Should I attend admitted student day?

by Jennifer Johnson,

  • Blitz the Bearcat dances with student

After you’ve been accepted to a university, it’s easy to think your college search is over. But for students who are accepted to multiple universities, the selection process is still underway. 

One of the best ways to finalize your selection is by attending an admitted student day. You’ll have the opportunity to sit in on classes, tour campus and speak with faculty and staff to get a more detailed glimpse of the university. And nothing can match meeting hundreds of potential classmates, said Sue Corner, Willamette’s senior associate director of admission. 

“You’re not just meeting people who are also trying to make the same big college choice as you — these are your potential roommates and lab partners, so you start to truly see who your people would be,” she said. “If you choose that university, you’ve already met a handful of friends in a way that’s different than through social media. It’s really reassuring for people to know they’ve already made friends in their same year.”

Admitted student days often serve as a tipping point — the visit answers questions or puts doubts to rest about the university. Institutions usually provide sessions or opportunities to chat with staff about financial aid, transferring credit and academic support. It’s all about “assessing the vibe,” said Corner. 

At Willamette, admitted student days (known as Bearcat Days) are one of the most important times of the year. By the time it’s over, students often commit to the university. The event is celebrated by the traditional ringing of the admission bell. 

“It’s a bigger moment than if you’re at home and commit online,” said Corner. “But either way — if you commit from home or you're here in person — what I love about the ringing of the admission bell is that it means we celebrate every single student individually. That underscores the individual nature of support and the type of relationships we have here.” 

Willamette parent Sande Schweier said her daughter Anna, who will graduate in 2022, made her final decision at Bearcat Days. 

The family had visited in the fall of Anna’s senior year, but the events and activities during admit days solidified her decision, Schweier said. 

“I would encourage parents and students to definitely attend one of the Bearcat Days, even if they have visited at other times,” she said. “Students get a better feel for the campus than in other visits.”

Find more information on this year's Bearcat Days. 

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