Robbie Short

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions is set to launch significant changes to its recruitment programming for admitted students this year, in order to cater to the larger size of the freshman class.

The main changes include the addition of “Bulldog Saturday” on April 15, 2017, a mini-version of Bulldog Days, the University’s three-day program to showcase Yale to admitted students and their parents. There will also be changes in the date and structure of Yale Engineering and Sciences Weekend, a program designed to recruit STEM students.

Director of Recruitment Hannah Mendlowitz ’12 said Bulldog Days has long been the best way for the office to showcase the totality of the Yale experience to admitted students as they decide where to enroll. With the addition of the two new residential colleges, however, and the larger number of students to be admitted — about 300 to 400 more than in years past, according to the admissions office — the office decided to pilot “Bulldogs Saturday” in addition to hosting the regular Bulldog Days.

“[Bulldog Saturday] will include much of the same excellent programming that has made Bulldog Days so successful in the past,” Mendlowitz said. “Our goal this year is to provide the same high quality and thoughtful programming as we have in past years to make the Yale experience accessible to an even larger number of admitted students.”

Last year’s Bulldog Days attracted more than 900 parents and 1,100 students, more than half of the 1,972 students admitted to the class of 2020. Assuming a similar level of interest in this year’s program, the 15 percent increase in the number of admitted students means that the University would have to accommodate roughly 2,300 visitors during Bulldog Days.

The Admissions Office hopes that adding “Bulldogs Saturday” will help lessen some of the burden brought by the expected heavy traffic.

Dean of Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan said it will be easier to accommodate the additional students once the new residential colleges open next fall, since there will be more space to host prospective freshmen during their visits. 

The other major modification to the recruitment programming is the change in the date of the Yale Engineering and Science Weekend. For the past six admissions cycles, the Admissions Office has hosted the event in mid-February, bringing 80 to 100 of the most promising science, math and engineering-focused prospective students— who have each received “likely letters” notifying them of their probable admission to Yale — to campus for three days of exposure to Yale STEM resources. Last year, students had the opportunity to attend master classes and tours of the campus, visiting both the Peabody and Science Hill, in addition to a science symposium of Yale undergraduate research.

However, this year, the Admissions Office will move the event from February to the weekend before Bulldog Days in April, Director of STEM Recruitment Ayaska Fernando ’08 said. He added that the new event will include the same programming that YES Weekend participants of the past found to be the most special, particularly dinners with faculty members whose fields of research align with students’ academic interests.

Quinlan said the change in timing came on the heels of student feedback in previous years, adding that the office hopes to see an increase in the number of top STEM students attending Bulldog Days as a result of the change in timing.

“Our focus in terms of yield programming,” Quinlan said, “is to show our prospective STEM students that world class research and world-class undergraduate education come together at Yale in the context of the many other academic, extracurricular and social offerings showcased during Bulldog Days.”

Last year’s Bulldog Days took place from April 25 to 27.