You know spring is in the air when you see thousands of high school students swarming on campus with parents in tow.
This weekend, UCSB will open its doors to hundreds of newly admitted students for its annual Spring Insight. Potential freshmen and transfer students will have the opportunity to take a campus tour, talk with admissions counselors, and learn more about the university.
“Prospective students benefit from Spring Insight by seeing their housing options first hand, speaking to admissions counselors in person, and by visiting specific departments that offer advising hours at this time,” Spring Insight Organizer and Admissions Counselor Gina Gonzales said.
The Visitor’s Center organizes the yearly event, which will take place this Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Student volunteers will lead campus tours hourly and make presentations at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1 p.m. During the presentation, potential students will see a video about UCSB and specific aspects of university life such as the Honors Program and housing options.
Prospective students need not make reservations to attend Spring Insight, even though last year the event brought in 1,200-1,500 visitors, according to Gonzalez. Because most California high schools had their spring breaks during the first week of April, fewer admits are expected to Spring Insight this year, as many have already visited the campus, she said.
The Education Opportunity Program’s Admitted Student Open House, as well as the College of Engineering’s Open House, will coincide with Spring Insight, so students who attend this weekend will have additional opportunities to learn about what UCSB has to offer, Gonzales said.
UCSB admitted 17,630 freshmen this year and is aiming to admit 5,000 transfer students, although the numbers are not in yet because transfer applications are not due until May 1.
It is difficult to tell whether or not Spring Insight makes students more likely to choose UCSB because there are no statistics kept on visiting students.
Programs like Spring Insight also impact the Bookstore.
“Orientation tours are beneficial for sales,” said Bookstore manager Ken Bowers, in reference to items bearing UCSB logos, such as sweatshirts. “This March has been the highest-selling non-holiday month in history.”
Overall, 200-300 UCSB students participate in Spring Insight by leading tours, being on discussion panels and opening their residence halls for prospective students to view. All participants are volunteers.
“Student volunteers benefit from their participation by gaining community service hours, an increased likelihood of finding paid jobs on campus on account of their knowledge, and letters of recommendation from the Visitor Center staff,” Gonzales said.
Students interested in volunteering should contact the Visitor’s Center at 893-2487.