A Guide to Candidates’ Weekend, if you're not the Candidate!

As a parent I understand that the college admission process is often a journey for the whole family. That's why I'm reposting this blog about what parents, guardians, and family members can expect from Olin's unique Candidates' Weekend process!

My colleague, Alia Georges, has written previously about what Candidates can expect from Candidates’ Weekends (CW).  For all you parents, guardians, friends and other family members who may attend CW to support a participating student (or who simply are on driving duty for that particular weekend!), this blog is for you! 

We offer specific (and sometimes separate) programming for parents and guests.  The purpose of the weekend is, in equal parts, for Candidates to get to know Olin and for Olin to get to know each individual Candidate.  We recognize, however, that parents and families may have questions that differ from those of the Candidates.  Sending a young person off on their college journey is a huge, life-changing milestone for everyone involved.  Recognizing that, we provide not only structured programming to address some of the most common questions, but also plenty of opportunities for families to have informal conversations with folks who have been through this process before.  Olin parent volunteers attend the Friday evening dinner to host parent-and-guardian specific tables where experiences and perspectives about Olin can be shared freely and frankly.  After dinner, you may continue those conversations at the Parent Reception, while Candidates attend student-focused activities hosted by current Oliners. 

Explore the surrounding area while your Candidate is participating in the weekend.  Much of our important programming is on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.  Saturday afternoon provides time to tour the Olin campus (if you haven’t already done so) or the Weissman Foundry on the Babson campus.  Downtown Needham is only a mile or so from Olin, easily accessible if you’d like to give your Candidate some space to bond with their peers and connect with current Oliners on Saturday afternoon.  Our staff will be happy to share their favorite restaurant recommendations if you choose to venture further afield after viewing the Design Challenge!

Your attendance is optional!  Candidates are required to attend Candidates’ Weekend as the second phase of our unique, two-part admission process.  While we do make allowances for international students who may participate virtually, we are pretty firm on this requirement for domestic students.  There’s simply no substitute for the up-close-and-personal experience that Candidates’ Weekend offers.  BUT, roughly 50% of all the participants attend CW on their own, without parents or other adults accompanying them.  Those students submit their travel plans to our office in advance; we arrange for transportation to campus from the airport or train station, and all students traveling alone typically stay at the Babson Executive Conference Center which is walking distance from the Olin campus.  Students traveling alone are paired with a roommate at the BECC which cuts the costs and adds to the fun!

So if you’d like to come to Candidates’ Weekend with your Candidate: Welcome!  We have some interesting things planned for you.  If you’re not able to attend or if you’d rather let your Candidate have this experience on their own: Congratulations!  You’re allowing them to take these first steps on their college journey independently.  Either way is fine!