Seven hundred and twenty admitted students attended the first session of Princeton Preview on Thursday, compared to 700 admitted students in attendance at the first session of Princeton Preview last year.
However, both students at the University and prospective students have expressed disappointment at the University’s decision to change Princeton Preview from a weekend visit to a one-day event.
Cynthia Cherrey, vice president of campus life, announced in an email to the student body last week that the Princeton Preview program would be shortened in order to minimize the chances that prospective students not vaccinated for meningitis would contract the disease.
Crystal Wang, 17, a prospective student and native of East Brunswick, N.J., said she was disappointed that the program had been cut short. She noted that staying the entire weekend would have helped her make a decision, especially considering that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania have both accepted her.
“I went to a preview earlier this week, and there were a lot more social events. While here, I’ve only had time for information sessions and panels,” Wang said. “It would’ve been nice to live in a dorm.”
Wang added that meningitis did not seem too threatening from the view of a prospective student, noting that that most of the University students she had spoken to did not even seem worried about it.
“I don’t think it was necessary,” Wang said, “because as long as we don’t interact in that way, then it probably wouldn’t be a problem.”
Julia Casa-Levine, 18, from Manhattan, Mass., and Thomas Pan, 17, from East Hanover, N.J., agreed that the shortening of the program was disappointing, but they said they both planned to participate in the informal hosting program started on Facebook.
Pan, still considering an acceptance from Stanford, said, “It’s definitely disappointing because all the other schools still have their programs going on. It would be nice to have the comparison, but it won’t be a negative factor in my decision.”
Both Pan and Casa-Levine expressed plans to return to the University’s campus in the next several weeks.
“I’m not particularly scared of meningitis; it seems like it’s been overhyped by Princeton,” Pan said.
Kelly McCabe, an 18-year-old from Western Massachussetts who has already committed to the University, said she understood that the liability issues and risks at hand were definitely a factor in shortening the program but added that she felt cautionary behavior would be more than enough to prevent contracting the disease.
The shortening of the program has also dampened the spirits of current students.
“It kind of blows. I wouldn’t want to deny someone that experience,” Kevin Cheng ’17 said.
He noted that the program modifications made it nearly futile for international students to visit the campus, which he said was especially disappointing considering the diversity that international students contribute to the campus life and environment.
The second preview event will be held on Monday, April 28.