Spring is one of my favorite times of year. The trees and flowers aren’t the only things blossoming – people are coming out of the winter hibernation, too. Anyone in Admissions will tell you that our work lines up nicely with the natural season. We spend the winter months reading applications and working through committee, often at the expense of daily social interactions. We get to know “our kids,” we advocate hard for their place in the class. We hoot and holler when they are admitted. We stuff their admissions packets with a smile, reminiscing about their fantastic personal statement as we slide the glossy folders into envelopes labeled “The Fat One”.
Spring also represents a time of transition. We’re trying to woo the members of the Class of 2017, high school seniors who have a big choice to make about where they’re going to college, while welcoming the ever-growing curiosity and interest of the Class of 2018, high school juniors just beginning their search. We host a number of on-campus events, some of which are catered to these groups in particular.
Ride the Tide. RTT is our multi-day event for admitted students, held in mid-April. We typically have around 375 high school seniors come to campus for a whirlwind 36 hours, jam-packed with panels, club-sponsored events, faculty lectures, and tons of food. Programming runs from 9:00AM to midnight and there are very few required events, giving students tons of freedom to explore different aspects of college life. In the 5 years I’ve been in this office, we’ve always had spectacular weather.
In between classes, Parrish Beach is filled with current and prospective students alike. While it’s a fantastic chance for students to get to know the things that make Swarthmore unique, it’s also an exciting time for members of our office who finally get to meet the students we’ve come to know through this process. Students we interviewed in the fall, fought for in committee, and assembled acceptance packets for just a few weeks ago. So, if you attend an admitted student event, find your admissions counselor and introduce yourself! We’re excited to meet you in person.
Junior Visit Day. JVD is a program we do each year, typically in early May, where we invite students and their families to spend a day on campus learning about the college admissions process.
While we hope that ultimately many JVD attendees will apply to Swat, we also want to host an open conversation about college admissions as a whole. This means running workshops on financial aid, interviewing, and writing the all-important personal statement. We breakdown the admissions timeline, step by step, so that families can have the information they need to better navigate the process. For those who can’t attend, we post our materials on our website to ensure everyone is able to benefit from what we have to share.
Spring is a time of new beginnings. Whether you’re sending in a deposit to your top choice college, ready to join their incoming class, or poking around on college websites, getting a feel for what makes them each unique, it can be a time filled with excitement and possibilities. We strive to help you through this process, no matter what stage you’re in. Hope to see you on campus soon!