In 2011, the University instituted a single-choice early action application round, allowing high school seniors to receive an offer of acceptance as early as mid-December. In tandem with this new opportunity to attract and enroll prospective students, the Office of Admission created its Tiger Tuesdays program, which designates certain Tuesdays in February for early-admitted students to visit campus and hopefully decide to matriculate at Princeton. The Board believes that Tiger Tuesdays fail to live up to their full potential, and we call for a revamping of the program to further attract prospective students.
Due to various structural problems, the Tiger Tuesdays program as it stands now fails to effectively sell the University to admitted students. The day program is naturally biased toward students in the Northeast area: There is little incentive for a student across the globe to travel and spend only one morning and afternoon on Princeton’s campus. Perhaps the trip would be worthwhile if the day’s events were diverse and interesting; yet another fault of the Tiger Tuesdays program is its shortage of events. Lacking any extracurricular activities, Tiger Tuesdays solely consist of a lunch with a current undergraduate and the ability to take a campus tour, listen to a standard admission information session or attend class, all of which lack worthwhile interaction with undergraduates.
The program is also poorly advertised on campus. While students will find posters or mass emails constantly reminding them of the upcoming Princeton Preview weekends, perhaps the only indicators of a Tiger Tuesday are those on the day-of: the multitudes of seemingly lost high school students carrying the same plastic orange bag and staring at the same brochures or campus maps. Because of frequent and well-organized reminders, undergraduates can become excited to connect with the prefrosh during Princeton Preview; the same cannot be said for Tiger Tuesdays.
Increasing opportunities for prefrosh to interact with undergraduates would greatly improve Tiger Tuesdays. In terms of a timeline, the Board advocates for Tiger Tuesdays to become an overnight program. Similar to during Preview, all students would have the option of staying one night in an undergraduate host’s dorm. Upon establishing this overnight option, the Office of Admission should also pay for students’ travel expenses if they will be receiving financial aid. Enabling an overnight option to all students also allows for a host of activities. Instead of the traditional dry panels or info sessions (as during Preview), an informal meet-and-greet between prefrosh and current undergraduates (for example, residential college advisers or student group leaders) would serve as a great, low-stress opportunity for facilitating this interaction. In addition, the Office of Admission could compile a list of student groups who have regularly scheduled activities (e.g., choral groups with Tuesday night rehearsals) for prefrosh to attend and immerse themselves in Princeton’s vibrant extracurricular community. Since admitted students would be staying overnight, undergraduates could also host dinners, especially at the eating clubs, so that students can briefly experience the vital social atmosphere of the Street. The Board recognizes that expanding the Tiger Tuesdays program could potentially separate the freshman class between those who were accepted early and consequently were “privileged” to Tiger Tuesdays and those who were accepted during the regular round. However, we feel that this exclusion tends to evaporate anyway due to the structure of freshman week and advisee groups, which do an excellent job of integrating all freshmen into their own diverse community.
Overall, the Board recognizes the importance of the Tiger Tuesdays program in the admission process. The Board believes that through increasing prospective students’ interaction with undergraduates, Tiger Tuesdays can become more successful and become a perfect way to get prospective admits excited about coming to Princeton.