News & Media

News and Media

News and Media

Adventures in Admissions: Travel Season

Nov. 11, 2009

Leslie Braat

Fall is a busy time for the Oberlin admissions staff. Counselors travel all around the world to spread the word about Oberlin. We have visited about 600 individual high schools, met with representatives at 30 different agencies whose missions are to reach out to underrepresented high school students, attended college fairs, hosted 22 evening information sessions, interviewed hundreds of students, and met with alumni. In short, we amass frequent flier miles and talk. A lot.

By the end of October, we will have completed interviews overseas in China, Costa Rica, England, India, Italy, Turkey, and Wales. Our international admissions officers have flown enough miles to circle the globe three times. In addition, Mike Manderen, director of conservatory admissions, has listened to auditions while in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Osaka, Seoul, Singapore, and Taipei.

Domestically, we have interviewed students in Atlanta, Baltimore, Buffalo, Charlotte, Durham, Hightstown, Houston, Memphis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C. Ten current students participated in our new program, Take Oberlin Home, during fall break. Current students also served as panelists for programs in Baltimore, Cleveland, and New York City.

We also host many visitors on campus. Perhaps you saw some of the many students and parents touring campus in September and October— our tour guides showed more than 1,200 people around Oberlin this semester alone, and more than 400 prospies have spent the night with an Oberlin student host. Since June, we have conducted more than 950 interviews on campus.

We’ve also hosted the first of three Multicultural Visit Programs (MVP). Our MVP prospies come from all over the country to learn more about life at Oberlin. They spend two nights on campus with a student host. Look for more MVP students to visit November 12 to 14 and December 3 to 5. On December 4, the conservatory admissions office will welcome applicants to campus for the first round of auditions.

Prospective students also visited Oberlin on one of our five regional fly-in programs. In September, we welcomed more than 120 students from Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C.

At the end of our travel season (it doesn’t end until mid-November), we’ll tally up the number of students we’ve met on the road. And then we’ll look forward to getting to know those students by reading their applications. Last year, the College of Arts and Sciences received nearly 6,000 applications and the Conservatory of Music received 1,400 applications, marking the 11th year of consecutive record application numbers. Given all the hard work the staff puts into recruitment, we’ll hope for another record year.

Contest: How many visitors do you think went on campus tours between September 2008 and May 2009? We’ll give a prize to whoever comes closest! Send your answer by e-mail to Leslie Braat by November 15.

Leslie Braat is associate director of admissions.


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