Prospective students and their families visited UR’s River Campus during the first Spring Open Campus events last Friday and Monday. SOC is a time when the Office of Admissions officers open up the campus to recently accepted students so that they can get a taste of what the Rochester experience is all about.

This year, SOC spans 12 days throughout April when prospective students can come, design a schedule for their day and even stay the night if they want.

In the past, the event was centered around three to four days during which hundreds of people visited campus, listened to lectures and heard Deans speak about life at UR. About three years ago, however, Admissions realized that this was not an accurate representation of campus life and shifted to a more personalized experience.

“The cornerstone of [the UR] experience is choice, and we wanted to incorporate that into students’ visits,” Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Jon Burdick said.

A typical day begins with registration activities, a speaker and student panelists, followed by performances from student groups such as D’Motions, Bhangra and the Yellowjackets. Students then have the opportunity group setting [similar to] what UR learning really is.”

Bishop is also in charge of Overnight Hosting for prospective students. She is responsible for pairing up current and prospective students for a single weekday night and has a database of 300 interested volunteers.

“I could use more, since on SOC Nights anywhere from 60-110 students will stay the night,” she said.

Staying the night can be the most important part of SOC. “A big part of the students’ decisions to come here is because of their overnight visits? that’s what they remember,” Burdick said.

SOC allows the Admissions Office to showcase a “slice of life” here at the University for prospective students and their families.

Burdick is being cautious. “There is one thing we would like to make very clear: we have already reduced the number of students who were accepted into the University,” Burdick said. “This event was not the reason for increased 2010 class size.”

According to Burdick, the admissions process was much more selective this year, and the pool of applicants to choose from was very highly qualified.

“The University’s identity lies in an investment in being small and personal,” he said.

Current students who are interested in volunteering to host a student can sign up online.

Sahay is a member of the class of 2010.

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