Students who were admitted early decision will not be invited to A Day on College Hill this year, as the Office of Admission prepares to make the event more intimate and address increased competition with peer schools.
With about 2,000 students and parents descending on campus each April, overcrowding in recent years has started to take its toll on ADOCH, which Dean of Admission Jim Miller '73 called "the most important matriculation event we do all year." In post-ADOCH surveys, students who chose not to attend Brown often noted chaos, overly small venues and a lack of parking around campus, Miller said.
"I think they felt it was very amorphous," Miller said. "We want to make it more personal."
The Office of Admission considered holding two ADOCHs but found that this was "logistically impossible" and that it "made sense to focus on the students choosing which institution to attend," Miller said.
The decision to downsize ADOCH comes as the University faces increased competition with peer institutions. Harvard and Princeton recently dropped their early decision programs, so many students who would have applied to these schools early will now apply to Brown as well, Miller said.
"We're going to have a lot more overlap with our competition," he said.
In addition, the new financial aid policies at Harvard and Yale have "put added importance on the whole ADOCH experience," Miller said.
"Financial aid will be a very important factor, which makes it very important that students have the best possible experience at ADOCH," Miller said.
The University will offer other visiting opportunities to students who were admitted early decision, including the faculty lunches and tours that the Office of Admission holds each spring. Miller said early decision students "brought real energy to the program" and that the decision to exclude them from ADOCH was not an easy one.
Besides a more intimate atmosphere, ADOCH will see a host of other changes this year. The Office of Admission has turned to the event planning group from Public Affairs and University Relations to organize the event. The event planners at PAUR will take the place of admissions officers who used to plan the event "late at night after reading files all day," Miller said. There will also be classes designed specifically for admitted students.
Though he has not heard from any students yet, Miller said he expected that some would be disappointed by the new policy. He added that most students at Brown who attended ADOCH liked the event a lot.
Brad Greenburg '10, who attended ADOCH after being admitted early decision, said the program was "definitely a valuable experience" even though he was not choosing between schools.
"It helped reconfirm why Brown was my first choice," Greenburg said. "Even though you're bound to the school doesn't mean you're totally sure that's the place for you. Visiting makes you feel better about your decision."
Greenburg said ADOCH was "definitely overcrowded," with three pre-frosh sleeping on the floor of the Keeney double he stayed in. Still, he said he enjoyed meeting the people who would be in school with him at Brown. Inviting early admits to other events instead of ADOCH isn't quite the same, but it's better than nothing, he said.