Fly-In Focus

For Counselors: Impact of Fly-in Programs

Comments Off on For Counselors: Impact of Fly-in Programs 23 August 2017

Finding the time, transportation and budget to visit college campuses can be tough, especially for students from low-income families or those who will be in the first generation of their family to attend college.

Fortunately, college admissions offices recognize that limited access to campus visits is one of the many barriers students can face in the admissions process. Accordingly, many colleges and universities organize fly-in programs and overnight experiences and provide travel assistance to welcome prospective students into their communities. These programs often vary in their target participants – students of color, low-income students, students from underrepresented geographic regions, for example – but all provide students with firsthand exposure to the academic offerings and social environment of their institution.

Fly-in programs give prospective students the opportunity to:

  • Ask macro- and micro-level questions of current college students and faculty.
  • Discover resources for academic advising, study abroad, career development and student leadership.
  • Make connections with peers who might become their future classmates and friends.
  • Build relationships with admissions officers who can assist with the college admissions process.
  • Evaluate their sense of fit for an institution.

Gaining a deeper sense of the vibe and culture of a college’s campus community will help students convey their interest in their application and can influence a student’s desire to apply early decision.

Admittedly, applying to fly-in programs can sometimes feel like an entire college application process on its own. To make things less overwhelming, students should prioritize fly-in applications for a few colleges they are considering but aren’t fully sold on.

College Greenlight provides a great place to start, with a comprehensive list of fly-in and diversity programs. Select several fly-in events to share on your school/organization’s website and feature them in email newsletters to students and families.

This article was written by Sean Ashburn, an admissions counselor at Tufts University. Tufts University offers two overnight opportunities for prospective students through the Voices of Tufts Diversity Experiences. The first program (October 19-20, 2017) is intended for students interesting in studying engineering and the second program (October 26-27, 2017) is for students interested in studying across the liberal arts and sciences. Application deadlines are in early October.

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