Last Friday began the first of four spring semester open houses for accepted students of the Class of 2017. Over 200 students arrived on campus, with around 80 students spending the night.
Overnight visits allow prospective students to shadow current Wheaton students, to show what the living, academic and social situation is like. With additional family members, the total number of visitors topped 400, doubling the number of visitors from last year’s February event.
Gail Berson, Dean of Admissions and Student Aid, called the event a “smashing success.” After a welcome and congratulations from Berson, students were able to tour the campus and residence halls, visit classes and get a glimpse of the daily life of a Wheaton College student.
Accepted students had the opportunity to hear social and academic perspectives at a student panel, while hearing specifically educationally focused discussions from professors within the Humanities, Arts and Sciences. Additionally, students were able to gather information and ask questions concerning career services, academic advising and study abroad opportunities.
Assistant Director of Admission Jonathan Wolinsky was pleased with the event. “Myself and the other Admissions counselors had phenomenal conversations with accepted students and their families, and ended Friday even more excited about the Class of 2017 than we were beforehand,” he said.
With such a large number of students visiting, numerous states were represented. Students hailed from all of the New England states, plus New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, California, Michigan and Kentucky; one student even represented the country of Turkey.
After the open house, students were asked to respond to an online survery. Results stated that 80% left with a better impression of Wheaton, while 90% found the event effective in helping them decide if Wheaton is the right college for them. Berson added that responses from the prospective students were “thoughtful and positive.”
With the Common Reply Date of May 1 fast approaching, the Office of Admission has been hard at work.
“Yield season,” as Berson called it, “means that we are working to promote Wheaton as a first choice among all offers of admission that students receive from the more than eight to ten colleges to which they apply.”
The Wheaton Admissions office combines the Open House events with email and social media in order to give students the clearest picture of Wheaton possible.
Our basic philosophy,” added Berson, “is to leave no stone unturned when it comes to making sure that students and their families know as much about Wheaton as possible to make an informed college choice.”
While February’s event was held for Early Action students, Wolinsky says that he and his fellow admissions counselors are “now very much looking forward to the three Open Houses in April that will incorporate our Regular Decision students.” These Open House sessions will occur on April 13, 19 and 26, with further opportunities for accepted students to learn more about Wheaton.