Yale Daily News

This year, the first-ever “Yalie for a Day” programs seek to provide an inside look at the Yale experience to admitted students who are unable to visit during Bulldog Days. 

Bulldog Days — Yale’s traditional on-campus admitted students program — will once again bring over 1,000 admitted students to New Haven this April. However, for prospective students who are unable to attend the three-day affair, the “Yalies for a Day” program will now offer an alternative way to get a taste of life at Yale.

“There is truly no substitute for visiting campus, and that experience is especially important to making a well-informed decision about where to matriculate,” Senior Associate Director for Outreach and Recruitment at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions Mark Dunn told the News. “But although we spend a great time planning Bulldog Days, we know that not all admitted students can visit during those three days in April.”

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the admissions office offered admitted students the option to request a personalized itinerary for a campus visit outside of Bulldog Days. The office planned to designate specific dates for these visits last year, but was unable to accommodate any other specialized campus visits besides Bulldog Days due to COVID-19-related public health restrictions.

This year, for the first time, four days in February — open to students admitted through early action — and four days in early April were scheduled for alternative campus visits. Dunn explained that setting the dates early could make it easier for admitted students to plan trips to campus.

During a typical “Yalie for a Day” visit, a prospective student will start their day at the admissions office, where a folder with a printed schedule and informational materials will be waiting for them. 

Then, alongside fellow “Yalies for a day,” the student will embark on a campus tour before being paired with a student recruitment coordinator who will bring them to a class and lunch in their residential college. 

Adrian Venzon ’24, the lead recruitment coordinator for the program, is in charge of creating schedules for the prospective Yalies.

“We try to strike a balance between planning a full day out for them and leaving them room to do their own exploration,” Venzon said. “Each schedule has a list of places to visit on campus like our art galleries as well as some fan favorite places to get coffee and boba.”

The admissions recruitment team has also reached out to student organizations to see if they would be interested in welcoming an admitted student to their meeting or rehearsal. Some students may also have the chance to meet with their admissions officers over a coffee. 

Family members are allowed to join students for the tour, but typically will break off and let their children experience other activities on their own, such as attending classes. 

So far, the program seems to be running smoothly in its first year, according to associate director of admissions Marty Chandler ’21. 

“It seems the admitted students have really enjoyed their time on campus,” Chandler said, “I even was able to meet one of my own students who I admitted from New Jersey during his visit through the program, and he wrote to me afterwards to let me know he loved being a Yalie for a Day.”

Last year, Yale College admitted 2,234 students to the class of 2026 from its largest-ever pool of 50,015 applicants. 

Ben Raab covers faculty and academics at Yale and writes about the Yale men's basketball team. Originally from New York City, Ben is a sophomore in Pierson college pursuing a double major in history and political science.