For months, tens of thousands of college students courted Yale, in interviews and application essays. Now, for the lucky 1,962 admitted, it is time for Yale to court them.
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions has now shifted its focus to recruiting the income coming class, a process that Director of Outreach and Recruitment Mark Dunn ’07 said began immediately after students were notified of their admission. Admitted students were invited to join the admitted student website, and hundreds of students have already joined the class of 2019 Facebook group to begin connecting with one another, Dunn said.
“We’re really racing the clock in April,” Dunn said. “And for [admitted] students, it’s their senior year, they still have AP classes and prom and sports teams and theater performances and all of that going on in April, and now they have to make this really big decision about the next four years of their life.”
On Saturday, the Admissions Office hosted a virtual student forum — a way for admits to get their questions about Yale answered live by current students and admissions officers — which started last year. Dunn said the office will host three or four of these forums throughout the month of April, allowing students to tune into a Google hangout with several current students and an admissions officer. Students can post questions that are answered live, Dunn said, and videos of each forum are archived online so students can watch them on YouTube later.
Dunn said the Admissions Office relies heavily on current Yale students and their enthusiasm for the University, as well as their willingness to share their own personal stories with new admits.
“There’s no way that I can tell 1,962 admitted students everything they want to know about Yale,” Dunn said. “But if we can make the right connections between them and the 5,400 undergraduates who are here right now, those kinds of connections and information exchanges will happen organically.”
Prefrosh advisors, who call admitted students to congratulate them on their acceptance, as well as Bulldog Days hosts and participating student groups, are pivotal to the office’s recruitment efforts, Dunn added.
Both Dunn and Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan said the office is also emphasizing the recently announced expansion of the Computer Science Department to admitted students.
“I think it’s a remarkably exciting time to be a Yale student and, over the next month, my colleagues and I are making sure our admitted students know about exciting new developments on campus like the game-changing expansion of the Computer Science Department announced last week — including a new 10,000 square-foot space for undergraduate research,” Quinlan said.
Dunn noted that the Admissions Office wrote an email to admitted students featuring computer science hirings, along with the news of the donation to renovate the Hall of Graduate Studies. Yale tries to emphasize that students do not have to choose between excellence in STEM disciplines or excellence in humanities when attending the University, Dunn said.
Michelle Park, a high school student from Los Angeles, said she received an email from Yale two days ago, titled “‘Game-changing’ News for Yale Computer Science, Engineering and the Humanities.” Park, who is interested in studying computer science, said she is glad the University is putting so much effort into expanding computer science at Yale, and found the email to be an effective marketing technique.
Dunn said students have already begun registering for Bulldog Days, and that this year’s event will be slightly different from previous versions. Bulldog Days will have a record number of events this year, Dunn said, with over 120 student group events listed on the program. Furthermore, this year’s Bulldog Days will feature an arts symposium for the first time.
Four of five admitted students interviewed said they will be attending Bulldog Days.
Santiago Vargas, a high school student from Massachusetts, said he has narrowed down his college choices to Yale and Harvard. Vargas said he appreciated the phone call he received from a current Yale student shortly after being admitted to Yale. But, Vargas said, Harvard’s recruitment efforts have been similar to Yale’s.
“I was impressed, however, by the fact that Harvard has a whole underrepresented minority outreach program,” Vargas said. “So I was contacted by a current Latin American student. I thought it was a nice touch.”
Park said that although she originally planned on attending Stanford after receiving an early offer of admission, she has been so impressed by Yale’s recruitment efforts that she is seriously considering coming to New Haven.
“Yale’s recruitment efforts are the best compared to the other schools I’ve been accepted to,” Park said. “I actually got an automated message when I asked a question to another Ivy’s financial aid office, and that was the only effort they made to answer my question. On the other hand, Yale basically ambushed me — in a very nice way — with people to contact directly for help on anything.”
Admitted students must inform Yale of their decisions by May 1.