of Most Dangerous Man in Asia because of his expedition to kill a wild animal in Africa.”

  • The Cheater

“This is more a horror story for the student. We had a student who cheated on his girlfriend, so as payback she called our admissions office crying one day and spilled the beans on how he cheated on his application, complete with proof."

  • The Murderer

"I got pretty scared of an applicant who wrote a very detailed essay about someone's murder. I never figured out if it was a personal story or a work of fiction."

  • The Lawyer

"I once confronted a student about submitting a clearly fraudulant essay. He denied it and then angrily threatened to sue our school for libel and slander."

  • Seeing Double

“I had a phone interview with an international candidate a few years ago. I called them and we had a great interview. Immediately after, my colleague told me the exact candidate I was (supposed to be) talking to had called into the admissions office while I was on the phone, and had an interview with another staff member. We had two sets of identical notes for the same applicant, and didn’t know which was real."

  • The Language Barrier

"We had an applicant write an essay that I swear could have been award-winning. Anyway, she showed up on the first day and I’m trying to make small talk with her. She seemed very quiet and uninterested in conversation. I later learned she could barely speak English."

  • The Squirrel Hater

“I was walking out of in person interview with the applicant. He'd been great. We were talking normally about the weather or something but in middle of our conversation, he was suddenly distracted by these squirrels in the quad. Really distracted. At one point he stopped mid-sentence and started yelling at the squirrels. Angry, red-faced yelling."

  • The Obituary

"We had one student who wrote an essay about himself in the style of a newspaper obituary."

  • The Werewolf

"We tried scheduling a skype interview with an applicant once. He insisted that it couldn't be on the only day that worked for my team that week. It was a full moon and he didn't feel like himself when there was a full moon".

Do you have an applicant horror story worth sharing? Leave it in the comments below!


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Written by Sumair Sattar

Sumair is a former marketer at Kira.