It seems like just yesterday that classes were starting, but there’s no denying that fall is here now. Ankeny Field is sprinkled with leaves of every fall color, Whitties have recently returned from their four-day fall vacation, and midterms loom in the not-so-far distance. Here in the Office of Admission, we’re preparing for one of our largest fall events: Fall Visitors’ Day! On Monday, November 12, hundreds of students and their families will come visit campus; they’ll take tours and admire the beautiful fall foliage, listen to faculty and student panels, have the opportunity to visit some classes, and hear from a range of programs, such as the Intercultural Center, the Outdoor Program, and the Off-Campus Studies Office.
And no, it’s not too late to RSVP! Check out the following link to sign up: http://www.whitman.edu/content/admission/rsvp/?loc=185. With our Early Decision I deadline (November 15) less than a month away, Fall Visitors’ Day is a great opportunity to return to campus or see it for the first time. As you prospective students out there continue to work on your application, feel free to reach out to any one of us on the Admission staff with your questions.
Should you visit on your own terms or on planned Visit Days / “open houses” at your favorite colleges?
An individualized tour provides a number of visit options. You are much more likely to see the natural state of the campus and student body. You will have better chances of small information sessions or even interviews / meetings with your Admission Officer. You are similarly going to be more likely to see actual classes on campus. You might be able to stay overnight and are more likely to be able to eat with current students in the residence halls. And the list goes on – thus is the “individual” nature of this kind of visit.
On the other hand, visiting on a Visitors’ Day (like the one coming up next Friday, November 12) also affords you some special opportunities. We are more able to pull together key leaders across campus, be they staff from the Intercultural Center to Athletics, or faculty from Biology to Asian Studies, and provide you with access to an array of common interests explored and questions answered. In a room full of prospective students and families, that question about Financial Aid you forgot might very well be asked by someone beside you. Finally, and perhaps most exciting, is the prospect of meeting not just current Whitman staff, faculty, and students, but a great many potential future classmates!
Whitman offers several of these types of visitor events. We offer two Fall Visitors’ Day, often most attended by current high school seniors finishing up their reconnaissance of prospective colleges before they complete the last of their applications. Younger students often attend these as well, to get ahead of the game. We also offer a very similar Spring Visitors’ Day in early April, in this case more commonly attended by current high school juniors getting an early jump on their college search. Finally, Admitted Students’ Day in mid-April affords applicants who are at the end of their college search and have been offered admission to Whitman the opportunity to see campus one more time. This is often a particularly exciting Saturday because it has so much less to do with stats and figures, staff and faculty, even the Admission Office itself – it’s all about the students! These talented young women and men know they are admitted, they know the choice is theirs now, and they come to see what their future class at Whitman could be like. It’s a wonderfully vital and invigorating weekend!
What is best for you or your family is really a question only you can answer. Many of the benefits of the individual visit – such as class visits, overnight stays, and interviews with Admission Officers – are impossible to offer on a Visitors’ Day due to simple numbers and capacity limits. And the verve and momentum of a hundred prospective students generated naturally on a big Visitors’ Day is equally impossible to manufacture if you visit on a solitary afternoon in early December. It’s all about fit and feel, even at this stage of the process. What is right for you?