Earlham College to give COVID-safe way for prospective students to tour campus

Richmond, Indiana — Earlham College has come up with a new way for its prospective students to experience campus before making their final admissions decision. They’re offering up to 50 students already accepted into the college to come to campus for a drive-through tour of campus this Saturday, April 10.

They’ll get to experience all kinds of things Earlham’s campus has to offer, all from the comfort of their cars.

“Yeah, we’re really excited,” said Yuliya Cormier, Earlham College’s Interim Director of Admissions.We’re doing our last and final experience Earlham event which is actually going to be a drive-in event.”

So far, the first two “Experience Earlham” events have been virtual because of the pandemic.

They’ve had in-person classes at Earlham College for months now, but the only outside visitors allowed on campus during the pandemic have been through the admissions department: high school and transfer students and their families taking walking tours of the campus in Richmond, Ind.

Saturday’s drive-through event will be the first large gathering on campus since the pandemic started.

Now that Earlham and other colleges and universities across the country have sent out their admissions acceptance letters, high schoolers have a deadline of May 1, which is National College Decision Day, to decide where they’ll be going to college.

Cormier says this drive-through event is a way to allow students and their families to experience campus before that final decision in a COVID-safe manner. “Trying to put our thinking caps on, we’ve decided to bring students to campus,” Cormier said. “They’ll be able to be in their cars. They’ll be able to take in different performances, speakers – students can actually bring their own chairs and prop their chairs next to their cars if they wanted to. That way they will still be on campus, we’ll still maintain social distancing, everyone will be parked far enough from everyone.”

The prospective students will be able to get a sense of some of the programs they can get involved with if they come to Earlham through the driving tour that will make a loop all over campus. “We have interactive stops all throughout the campus,” Cormier said. “So they’ll get to see different aspects of the campus, different sides of it.”

They’ll even get to sample campus cuisine on the drive-through tour.

“We’re going to have our cafeteria providing breakfast as well as lunch. We’ll be taking that to students to their cars,” Cormier said.

It’s another sign of COVID-prompted innovation – Earlham College letting prospective students test drive campus before making that final college decision.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Cormier said. “This is the last event before May 1 so hopefully this will capture students’ attention and they’ll want to deposit on May 1.”

Earlham College said, just in case, they have a rain date set for their drive-in tour of campus. The rain date is a week from this coming Saturday on April 17, but EC officials said they’re hoping not to have to use it.