Hi again! I wanted to revisit my first ever blog post to offer new tips on diversity fly-in programs since the fly-in aspect of these programs is on pause for now.
Although it’s unfortunate universities can no longer host prospective students on their campuses, universities are still committed to transforming their on-campus events to online spaces. Regardless of the format, the meaning behind these (now virtual) diversity fly-in programs remains the same. In applying and actively participating in these programs, you are learning about the ins and outs of a university—the academic environment, the vibe of the student body, and the support systems the university has in place. Through your “fly-in” program essays and contributions to group discussions, the university is also learning a bit more about you. As a result, diversity fly-in programs remain instrumental to many students’ higher education journey.
Here is a quick rundown of the changes Tufts made to the Voices of Tufts Diversity Experience:
Now, here is my advice for applying (2020 edition):
Apply Apply Apply. Seriously apply to any college or university that you are even slightly interested in. Here is College Greenlight’s amazing and updated list of the 2020 virtual “fly-in” programs offered this year.
Easy Breezy. Most “fly-in” programs’ applications are fairly straightforward and should not be a source of stress for you during your senior year. (This is still true!) As a senior in high school, I remember thinking that I would have to do so much extra work on top of applying to college. To my surprise, filling out the application took me less than an hour. Of course, take your time with the application, but know that it’s nowhere near as long as a college application. Also, a well written 200-350 word essay can be a ticket to connecting *virtually* with other prospective students. For Tufts, your application also now results in an application fee waiver!
Rejection. I applied to four “fly-in” programs and was accepted into all but one. For me, receiving the rejection letter from that one school made me rethink my interest in them entirely. I thought that if I wasn’t accepted into this school’s fly-in program that there was no way I was going to receive an acceptance letter later in the year. Looking back at it now, I should not have let one rejection letter have so much influence on my decision. Just like how being accepted into a fly-in does not guarantee admission, being rejected from one does not guarantee getting denied. (This is also still true!)
Deadlines. Check the deadlines. The deadline for our Voices program is Friday, September 18th. While our deadlines are in the fall, some “fly-in” programs have much earlier deadlines, so encourage your junior friends to keep an eye out for these programs. Also note that deadlines may have shifted this year especially! So, be sure your deadline and application requirements are always up to date.
Spread the word. As great as these programs are, you would be surprised at how many students are unaware of their existence. The majority of fly-in programs or diversity overnight programs are open to all students. For Voices, we advertise the program to students from underrepresented backgrounds and those interested in learning more about diversity on the Tufts campus. Since everyone is welcome to apply, you never know who you may impact with your advice.
Ok, so now you are admitted into the program. Here are ways to make the most out of your virtual visit:
Connect. You will still have classroom sessions, small group meetings, and other social events—all of these events are opportunities for you to meet other prospective students! While Tufts will host social events, you could also set up your own Zoom events with the friends you meet along the way!
Explore. You will have access to virtual classes, events with student clubs and organizations, and sessions with campus resources. Join in on as many events as you can, even those that may not initially interest you! Never considered applying to an engineering school but a medical imaging class interests you? Join Biomedical engineering Professor Sergio Fantini’s class since we combined our Engineering and Arts and Sciences programs!
Catch up on some work. “Fly-in” programs often take place during the most stressful part of senior year. We understand this. Having homework and not being able to take part in all the social events is completely understandable. This is a great opportunity to adjust to the college life of work hard, play hard. Also, many Voices events are now optional. While you should attend all the events you are able to, it’s completely reasonable to put off some of the optional events for schoolwork.
Keep in touch. Remember the friends you made throughout the program. You will still be assigned to a current student who will be your host throughout the program, so be sure to connect with them beforehand and thank them afterwards! If you choose to apply to their school, they can be a resource and a friend to you. Also, say hey to any admissions officer you meet that has impacted your program experience. This may include the admissions officer assigned to your hometown or the admissions officer you meet in any event! An email to them after the program is a great way to refresh their memory of you!
We understand that is an especially turbulent time for students. Please know that we are willing to help you at any point of the application process for Voices or Tufts. Click here to find our office’s email addresses. If you are not able to complete the Voices application, we are still offering many virtual events for you to participate in. Click here to view the full calendar of events.