Goodness me, I'm rather late to this party, but as a professor at a university, I am going to echo a lot of what @Barbara
said rather eloquently. Goodness, she was thorough.
Here are my other thoughts, and they might stress you out or not, but here we go:
All of the acceptance rate standards signal to me that the interview is yours to lose. A 70% acceptance rate is rather high, and a 44K per year bill is even higher. It is your dream college, but quick math tells me that it's also about 200K in debt by the end. If you DO get in, and do NOT get pretty hefty scholarships, for fuck's sakes, DO. NOT. GO. You might regret the decision at the time, but it will ruin your life. If they are prepared to offer you some pretty hefty student aid that you do NOT have to pay back (or, if your parents can swing that for you), awesome. Go for it. That being said, private schools normally have foundations and are more quick to grant scholarships to the deserving poor and middle class to defray costs.
At the end of the day, it's not a selective school, and they are doing everything they can to get butts in seats for the next year. The no-SAT policy is a big sign of that. So that means that you're going to have a lot of people in there who really couldn't get into better schools. As a teacher in several such institutions, it's been...challenging. Personally, in your shoes, I would likely try to find even a state school with a lower acceptance rate and see if I can get into that--it might be cheaper as well.
What do you want to major in there? WHY THERE and noplace else? Tell the Admin Officer that if you know it. If you want to do Creative Writing because you are a fan of Professor X, who's been writing there, or their CW program, this is the time to tell them that it's been really taking of real estate in your head.
In terms of the interview, do as Barbara has said. Be professional and try to show yourself as thoughtful. We have enough driven "I AM GOING TO BE A DOCTOR BY GOD" students and we don't want those anymore. You have no idea how awful those students are in History, or English, or Algebra. Show that your mind is open and that you want to learn something. What was the latest thing you went down a rabbit hole about that you could geek out about? Show that you are curious and open-minded. Especially if you present yourself as like "THE WORLD IS SO INTERESTING" they might think, "Oh this is promising. We might get a fifth or sixth aimless undergrad year out of her as she figures herself out." It sounds rather cynical, but lately many of these private schools have been one step ahead of closure, and with others folding, they might have that in the back of their minds.
It's contradictory advice, I know, but it's realistic. If it's truly your dream, then okay. I'm not impressed with the college, but it's not my dream. It doesn't need to be. It's yours, and, likewise, go into that interview thinking, I've already got this
. Because in reality, I can guarandamntee you that with a 70% acceptance rate, this interview is a formality, and at this time of the year, it's also to get YOU revved up because of the personal contact and confirm that you are going. In other words, they are doing this to hook you, not to weed you out--that would only happen under extraordinary circumstances. I had to sign recommendation letters for my students applying to Vanderbilt in January, Yale was due in late February, Early-Admissions Duke was due in December. Personal interview was not something for them, because these schools don't give a damn about hooking you. They are good
, and they know it, and they don't have to convince you to come, because they have the big names. By the middle of March, I had sent in my confirmation of attendance letters to my undergrad, and then grad school, and then PhD program. It's almost May by now, and they're anxious that you haven't decided against them and want to coax you back in if you're wavering--the amount of students who agree and then never show is high, and no matter what they do, Freshman year drop-out statistics are astronomical across the board.
So that's my insight. If you get in, it's because you're showcasing what a charming, adventurous, and curious person you are. If you don't, then please come to me and we'll have this talk again, because believe me, it's not as bad as you think.
The History Professor.