Does any school have a more effective revisit day than Brow

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Discus: College Search and Selection: August 2004 Archive: Does any school have a more effective revisit day than Brow
By Admissionsrep (Admissionsrep) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 03:33 am: Edit

I'm sure there is one, but I don't know about it. I was reading Susan's post under the "Prestige" thread about how her daughter picked Brown over Tufts after the revisit day, and it reminded me of how effective Brown's revisit day has been.

Brown has been more effective at persuading students from my boarding school to matriculate at Brown, than any other school's revisit day.

This year we had four students accepted at Brown. One was strongly leaning toward UVA until she visited both schools for several days after being accepted. In fact, Wake and Middlebury were ahead of Brown until the revisit day. After the revisit day, it was very clear she was going to Brown.

Another student turned down huge merit money to go to another very selective school in order to choose Brown. She is taking out loans herself and will pay for them over time; this is how impressive Brown's revisit day was. When I talked to her, she told me that when she would visit other schools, she would find that she could always find a portion of the student body who had tepid feelings toward their school, but at Brown and Yale, everyone was passionate about the school.

I'm sure everyone is an overstatement, but she talked to a heckuva lot of students.

Another student chose Brown over Princeton. I was talking to him at length about his decision and he said, Princeton probably has slightly better academics, but Brown has the better community.

Another student chose Harvard over Brown, but the student would have chosen Brown or even Wesleyan over Harvard, Amherst, Columbia, and Princeton, but her parents really wanted Harvard. Harvard also came up with the best package and that closed the deal.

Brown's east coast train trip where they pick up accepted students on the same train, knocks the ball out of the park every year with our students.

Anyway, has anyone else noticed how effective Brown's revisit day is? Are there any other schools that do an even better job than Brown? I think that Brown's admissions department deserves a lot of credit; they are obviously selecting applicants who really want to be at Brown. This produces a vibrant positive community that prospective students feel, and even experience when they visit.


By Sac (Sac) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 09:09 pm: Edit

Although the revisit didn't immediately clinch the deal for my S, I thought Columbia did a good job, and he ultimately chose it. They understand that students who apply there are probably attracted by the city and by the core curriculum. Therefore, they incorporate the city into the program, including taking the kids out in groups to a choice of restaurants. And, they let the students sit in on a core class, which is small, and allows them to see how the faculty and students interact.

The other revisits seemed to be less informative because the list of classes to visit typically involved mainly lectures, or else they had faculty give special lectures to the admitted students. Every college has its star lecturers, but small classes are a way for prospective students to witness the engagement of the students, not just the professors. Also, many of the social events various schools put on are just for that weekend while, since the city provides much of Columbia's social life, the prospective students got more of a sense of what a typical few days there might be like.

I also liked the fact that Columbia offered two possible dates. Most of the other schools offered one weekend and there were conflicts not only with each other but with major high school events my son couldn't miss. Since colleges look for kids who are very involved in extracurriculars, you'd think they'd understand that many kids will have conflicts on any given weekend. He didn't apply to Brown, so I can't compare it.

By Mini (Mini) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 09:47 pm: Edit

Smith did an excellent job. They made the faculty almost completely accessible, and with multiple opportunities, including opening about 200 classes. (My d. met with 5 music faculty, sat in on 3 classes, and arranged her research assistantship for the next two years, all in the space of 24 hours.) They had 80 clubs turn out for their extracurricular fair, and presentations on their women's financial network, foreign study programs, and paid internships. They followed it up the next day with a "Discovery Day" fair for prospective students of color, which, uniquely, they scheduled alongside the student theses presentation day, and a 5-College anthropology conference -- this was the only college we saw that made it clear that they wanted students of color to choose the school because of its academic quality and rigor. And they paid for the transportation of around 75 students for the first day (including my d., coast to coast, incuding both air and ground transport), and I think (but am not sure), all the students for Discovery Day.

The Williams day was, shall we say, "interesting". They went out of their way to make it clear they really didn't "need" for the admitted students to come, down to a very refreshing presentation from the college prez, who congratulated all the admitted students, noting that they had difficult choices, and that they'd likely get a great education at whatever school they chose, whether Williams or not. The "club" room was spotty - about 15 tables, including 8 a capella groups. Just a very different approach (though I note that they had a two-day "revisit" some 10 days earlier.)

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 01:52 am: Edit

We also attended the Smith Open House for admitted students (hi Mini). It was very well done too. Brown's was excellent. It totally helped my daughter decide where to go. The entire two day event was organized and run by students! Of course, faculty and deans and presidents, etc. etc. were involved in events but the events were organized by a student committee and it was soooooo well done. I am not knocking Smith's as it was well done, too. Brown's was even better if you can imagine it. It offered everything Smith did and more.

It is very late and so I cannot get into it all now but I will relay one little anecdote. First off, it was such gorgeous weather, and they were very lucky with this. It was like summer and students were all over the place. The main green was filled with current students hanging out in the afternoon enjoying the nice day. Prospective admitted pre-frosh were arriving over a period of time and there was a registration in the student center which is on the green. As kids registered, they were assigned their hosts and then in small groupings, were led by an older student to the dorm where they would be staying to meet their hosts and get involved in all the events, etc. This was ongoing late that afternoon. Well, every time a group of pre-frosh emerged from the student center and were walking across the green toward their host/dorms, thunderous applause and cheers would erupt from current students who were hanging out on the green (large numbers) was spontaneous and it gave the impression of "welcome and congrats....join us" was like they were cheering for these kids and making them feel like they were happy they had "arrived". Hard to explain the feeling I got from this but I did not see this happen anywhere and it was not a planned thing but rather a sentiment that rang out whenever they saw a group walk by. These were not kids involved in running any events but just students on the green in the nice weather. Of course this anecdote does not get into all the great organized activities but I thought I would just mention this wonderful feeling that emanated at the very start. At some point, I can discuss a bit more about the events but it is just too late for me now and I am heading out of town. Soon, perhaps.


By Mini (Mini) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 10:39 am: Edit

Sounds wonderful! As my next book is to be co-written with a former dean at Brown (she wrote the foreword to my last one), I expect (and look forward) to learn more!

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