If you’ve recently been admitted to a college or university (congratulations, by the way!), you may have started receiving invitations to regional admitted student receptions. If you’re wondering what these are, or whether or not you should attend, you’re not alone.
First, it’s important to understand why colleges offer these types of events. Admitted student receptions are often referred to in the back rooms of admission offices as yield events. Remember: a school’s yield rate is the percentage of students who choose to attend an institution in comparison to the number of students who were admitted. The higher an institution’s yield rate, the better; this means that a school can admit less students overall, knowing that a large percentage of students will take them up on their offer, thus decreasing their admit rate and moving them up rankings lists. So, admitted student receptions are referred to as yield events because they are meant to encourage a student to accept an offer of admission.
Are you with me so far? Great! Now you’re probably wondering why you should attend an admitted students reception at all, especially if it seems to mostly benefit the college and its yield rate. In fact, admitted student receptions are great for students, for a variety of reasons:
- Distance: If a campus is too far to travel to by the reply deadline (May 1st), yield receptions allow you to be in direct contact with a school—no traveling necessary!
- Answers: Local alumni and representations from the admission office usually attend these events. If you have specific questions, or are just looking for more information about a school, you’ll be in front of the right people to get answers.
- Intimacy: Admit events on campus can be huge, with hundreds of families in attendance. In contrast, admit receptions are usually much smaller events, giving you more facetime with the people with the answers. The person who read your application will often be in attendance, and they probably want to share some details of your application that they really enjoyed! Professors often travel to these events as well.
- Comradery: Other admitted students will be at this event. You can ask them what they’re thinking about the school, what they want to know, or just get a feel for the type of student you might be attending college with.
In the end, admit receptions are just another way to get to know the school you’ve been admitted to. While the college is hosting the event to make you feel special, or to get you to accept, use the event to continue your research. Ask a lot of questions. Suss out the students around you. Don’t be shy—you’re making a really big decision (and probably one of the biggest monetary investments of your life); make sure that you’re as informed as you can possibly be without making the final choice!