As another season of college decisions appears on the horizon, the Admissions Office will call upon current Yalies to extend a warm embrace from the Elm City to newly admitted students.
Announced last Monday, the Prefrosh Advisors program is a revamp of the Admissions Office’s previous Adopt a Prefrosh program. According to the Admissions Office, the Prefrosh Advisors program serves a similar function to the previous initiative by facilitating communication between those already on campus and those deciding whether or not to come.
Both administrators and students said that conversations between current and admitted students are an effective way for potential Yalies to learn more about the school and to persuade undecided students to matriculate to the University.
“Current Yale students are undoubtedly Yale’s best resource and the Admissions Office’s best recruitment tool,” Admissions Office Director of Outreach and Recruitment Mark Dunn ’07 said.
Dunn said the Admissions Office decided to rename and improve its previous program in response to technological advancements and students’ growing accessibility to different modes of communication. When Adopt a Prefrosh was created in 2005, current students would call admitted students during phone-a-thon event held at phone banks. But over the past nine years, Adopt a Prefrosh was tweaked as administrators integrated the use of personal cell phones, removing the need for phone banks.
In its latest update, the Admissions Office has also added an online interface for the convenience of Prefrosh Advisors that allows Yalies to conduct their calls on-the-go. Instead of receiving student contact information from a physical location on campus, Prefrosh Advisors will sign up in advance for campus-wide calling events that span an entire evening. During a window of a few hours, they will be able to use a secure link to see contact information for admitted students who share their interests. This would allow advisors’ to participate in simultaneous calling events from different locations, including the their bedrooms, common rooms or classrooms.
Despite the revamp, Dunn maintains that the goal of the program remains the same and that the office has already laid out the strategy to contact this year’s Early Action admitted students.
“To reach our Early Action admitted students, we have nine different themed calling events planned: three per night on three nights,” he said. “[The themes] will include academic interest areas, extracurricular interest areas and geographic regions.”
A short application for the program asked applicants to rank their favorite area of interest, which ranged from academic subjects to campus communities. Based on these answers, the office will pair Yalies with admitted students who have similar expressed interests.
Twelve students interviewed had differing opinions about how admitted students should be paired with current students. Many thought that the pairings should be based on academic or extracurricular leanings because this would be most useful for admitted students trying to envision how they would fit into Yale’s busy fabric.
Others suggested an alternate approach, arguing that matching advisors to admitted students by shared academic interests is not meaningful.
“Pairing by academic interest is worthless because so many freshmen like myself don’t know what we are interested in,” Ethan Young ’18 said.
Instead, pairings should be made by geographical region because that offers the greatest amount of common ground between students, Young said.
Current students’ experience with the program before enrollment ranged from neutral to very positive. Corrie Chan ’18 said that talking to a current student on the phone after she was admitted gave her a sense of whether or not Yale would be a place where she could belong.
Most students agreed that the experience is a valuable addition to the other resources that Yale offers to admitted students.
Paul Eberwine ’18 said his advisor introduced him to the Directed Studies program, which significantly impacted his decision to come to Yale.
The experience can offer a lot of useful information that a prospective student cannot get from a website, info session or even a tour, Liam Arnade-Colwill ’18 said.
“Interaction with students on a personal level sets Yale apart from other schools,” Hannah Coy ’18.
Dunn said he hopes, with the aid of the pairings, these conversations would result in longer-lasting relationships between current and admitted students.
“We certainly hope that some admitted students and Prefrosh Advisors hit it off and develop relationships that continue through to Bulldog Days and probably include connecting through email, text or Facebook,” he said.
Two admitted students interviewed agreed that the program’s level of personal connection will be helpful in learning more about the University.
“Yale is this big ominous step that I’m not 100 percent ready to take yet,” said Alex McIntyre, an admitted student from Davis, Calif. But, “being able to talk to [with current students] one-on-one would be excellent preparation and would make students feel a lot more comfortable with the idea of going off to college.”