Office of Admission Revises April Visit Program

Office of Admission Revises April Visit Program

The members of the class of 2013 who have been awaiting their turn to relive their April Visit Days by taking on the role of the host of a prospective student will be sorely disappointed come April due to changes in the visiting schedule that eliminate the two two-day, large-scale events that have taken place in years past.

Instead of limiting the on-campus experience of this year’s accepted students to one of two sets of events in April, the Office of Admission is opening up the entire month of April to the classic overnight visit while also expanding the “Experience Colgate” program and offering three one-day events with programs akin to those offered at last year’s April Visit Days.

One reason cited for the change in this year’s programming are complaints from prospective students and their parents via questionnaires that the April Visit Day program did not offer an authentic representation of life at Colgate.

“A lot of the feedback we got, especially from students who decided not to come or who didn’t really enjoy their experience was that they didn’t feel it was a true reflection of what Colgate is like on a regular evening,” Senior Assistant Dean of Admission Katryna Swartwout Ryan said.

To improve the experience of prospective students in terms of providing them with a more genuine view of Colgate, the Office of Admissions will expand the “Experience Colgate” Program, which offers prospective students the opportunity to go to lunch and classes with a Colgate student, but not necessarily to stay overnight.

“[Overnight hosting] was such an integral part of the program before and it wasn’t right for everybody; not everybody needed to have that experience to really decide if Colgate was right for them,” Ryan said.

For many current Colgate students, however the overnight experience was a positive influence on their college decision.

“I think the overnight is optimal,” overnight host and greeter for the Office of Admission first-year David Esber said. “It really gives you a good view on all aspects of the school, both academic and social.”

“It was really the little things during my April Visit Day that made me excited to come here,” first-year Jackie Baughman said. “For example, just showering in the dorms that you might live in next year really solidified the idea that this could actually be my home in a few months. Not to mention, the magnitude of my April visit really got me pumped.”

Admission representatives acknowledged that the more authentic experience they plan to offer would definitely result in the loss of the wild atmosphere of past April Visit Days.

“I think we will lose the element of it being crazy and involving hundreds of people, the big events, the programming, the a cappella concert. But at the same time I think we are actually providing a better experience for people who are really trying to make up their mind,” Ryan said.

Representatives from the Office of Admission also worried that although overnight hosting is critical, the quality of programming that they had to offer did not meet their own and the

visitors’ standards.

“We simply couldn’t meet the demand when we were only hosting two nights in the month of April. We got to the point where we were putting two prospective students with a student in Curtis and then their roommate would have two students, so we had six people sleeping in Curtis while we were still saying ‘no, we don’t have any more space’ to other prospective students,” Assistant Dean of Admission Bryanne Bowman said.

Last year, 456 prospective students participated in some sort of visit to the Colgate campus, many of them choosing the single-day “Experience Colgate” program. In fact, the Office of Admission saw a 38 percent jump in the number of prospective students choosing the “Experience Colgate” program from the year before and a 70 percent jump over the past five years. The single-day on-campus experience is nothing new for the Office of Admission; in fact, the change in programming will replicate the system from the 1990s.