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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Accepted students weekend welcomed potential members of the class of 2012

<t influences a student’s decision to come to Carleton? Guide books, rankings, the student visit? But for an accepted student unsure about whether or not to come to Carleton, it could be a visit during Accepted Student Days that seals the deal. In April, over 300 accepted students came to Carleton to take part in one of two such weekends devoted to giving accepted students and their parents a glimpse of campus life.

Although it is normal for schools like Carleton to have some sort of accepted students weekend, Admissions Counselor Hans Peterson said Carleton’s Accepted Student Days takes place on a much larger scale than programs at comparable schools.

St. Olaf’s entire program takes place in one afternoon, and Macalester’s consists of one night and is capped at 75 participants. Peterson said that the fact that Carleton is able to pull off such a large Accepted Student Days program is “a testament to the campus,” and that “It’s the community here that makes that sort of thing possible.”

Peterson said that students have an opportunity to gain things from Accepted Students Weekend that they wouldn’t necessarily be able to gain from a normal campus visit. The students that come to Accepted Student Days tend to be more educated about Carleton than the average visitor, which is why these visits “don’t emphasize statistics or data,” and instead focus on “student life.”

The visits occur on Thursday and Friday nights, allowing students to experience Carleton life both during the week and on a weekend. Carleton provides each prospective student with a pamphlet entitled “Knightlife,” outlining the programs, events, and performances offered for students and their parents.

Carleton’s average rate of enrollment for students who come to Accepted Student Days is about 50 percent—considerably higher than the 36 percent yield that Carleton averages overall.

Peterson stresses that Carleton encourages all prospective students to visit during Accepted Student Days, even those for whom the decision to attend Carleton has already been made. During the second weekend 21 early-decision applicants were on campus. The fact that students such as these, with an elevated interested in Carleton, may be more likely to attend Accepted Student Days makes it is difficult to tell from these numbers alone whether the visit actually changes any minds, or just tends to attract those students who were already leaning towards attending Carleton.

“I came into accepted student days 90 percent sure that Carleton was the school for me, but still wanting to consider my other options,” prospective student Josiah Burns said, “By Monday the 14th, I was 100.”

When asked what it is that makes a visit during Accepted Student Days special, prospective students and admissions were in agreement: the Carleton community.

“Part of Carleton’s draw,” said Peterson “is the students themselves.” Burns was in agreement, “My favorite thing was the general ‘vibe’ on campus. Everyone seemed generally enthusiastic about life at Carleton, yet down to earth and honest.” Karl Snyder from Austin, Texas, added that the community of prospective students specific to Accepted Student Days is also an attraction, and that he was surprised by “how quickly [he] got along with all the prospies [he] met.” Peterson says that admissions hopes for this sort of dynamic, in which having so many accepted students on campus creates a type of “positive peer pressure” that can help encourage students to choose Carleton over their other options.

And what don’t students like about their visits to Carleton? Peterson said several students complained about the weather, which was chilly and drizzly for the better part of both weekends. Texan Karl Snyder, however, had a more positive take on things, saying, “it was pretty exciting for a southerner like myself just to walk around while it was snowing.” Burns merely dubbed it “authentic.”

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