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Should I attend an admissions open house?

Last updated: 
October 24, 2023

Attending an admissions open house is vital to finding the right-fit private school. While you can learn about the school and its admissions process through its website and social media, the online campus tour and Instagram videos don’t fully replicate the in-person experience and the benefits of meeting the admissions team, administration, and faculty.

Open house attendance also shows the school that you are sincerely interested in enrolling, which can make a difference in admission decisions.

How can I stand out at an open house?

While the open house is an opportunity for first impressions, you will have additional time with an admissions officer throughout the application process, so please don’t feel like you have to compete with other families for attention. 

Help the admissions team remember you for the right reasons by doing the following:

  • Show up a couple of minutes early or on time to say hello and make small talk before the opening reception gets crowded.
  • Dress appropriately in business attire befitting the school’s formal or informal dress code.
  • Do your research and come prepared to ask a couple of questions that show you are interested in the school. For example, instead of asking something that you can quickly learn on the website (“Does the school have a robotics team?”), go a step further (“Can first-year students compete on the robotics team, or are there prerequisites?”) to show you are invested. 
  • Be present and attentive throughout the event. Avoid looking at your phone unless necessary, and if you are in a conversation, be transparent: “I’m sorry, my wife is driving here from work, and she is stuck in traffic. Do you mind if I help her find an alternate route?”
  • Be respectful of the difficult decisions admission representatives have to make. A thank you note or email after the event is great to show appreciation, but sending a LinkedIn invitation puts them in an awkward position.

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