Emory's Class of 2016 coming to visit

By Kimber Williams | Emory Report | April 13, 2012

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Campus visits give accepted students an opportunity to see if the fit is right. Emory Photo/Video.

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It's April, and at Emory University that means company's coming.

Long before acceptance letters land in the hands of prospective students, planning is already in full swing for this month's arrival of admitted students and their families, who will visit campus to help make their final decision on where to enroll. 

Packets went out last month to students admitted to the Class of 2016, inviting them to discover more about living and learning at the University with a series of open houses at the Oxford and Atlanta campuses.

The 2011 Emory freshman survey results underscore the importance of these April events; 45 percent said "a visit to the campus" was very important in their decision to attend Emory.

"The high-achieving students whom we admit typically apply to about 10 schools," says John Latting, assistant vice provost of undergraduate enrollment and dean of admission. "Our April open houses allow them see Emory in action and decide if it's the right place for them. We know that for students who come to Atlanta, and to campus, we compete very well."

For future students and their families, that will mean a chance to talk with current students and faculty, experience a college lecture class, try the food, take a tour, and generally absorb all things Emory.

On the Atlanta campus, preview days will be Friday, April 13 and 20, and Monday, April 16 and 23. At Oxford, preview days will be Friday, April 6, 13 and 20, and Sunday, April 15.

That means months of preparations for both of Emory's campuses, from full-scale event planning in admissions and financial aid offices to lining up student tour guides to a fresh coat of paint by Campus Services. It's widely seen as a chance to put the University's best foot forward.

"This is a chance to showcase our campus and help students figure out if Oxford is the right place for them," says Stacey Towler, associate dean of marketing and enrollment at Oxford College of Emory University.

"On our smaller campus," she says, "many of our staff, faculty and students are on hand, mingling, leading tours, serving on a panel, and having lunch with guests."

Preparations are extensive; nothing is taken for granted. Campus Services, for example, works to welcome students to "a thriving, bustling, beautiful, well-maintained campus. Decisions can be made based on that," says Karen Salisbury, chief of staff to the vice president of campus services. "It's kind of neat, the idea that with these big decisions we have one little part that we play in helping the University. It's something we take great pride in."

Record-setting year for applications

Emory College Admission staff Shahara Daniels (left) and Shawn Crawford prepare to mail acceptance letters.

Emory College Admission staff Shahara Daniels (left) and Shawn Crawford prepare to mail acceptance letters. Emory Photo/Video.

This year has brought record numbers of applicants at both Emory and Oxford colleges. Emory College of Arts and Sciences received 17,502 applications, an all-time-high, competing for 1,350 slots available for fall 2012 admission.

Oxford College received applications from 6,478 students for fall enrollment — nearly double the number received for the 2011-2012 academic year. The college anticipates an entering class of more than 480 students.

However, that won't mean visitors flooding in all at once, says Admissions Counselor Joe Reiff, who is coordinating spring preview dates on the Atlanta campus.

"For the most part, it might not be terribly visible, unless you're around the DUC eating lunch, or out on campus during the afternoon tours," Reiff says.

"Overall, we'll probably see about 1,000 visitors between the four days," he adds. "Anywhere from 90 to 120 students at a time, along with a parent or two."

Emory will also host "Essence of Emory," an invitation-only weekend program for admitted black/African American and Hispanic/Latino students that runs Thursday, April 12 to Sunday, April 15. Visiting students will live in residence halls, attend classes, meet with student groups, faculty and campus leaders, enjoy student entertainment, and explore campus.

Accepted students unable to attend open house or preview day dates have several options, including a Day Visit at Emory College, Oxford College, or both, where they may schedule an appointment to spend the morning in classes of interest, meet students and faculty, and tour campus.

Prospective students may also visit Emory virtually, by exploring sites on YouTube, Facebook, iTunes U, Twitter and RSS feeds. There, they can watch footage of discussions with students and faculty, and observe campus activities, classroom activities, social and recreational opportunities.