Samplers attract students

By April DeJarlais

Macalester’s acceptance decisions have been mailed out, which means the campus is preparing for a whole host of visiting prospective first years. The annual spring samplers for admitted students will be held on April 2-3 and 16-17. Admissions started hosting samplers around 15 years ago and they have continued to be a spring tradition at Macalester. Around 160 to 190 admitted students are expected to attend each sampler, with the second attracting more attendees.

Regardless of attendance levels, samplers “are a different beast than hosting students throughout the year,” Assistant Director of Admissions Nora Main ’02 said. “Samplers open up our campus and show how distinctive Macalester is; students can think about whether they belong here.”

“Experiencing the environment of Macalester was more influential than any guidebook could have been,” Juliet Jacobs ’12 said. “I came despite the awful, awful weather.”

Main said that students who visit the school after being accepted show a high level of interest in attending Macalester. Fifty percent of sampler attendees typically end up enrolling.

Samplers kick off with introductory speeches to students and parents. Speakers for this year’s samplers are Professors David Moore and Thomas Varberg with students Allison Tray ’09 and Ben Knurr ’09.

Student organizations donate their efforts during samplers to host events and to show off Macalester. In order to make the samplers successful, “it has to be a campus-wide collaborative effort,” Main said.

The second day of the sampler provides students and parents a meeting time with President Brian Rosenberg and Provost Kathy Murray. Attendees can then choose to sample classes or visit information sessions on studying abroad, athletics, student services or academic departments.

Admitted students receive two free meal passes to Café Mac and a coupon for free ice cream at Grand Ole Creamery. After the traditional ice cream run, students are then taken on a tour of the Macalester neighborhood.