By Jane Avery and Ellie Yeo
For students admitted into Boston University’s class of 2024, open house days may be some of the most important when it comes to making their final college decision. Amid the coronavirus outbreak, however, BU has made the decision to move all April open house programming online.
Normally, each college would host an open house event for admitted students, where they would be able to meet deans and faculty, receive a tour of their school and talk to current students. Now, the schools will attempt to replicate this same event online.
Each school is hosting a number of online events via Zoom starting in early April where members of that colleges’ community are available to answer questions of prospective students, according to the admissions website.
BU Admissions is also hosting several other virtual events tailored to admitted students, both domestic and international, as well as hosting webinars and offering appointments regarding financial aid, according to their website.
Duffy Moran, a senior associate director at BU’s Office of Admissions, said it is important to make sure admitted students still learn about BU before making their decision to attend.
“Our goal has been to look at new ways to do what we usually do, which is engage with admitted students and help them learn more about BU,” Moran said. “So we really had to think critically about the ways to do that and moving online was really kind of a natural progression of that.”
Moran said the online format will still allow each school to provide a variety of offerings that prospective students can take advantage of.
“We have everything,” Moran said. “Chats with deans and current students and faculty, there are some schools that are offering virtual classes and case study programs, and schools that are offering different chat-style opportunities with some of the resources they offer.”
Moran said BU Admissions has worked with all BU colleges to create specialized programs that adhere to the questions and needs of admitted students.
“We partner with the different schools and colleges, we partner with the deans from the schools and colleges to coordinate an effort to make sure everyone is offering programming for admitted students,” Moran said. “Each school and college has looked at what they do and what types of questions students have and are being cognizant of the fact that the students who are admitted to the College of Fine Arts will have different questions and be looking for different things than students going into [the College of] Engineering.”
Moran said the decision to move accepted students programming online followed in the footsteps of the university’s decision to move their operation online for the remainder of the semester.
“The decision to move everything online came naturally with the university’s suspension of activities on-campus,” Moran said, “and the university’s efforts to work within the guidelines of the state of Massachusetts and just what’s best for our students, our staff and the folks on site on-campus.”
Moran also said that BU Admissions has been hosting virtual panels with current BU students and faculty to answer the questions of admitted students.
“The admissions office has had four large virtual events where we have three current students as well as two members of the admission staff really moderating a panel and just chatting with admitting students,” Moran said. “[Admitted students] have the chance to submit questions and we basically just respond over the course of an hour or so, and those programs have been ongoing.”
No formal announcements have been made about how other on-campus events for admitted students, such as orientation, will take place as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.