On the Campus
May 14, 2008:
students preview campus life
Folasade John '09
Cheers and applause filled the lobby of Forbes College
the afternoon of April 10 as the first of 467 prospective Princeton
students arrived to meet their University hosts during the first
of two Princeton Preview weekends, designed to display the best
the University has to offer.
The program, formerly known as April Hosting, was
revamped and expanded with the end of the University's early-admission
program, which meant that all admitted students had until May 1
to decide which college to attend. This year, a record 1,093 prospective
students were scheduled to attend one of the two preview weekends,
more than half of the 1,976 students offered admission. Serving
as hosts were 770 Princeton students.
"It was really what made me decide to come here,"
said Maria Salciccioli '09, who was hosting her ninth student. "I
want them to experience the sort of things they will be doing when
they come here," said Salciccoli, who took her students with
her to USG debates and had dinner with them in one of the eating
Brian Jeong '11, a Princeton Preview captain at Forbes
who hosted four students, wanted to help because he remembered how
difficult his own college decision was. Jeong said he wanted to
use his "growth of appreciation for Princeton" in his
freshman year to "provide a vision of Princeton that they can
use in their decision."
For the first time this year, the Office of Admission
also reached out to the residential colleges, planning events such
as an authentic tea ceremony, a salsa dance party, and karaoke that
allowed the students to get a glimpse of dorm life at Princeton.
Students also had a chance to dine in Whitman College one night
While the weekend's events were aimed at creating
a positive impression of Princeton, prospective students had a wide
range of concerns.
Rodrigo Rogers, of Oak Mountain High School in Birmingham,
Ala., was looking for a community of Latin American students at
Princeton. Citing the Rodriguez Scholars program at Washington University,
he added: "I see that I can get that experience here without
joining something like that," he said. Rogers met with Princeton
students at the activities fair, a showcase for a variety of Princeton
clubs and organizations.
"I enjoyed the social scene better at MIT,"
said Amy Zhang of Montville Township High School in Montville, N.J.,
saying that she felt more comfortable at the parties at MIT. A contrasting
view was offered by Russell Huang of Reservoir High School in Fulton,
Md. "[MIT students] were weird," said Huang, who had also
attended MIT's preview program. "I think Princeton is normal."
Regardless of their experiences, the admitted students
understood that there was more to Princeton than a sunny spring
While the weekend was "sugarcoated," said
Matthew Young of Westchester East High School in Westchester, Pa.,
"What they can't sugarcoat is the excitement and enthusiasm
of the students." That was what he was looking for, he said,
adding that Princetonians have lots of it.
The students were sent off at 10:30 both Saturday
mornings to return home or to continue on to other college preview
weekends. Enrollment decisions were due May 1, and on that day,
University would know just how well its recruiting efforts had gone.
by Hyunseok Shim ’08