Lisa Qian

After the success of last year’s inaugural Bulldog Saturday program, the Admissions Office will hold the program for admitted students again this year.

The Admissions Office introduced Bulldog Saturday, a mini-version of Yale’s three-day Bulldog Days program, last year to give more students an opportunity to visit Yale before they make their college decisions, after the opening of two new colleges allowed the University to admit its largest undergraduate class ever. Last year, nearly 400 students and 600 parents visited Yale on Bulldog Saturday, and about 1,100 admitted students and 900 family members came to Bulldog Days.

Bulldog Saturday is scheduled for April 7 this year, and Bulldog Days for April 23 to 25.

“My colleagues and I were very pleased with the success of last year’s pilot program,” Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Jeremiah Quinlan said. “Not only did we accomplish our goal of alleviating some of the strain on Bulldog Days and accommodating a larger admitted class, but, because we hosted two separate programs, a larger percentage of admitted students were able to attend an on-campus program than in the past several years.”

Quinlan said that last year 65 percent of admitted students attended one of the two programs, compared to 50 to 55 percent in the previous few years. He added that the office believes this has partly contributed to the successful yield rate for the Class of 2021 and allowed the office “to present the full Yale experience to more students than expected as they made their college decisions last spring.”

In May, the Admissions Office reported that the yield rate for the Class of 2021 was 71.4 percent — one of the highest in recent years.

As of now, however, Bulldog Saturday is not a permanent fixture in Yale’s recruitment efforts. After this spring, the office will reassess whether to hold the program again next year. Quinlan explained that as the two new residential colleges fill up with students, one of the office’s biggest concerns — potential lack of on-campus hosting capacity, were the office to run only Bulldog Days for a larger class — will be alleviated.

He added that the office also recognizes that running two large programs in April means that the office “is asking a lot” of the students, administrators and professors whose contributions “define the success of both Bulldog Saturday and Bulldog Days.”

“Our office relies heavily on the support of our students, faculty and staff for both Bulldog Days and Bulldog Saturday, and we deeply appreciate everything the Yale community does to welcome our admitted students to campus,” said Director of Recruitment Hannah Mendlowitz ’12. “Year after year, the feedback that we get from both students and parents who visit our campus is that they are overwhelmed by the warmth and hospitality of all those who host prefrosh overnight in their suites, take part in panels and master classes and more. The fact that the whole campus really rallies around these events is what makes them such an effective tool for us to introduce each new admitted class to Yale.”

Students who participated in the inaugural Bulldog Saturday last spring voiced support for continuing the program.

Noelle Mercer ’21 said that she “appreciated the energy and spirit of the coordinators” of the events and that she was glad she went to the Bulldog Saturday because it “made her excited about the upcoming semester.”

Still, she said that the program felt cramped and rushed, as many events were happening at the same time, and she was not able to fully enjoy each of them. She added that she also did not get an opportunity to meet and connect with other students during the program.

“It is a good idea as an alternative for Bulldog Days, but I hope that this year they allow more room for the prospective students to meet, mingle and connect with each other,” she said.

Unlike Mercer, Amy DeLaBruere ’21 said she thought the program “went smoothly” and that she, her mother and her grandmother were able to enjoy all the events they attended, “rather than rushing around trying to make it to 500 different things all happening at opposite ends of the campus.” She added that the program was the first time she set foot on Yale’s campus and that attending the program prompted her to choose Yale over other options.

Mercer said she would be “incredibly disappointed” if Yale did not offer both programs. While Bulldog Days is a great way to “step into the shoes of a Yalie for a few days,” she said, some students do not have the option to take a multiple-day trip, so Bulldog Saturday provides them with a more flexible opportunity to still visit campus, attend events and learn more about Yale, even if they cannot make it “to the ‘big event.’”

“Bulldog Saturday was the absolute, number one reason why I chose Yale,” she said. “I went back to our hotel room that night, grabbed my laptop, logged into my Yale account, clicked the “accept” button and was officially a member of the class of 2021.”

Anastasiia Posnova | anastasiia.posnova@yale.edu