Admitted students flock to the Hill during AOH

April Open House (AOH) will enter its third and final day today, as current high school seniors accepted to Tufts continue to explore the Hill, many trying to make up their minds as to whether they will return as full-time students next year.

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions organized the annual program, which has brought many of the nearly 4,000 accepted students of the Class of 2013 to campus to get a taste of Tufts’ academics and student life.

“The Tufts April Open House is unique in the way that it opens up the campus to future Jumbos,” admissions intern Adam White, a senior, said.

This year’s AOH activities have included mock classes, student panels and academic department open houses. AOH also took place yesterday and last Friday.

Student pre-orientation groups including Freshman Orientation Community Service (FOCUS) and Tufts Wilderness Orientation tabled to inform prospective students about pre-matriculation opportunities.

In addition to attending daytime activities, some admitted students opted to spend the night with current Tufts students to get a feel for campus life.

This year’s programming has met with high attendance. Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Lee Coffin said that last Friday saw the largest turnout in the program’s history, with over 1,200 people attending.

“Many of the venues across campus were standing room only,” Coffin said.

About 700 people visited for yesterday’s events, Coffin said, adding that the AOH that falls on a Thursday “is always the smallest one.”

Because of the economic downturn that has left families nationwide wary about paying for college tuition, many schools have worked harder to entice students and their families to accept offers of admission.

But Tufts’ admissions office chose to keep the same formula as last spring’s programming.

“Our program … showcases great faculty and great students, what [University] President [Lawrence] Bacow calls ‘the essential ingredients for a great university,'” Coffin said.

The program aims to highlight Tufts faculty and students rather than the work of the admissions office, he added.

“April Open House is a time for the admissions staff to step away from center stage and let the campus speak for itself,” he said. “I think a focus on ‘great faculty and great students’ is an ideal way to highlight the excellence of Tufts.”

This focus seems to be working well, according to Coffin. Though admitted students have until next Friday to accept Tufts’ offer of admission and submit their deposits, Coffin said that next year’s freshman class is already shaping up nicely.

“To date, the early returns for the Class of 2013 are on track and very promising,” he said.

Warm weather brought an outpouring of Tufts students outside last Friday, with the temperature somewhat colder yesterday.

“Great energy, lots of enthusiasm and stunning spring weather drew undergrads outdoors and enhanced the lively atmosphere,” Coffin said. “Obviously, all the activity and energy is very compelling to accepted students.”

The mercury is expected to hit the upper 60s today, with mostly sunny weather.

Coffin said that he was pleased with the accepted students’ enthusiasm.

“[O]ne accepted student told me he was ‘mesmerized’ by Tufts,” he said. “I can’t ask for a better verb than that.”