From across the country and globe, several thousand students and family members came by planes, trains and automobiles to New Haven this week for Bulldog Days, Yale’s three-day admitted student extravaganza.
Bulldog Days, Yale’s largest admitted students program, is designed to showcase the University’s offerings to admitted students and their families. According to Director of Recruitment Hannah Mendlowitz ’12, about 1,100 admitted students and 900 family members visited campus as part of the program in the past three days. At Bulldog Days, admitted students were presented with a host of offerings, including panels, master classes and hundreds of student events put on by various student organizations. Over 100 departments and 300 student groups were represented at Tuesday’s academic fair and extracurricular bazaar, respectively.
Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan said that for “admissions folks” like himself, Bulldog Days represents the high point of their work.
“Over the past three days, my colleagues and I have had a chance to actually meet the students and families my colleagues and I have been reading about, hearing about and discussing for the past six months,” Quinlan said. “It is a great feeling. The class of 2021 is a historic one. And it was a real pleasure to meet so many of them on campus.”
Bulldog Days is not Yale’s only recruitment program. The College also offers a Yale Engineering & Science Weekend, or YES-Weekend, for students interested in STEM. And this year, the Admissions Office rolled out its first-ever Bulldog Saturday in an attempt to keep attendance at Bulldog Days manageable for this year’s larger admitted class.
With attendance at Bulldog Days this year similar to that of last year, Mendlowitz confirmed that Bulldog Saturday seemed necessary to keep Bulldog Days volume similar to what the University is used to seeing.
“Another nice consequence of having Bulldog Saturday was that students who couldn’t get away from school for a full three-day program had another option that didn’t necessitate taking time off from school,” she said. “So while Bulldog Saturday did help to keep Bulldog Days attendance manageable, it also allowed admitted students who otherwise would not have been able to come for a full program do just that.”
Students interviewed by the News about their Bulldog Days experience praised the three-day programming.
Tag Quijano, an attendee from the Princeton Day School, said he enjoyed Bulldog Days and that his experience helped him in his decision-making process. In comparison to other admitted student days at Columbia University and the University of Chicago, Quijano said Bulldog Days felt different.
“Visit days can blur together, and like other ones, Yale had its share of events and speakers,” Quijano said. “But the thing that really made Yale stand out was not the planned activities for prefrosh, but the passion and interest exhibited by Yalies going about their daily routines.”
Quijano attended the Yale Political Union’s debate with Jill Stein on Monday night, which he said was one of the most interesting events he witnessed during his stay.
Admitted student Abigail Sell from Corbin, Kentucky described her Bulldog Days as “overwhelming but informative and fun.” While she was already planning to commit to Yale before her visit, she said her time on campus made her sure of her decision.
Sell cited the academic and extracurricular bazaars as a highlight, adding that having the opportunity to talk with current students and faculty about specific academic programs was helpful.
For Michael Chang of Millbrae, California, the most striking aspects of his Bulldog Days were the diverse student community, “breathtaking” campus architecture and the hospitable and intelligent people he met during his visit.
“Going to Bulldog Days solidified my decision to come here,” he said.
Similarly, admitted student Lauren Chan had already decided on Yale before the three-day period but found the visit helpful to confirm that she had made “the right call.”
For her, a big part of that confirmation hung on her perception of the Yale community.
“My favorite part of Bulldog Days was all the evening programming because it was evidence of all the community that I’ve heard about for the past nine months,” Chan said.
Mendlowitz emphasized how appreciative the admissions team was of all the Yale students, faculty members and staff who were “so welcoming to our admitted students and their families.”
“Bulldog Days is designed to help admitted students enjoy as much as the Yale experience as possible, and the program definitely relies on the whole Yale community to open its doors to really give our visitors a warm and enthusiastic welcome,” Mendlowitz said. “We’re thrilled with the support that we’ve received from all corners of campus to help the class of 2021 get to know Yale.”
The yield rate for the class of 2019 — the most recent class for which data is available — was 69.5 percent.