Tenzin Jorden, Photography Editor

Yale’s campus was abuzz this week as prospective students and their parents flocked to campus for Bulldog Days, an annual on-campus program for admitted students.  

Over 1,400 prospective students attended this year’s event, making it the largest Bulldog Days Yale has hosted to date. From their arrival on Monday afternoon to their departure on Wednesday, future Yalies participated in a variety of events, including an extracurricular bazaar, campus tours and Yale professors’ master classes.

Student groups ranging from the Whiffenpoofs to dance company Yaledancers put on an evening of performances at Shubert Theatre on April 24. Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Jeremiah Quinlan kicked off the event with a welcome address. 

“When you choose Yale, you are not simply choosing to graduate from a good college with a good education and good prospects for success in the world,” Quinlan told the audience. “You are choosing, in a very real sense, to change your life. Living and working and succeeding here, among the most talented students in the world, will permanently transform what you can accomplish and the sort of people you will aspire to serve, join, and lead.”

Monday’s evening of entertainment was one of the highest attended events. Many prospective students also attended a New Haven Pizza Party on Old Campus and the Academic Fair in the Lanman Center. About 800 parents and family members also came to campus this week to join the Bulldog Days festivities.

Most of the prospective students in attendance stayed overnight in student dorm rooms, randomly paired with students who volunteered as hosts via the admissions office’s new host matching algorithm. Alice Ao ’23 programmed the matching system.

Amara Neal ’26 hosted five admitted students, who slept in sleeping bags in the common room of her Old Campus suite. 

“I wanted to try and make the whole experience of Bulldog Days a bit easier on the students,” Neal said. “The programming is cool but can also be super overwhelming. It’s nice to have someone tell you about what the day to day life is like here at Yale.”

This year, over 500 students volunteered to host a “prefrosh,” or future first-year. The class of 2026 featured the largest number of volunteer hosts of any class year, according to an email from assistant director of admissions Jackie Folmar.

Prospective students could accompany their hosts to a class or meal in the dining hall. When they weren’t with their hosts, they could attend one of more than 100 events undergraduate student groups held over the course of the three days.

“The response from the entire campus was truly extraordinary,” assistant director of undergraduate admissions and Bulldog Days director Chandler Houldin wrote. “Practically every member of the Yale College community — the residential colleges, cultural centers, resource offices, libraries and collections, and countless instructors — opened their doors and made a special effort to welcome our visitors.”

More than 500 admitted students qualified for travel grants, which the admissions office provides to low-income attendees to enable their trip to New Haven. The admissions office booked more than 300 flight, train and bus tickets for students nationwide.

Taylor Burke, an admitted student from the class of 2027, flew from his home in Boulder, Colorado to attend the event. 

“For me, the highlight of Bulldog Days was having the opportunity to meet the other prospective students,” Burke said. “My school has not sent anyone to Yale for a few years and I was unsure about how well I would interact with the other students. Students in the residential hall I was staying in came to talk, and the building felt like a community rather than just sectioned student housing.”

Bulldog Days is one of several events geared towards admitted students. The admissions office has hosted live information sessions with current students and admissions officers and alumni volunteers have set up local meetings for admitted students in their home cities. 

The office also offers programs such as “Yale and You,” which facilitates small-group discussions for first-generation and low-income students, and “Prefrosh Advisors,” which pairs admitted students with student volunteers. 

“I hope that admitted students begin to picture themselves as Yale College students and feel confident that they will thrive as a member of Yale’s ambitious and supportive community,” Mark Dunn, Director of Outreach and Recruitment, said.

Admitted students have until May 1 to accept a spot in Yale College.

Anika Arora Seth is the 146th Editor in Chief and President of the Yale Daily News. Anika previously covered STEM at Yale as well as admissions, alumni and financial aid. She also laid out the weekly print edition of the News as a Production & Design editor and was one of the inaugural Diversity, Equity & Inclusion co-chairs. Anika is pursuing a double major in biomedical engineering and women's, gender and sexuality studies.
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.