Does an early interview invitation translate into a higher chance of admission?
First, congratulations to all of you who submitted your applications in Round 1!
Many of you have asked whether there is a relationship between the timing of your interview invitation and your chance of admission. You'll find the "what" and "why" of interviews covered on our website in Interviews , so I'll focus on the "when."
Please be assured that your likelihood of admission bears no relationship to when you receive your interview invitation; the timing of your invitation simply depends on when we review your file--and there is no pattern to application review.
Interviews for Round 1 applicants start as soon as possible after the application deadline-- typically early November--and last through mid January. We expect to send Round 1 interview invitations pretty regularly, every business day or so, through mid December. Even during Stanford's winter shutdown (22 December 2008 through 5 January 2009) we continue to read feverishly but tend to bundle invitations and send them every few days. (One reason for the bundling is that our building is unheated for the entire shutdown and we are thin-blooded Californians!)
We hope to send almost all Round 1 interview invitations by mid-January 2009, though some will go out later. We also may ask some of you to join the waitlist without an interview.
No matter when you receive your invitation to interview, you have the same chance of admission as any other candidate.
I hope this is helpful. Back to my files...