Over 900 prospies stay overnight at CWRU

As May 1, National College Decision Day, approaches and most high school fourth-years decide which university or college they will be attending in the fall, Case Western Reserve University’s Undergraduate Admissions organized four weeks of overnight programs for admitted students to experience life at CWRU.

For four consecutive weeks, the overnight program started every Thursday morning and lasted until Friday afternoon. Each visiting student received a booklet listing activities to fill up class hours. Prospective students are matched with the Spartan Ambassadors, CWRU students who signed up to be hosts, and spend the night with them. They also receive a list of campus events happening that night and free vouchers for paid events.

According to Bob McCullough, assistant vice president for Enrollment and director of Undergraduate Admission, over 700 prospective students had participated in overnight programs up until April 17 and 200 more were expected the next Thursday.

Erin Smith was one of the admitted students who visited campus last week. Coming from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she became quite fond of the environment at CWRU.

“There’s a lot of support at academics and stuff,” She said.

Yu Pan, father of an admitted student, is more neutral towards CWRU.

“My first impression is that this is quite a small school,” he said.

Pan lives in New York and is originally from China. He does not want to interfere with his daughter’s school choice, and he did not go to the engineering presentations his daughter was interested in, because they were too technical for him. But he has done his research on CWRU.

“I know the medical school here is very good.” Pan said, “I would like Yvonne [Pan’s daughter] to study nursing, but she doesn’t like seeing blood.”

Compared to the academic strengths, student interaction is what Pan valued more.

“My old college was too small,” Pan said. “There were only three majors and less than one thousand students. I think it would be the best if people from different majors and fields of study could have some communication with each other.”

Pan also expressed interest in CWRU Live!, where students showcased their organizations.

“There’s no such thing called fun in studying,” Pan joked as he explained why he hoped his daughter could join some “less serious organizations.”

“Doing schoolwork is a boring process, so I would like something to mix it up, make college more fun,” Pan said.

Each week’s overnight program is accompanied by a variety of activities, coordinated by Undergraduate Admissions with the help of student organizations and individual students, along with University Housing, the Office of Residence Life and the Greek Life Office.

“We’ve received terrific feedback from students and parents about the quality of their experience.” wrote McCullough. “Visiting families consistently comment on how warm and welcoming our campus is. It’s a real credit to our students, faculty and staff that families are so positive about their visit.”

Smith’s experience proves McCullough’s statement.

“I had a lot of fun,” she said.

During the two days of her stay, Smith toured the mechanical engineering lab and found the other events very helpful. However, she felt it could have been better.

“We saw a thing [presentation] that said ‘old to new generation scholarship,’” she said, “it looked like it could be beneficial and the email said it’s good. We went, and it’s very boring. It’s not what we thought it was.”

Smith later noticed that there is a description on a different page about the presentation, but she still felt the title is somewhat misleading and it wasn’t a really good experience for her and her family.

Smith also went on a Biology lab tour, and she enjoyed it.

“The guy [that gave the tour] was very excited about biology.” She said.

However, there was also an element of disappointment for that tour. Since too many people signed up for the tour, the people who coordinated the tour separated the prospective students and their parents. And while students went on the tour, parents just sat outside and asked questions to a lady, presumably a faculty member. Smith’s father was one of the parents that did not have the opportunity to go on the tour.

“The whole reason my dad came [to this tour] was because he knows this stuff [biology].” Said Smith. “I wanted him to see it and he wanted to see it.”

Campus tours are an important part of the overnight program. Although offered all year long, the number of tour groups peaks during overnight days. Ray Li, a campus tour guide, shared what he thinks the essence of campus tour is.

“It’s not just introducing the school to prospective students,” he said, “it’s also an opportunity for them to voice any concerns and ask any questions about CWRU. Campus tour also gives a comprehensive account of the campus resources, which is a bonus.”

In general, McCullough is very satisfied with the level of campus involvement for the overnight programs.
“This is an exciting time of year,” wrote McCullough. “We really appreciate how the campus comes together to help the next class discover all the great things about being a student at CWRU.”