College Admitted Student Days: What to Know

Each spring, colleges hold admitted student days exclusively for accepted students. It’s a chance for them and their families to ask questions of faculty, meet current students and future classmates, learn about programs and see what life on campus is like.

Admitted student days usually are held before the acceptance and deposit deadlines, so it’s a mixed group — students who have already accepted an offer and those still deciding.

What Happens on Admitted Student Days?

Admitted student days may be a full or half day and while some colleges set an agenda, many leave lots of space for a more personalized experience.

Iowa State University‘s admitted student days start with a kickoff celebration followed by a “college connections fair,” then students spend the rest of the day choosing the experiences they need, says Erica Fischer, the school’s director for enrollment marketing.

Students may attend mock classes during admitted student days at Bates College in Maine and also learn about academic support services, study abroad opportunities and co-curricular and extracurricular activities, says Leigh Weisenburger, Bates’ vice president for enrollment and dean of admission and financial aid.

[READ: How Study Abroad Can Benefit College Students]

Admitted student days are a time for students to ask more targeted questions and get detailed practical information — like how to apply for housing and choose meal plans, how orientation works, and how to access health services and disability support. They can also plan the specifics of their college transition and future studies, explore the city or town and celebrate their acceptance.

Detailed financial aid sessions offered on these days also help students make more informed decisions on how to pay for college.

Students who haven’t made a final decision can focus on the factors that will help them decide which college best meets their academic and personal needs.

By providing opportunities to connect with both academic and nonacademic features of the school, admitted student days are a “one-stop shop” to integrate students into all aspects of an institution, says Christie Smith, associate vice president for undergraduate admissions at Nazareth University in New York.

Nazareth’s admitted student days include faculty and student engagement, campus tours and opportunities to form connections with current students.

“These programs are designed to help students and their families decide if this is really the place they see themselves pursuing their academic journey,” Smith says.

Should Families Attend Admitted Student Days?

Colleges strongly encourage parents, guardians and other family member to attend admitted student days.

“We want the family members — the support system for students — to join in,” Fischer says. “We know that parents and family members play a huge part in Gen Z’s decision-making process, so absolutely we encourage them to attend, to bring guests with them and join them throughout the day.”

[See: Parents: 10 Ways to Help Your Teen With the College Decision.]

Smith observes that “more and more students are leaning into their parents, and parents have really become the number-one decision factor for students and making the overall decision on what institutions they will attend, so they play a huge influence.”

Some colleges set a specific number of guests a student may bring to admitted student days, and some require registration, so be sure to check the details and secure your place before making travel arrangements.

What Should You Wear to Admitted Student Days?

Student should come as their authentic selves, Smith says. Because it’s a full day, students should be comfortable — and while there’s no dress code, sneakers are recommended because there’s so much walking.

However, schools provide transportation if needed, especially for long distances between campus destinations.

[What to Wear to a College Interview: Everything You Need to Know]

What if You Can’t Attend?

Many students can’t make it to admitted student days. For example, Bates’ most recent admitted student day drew about 25% of admitted students.

However, Smith says the majority of students who have already submitted a deposit and committed to the school do attend.

Colleges have virtual options for students and families to connect with admitted student days — especially useful for those who live far from the college where they’ve committed, and those who are still considering several colleges. They also offer virtual tours and virtual orientations.

“But I will say, it can never replace the in-person, face-to-face admitted student programs,” Smith says.

Some schools offer virtual ask-me-anything sessions, which answer questions specific to academics, like how to transfer high school AP credits to college credits, and practical questions like how the furniture is set up in the college’s dorms, Weisenburger says.

“Students should recognize they’ve already been admitted, so you can put that sort of anxiety behind you since it’s truly a celebratory moment,” she says. “It’s really the students’ moment where, you know, we’ve chosen them and then they get to choose us. They’re really in the driver’s seat in that way, so it’s a fun, exciting, celebratory time.”

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