Spring brings a wave of prospective students

Dear Benny:
I know prospective students and their families visit campus all year-round, but there always seems to be more than usual in the spring. Are they visiting through a special program, or is this just the traditional season for college-bound seniors to visit universities?
—Visitors Welcome

Dear VW:
You are right, Penn sees about 55,000 visitors throughout the entire year, but April is an especially busy month because of Penn Preview Days, when the University hosts newly admitted students and their families to provide them with information and experiences to help them decide if they want to join the next incoming class of Penn freshmen, in this case the Class of 2014.

This year, student applications to Penn reached an all-time high of more than 26,800, showing a 17 percent increase from last year’s application cycle. The Class of 2014 will wind up having about 2,400 students.

Preview Days are scheduled for April 8, 9, 12, 15, 16 and 19, with as many as 500 to 1,000 students visiting each day. You’ll see them everywhere on campus, getting a feel for what life is like at Penn.

The program offers the visitors a full day of special events running from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The prospective students will meet with members of the admissions staff, undergraduate school advisors and financial-aid representatives. They also will get to spend time directly with current Penn students and with each other. The visitors take a tour of the College Houses and participate in an afternoon of open houses across campus to explore the University’s cultural resource centers and learning hubs. They also visit the libraries, the study abroad office, the music and fine arts departments, the fitness center and more.

If you happen to encounter any of these potential Penn students, be sure to say hello.

Got a question for Benny? Send it via e-mail to current@pobox.upenn.edu or via regular mail to the Current, 200 Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106.

Originally published on March 25, 2010