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- Visiting Amherst
Amherst College Diversity Open House FAQ
Below you'll find the answers to some frequently asked questions about our Diversity Open House program. Make sure you also check out the main DIVOH webpage for more information. If you can't find the answer to your particular question, please feel free to contact us by email at email@example.com.
We want to make sure that you have the information you need!
Q: Who should apply to attend a DIVOH weekend?
The Diversity Open House is available to all prospective students residing and/or attending school in the United States, but the selection committee prioritizes inviting students from traditionally under-represented groups, such as African-American, Hispanic/Latino American, Native American, and Asian-American backgrounds, as well as first-generation to college students. The DIVOH selection committee will also prioritize inviting students from families with limited financial resources, regardless of cultural or racial background. The above-mentioned are priorities, but are not meant to imply any exclusivity regarding the program or the selection process. If you have an interest in attending, we encourage you to apply!
Q: How do I apply to attend a DIVOH?
First, you must submit an online application form, which is available through the main DIVOH webpage each May for the subsequent September and October DIVOH weekends. Second, you must also email a scanned copy of your high school transcript through your junior year (unofficial transcripts are acceptable). Your application is not considered complete until we have received both your online application and your transcript. All material must be received by the deadline stated on the application (typically mid-August).
Q: Why do I need to submit my transcript?
You must submit your transcript to show the Admission Office what you have accomplished during your high school career. Your transcript allows us to get an accurate picture of what courses you have taken, how much you have challenged yourself academically, and how well you have succeeded in your studies so far.
Application and Admission Processes
Q: Does being accepted to DIVOH mean that I am guaranteed admission to Amherst?
Acceptance to DIVOH is a sign that Amherst is interested in you, but by no means assures admission to the College. In the past, approximately 75% of DIVOH attendees (who create an extremely competitive pool) subsequently apply for admission to the College. Of those who apply, typically half are admitted.
Q: Does being rejected from DIVOH mean that I won’t be accepted to Amherst?
No! The DIVOH application process is extremely competitive. Because the program targets students who have not visited Amherst before and might not otherwise have the opportunity to visit, many qualified students are not selected to attend the DIVOH program, simply because of space limitations.
Q: When will I hear regarding my admission to the program?
We typically notify all applicants by the last week in August.
Q: How should I submit my transcript?
You should send a copy of your transcript by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Documents should be sent in the following formats: PDF, Microsoft Office Word Document, or TIFF. If you are unable to email a copy of your transcript to our office, please fax it to 413-542-2040. If neither of these options work, please call our admission office at 413-542-2328 to discuss other options.
Hosting and Meals
Q: How will I be matched with a student host?
You will be staying with Amherst College students who volunteer to host prospective students. The students represent a variety of class years, interests, and majors. If you have any specific requests (e.g. if you would like to be hosted by an English major), we will do our best to honor them, but please be aware that our ability to do so depends on the students who volunteer to host. Some requests are more difficult to honor than others.
Q: What should I expect from my host for the weekend?
Your host will provide you a place to sleep and be a contact while you are on campus. Although some hosts will be able to show students around campus and into town, others may have academic or extra-curricular commitments that prevent them from doing so. Instead, you can ask one of our lovely interns any questions that you may have if your host is unavailable!
Q: Can I stay with an athlete?
If you would like to stay with an athlete in a club sport, (rugby, ultimate Frisbee, crew, equestrian, fencing, mountain biking, sailing, skiing, water polo, wrestling), you will have an opportunity to notify us about this request prior to the program. If you would like to stay with an athlete who is part of a varsity team, you should be in direct contact with the coach of that sport to be sure the coach has assigned a current student to host you BEFORE registering to attend the program. Links to individual webpages for specific teams and contact information for coaches can be accessed through the drop-down list located at the About Amherst Athletics page.
Q: Can I stay with my friend who goes to Amherst?
Yes! All housing arrangements are made through the Admissions Office. Please request your friend by name. Your friend should also sign up to host (we send out emails in the fall) and request to host you, by name.
Q: Do I need to bring money for food?
Not at all! Amherst will provide all meals for the weekend. After you arrive for the program, you will receive an access card that will allow you to have your meals in our campus dining hall.
Arrival and Departure
Q: What is the recommended departure time?
Upon arrival on campus, you will be given a list of Monday classes, which begin at 8:30 a.m. and continue into the afternoon. As your last event before your departure, we encourage you to visit classes that interest you! To get a good sense of the classroom environment at Amherst, we expect that you will leave no earlier than 11:00 a.m. on Monday, so that you can choose from a wide array of classes to attend.
Q: What should I do if I need to leave earlier than the recommended departure time on Monday?
You should first notify the Office of Admission. We expect attending students to stay for the entirety of the program. However, if you need to leave early on the final day of the program for a compelling reason, please let us know as soon as possible. We try our best to accommodate students who would like to attend other college overnights that overlap with our program.
Q: Can I come early or stay a day late?
The college cannot provide additional funding for students who plan to arrive a day early or stay after the program ends. However, we will consider extenuating circumstances for students traveling long distances.
Q: How much of my travel expenses does Amherst cover to attend a DIVOH?
Students selected to visit Amherst for a DIVOH weekend will receive 100% of round-trip transportation costs (airline, bus, or train) for DIVOH attendance. This funding includes ground transportation to and from our campus, as well.
Q: Does Amherst pay for my travel expenses upfront?
Yes, we do! We will be in contact with you shortly after acceptance with instructions on how to book travel for the program.
Q: Who should I contact to book my plane, train, or bus tickets to the College?
The Office of Admission uses a travel agency to assist students in securing travel tickets to attend the program. We will provide the contact information for our agency to students who have been accepted to attend the program.
Q: Will Amherst cover the transportation costs of my parents to the program?
No, Amherst cannot pay transportation costs for your parents or otherwise assist with their travel arrangements. Because we would like to offer as many students as possible an opportunity to explore Amherst, we do not make funding available for parents.
Q: Does Amherst pay airline fees for checked luggage that I bring with me?
No, so we recommend that students traveling by air to a DIVOH program bring only the standard "one carry-on bag and one personal item" that can be taken on board the airplane and do not need to be checked. If you do decide to check any bags (at your own expense), keep in mind that fees for checking luggage vary across airlines and by the weight of your bag. (If you need information on the size and number of bags that you're permitted to carry on board the plane for free, or the airline fees for checked bags, you can find that at the website of the airline you're flying.) Typically airlines will allow you to bring a backpack/bag (for personal items) and a sleeping bag, as your personal item.
Q: What will we be doing during the DIVOH weekend?
There will be special programming for the DIVOH weekends, including information sessions with admission deans, a faculty panel, and opportunities to attend classes and interact with current Amherst College students, faculty, and staff. You can review our sample schedule of programming to get a sense of the kinds of events that usually take place.
Q: What classes are offered and when will I be able to visit them?
We allow students free time to attend classes on the Monday of our program. Since Monday is also the last day/departure day of the program, please be mindful of your departure time. The earlier you leave on Monday, the less time you will have to take classes. We expect all students to depart no earlier than 11:00 a.m. You can review in advance the classes available to visit at the Monday Class List. To make sure you don't disrupt the class, please plan to stay for the duration of the class.
Q: What if I have multiple programs in a single weekend? Will Amherst accommodate me?
Many students who come to DIVOH also attend other programs and we will do our best to accommodate your plans. If you are attending another program either immediately before or after DIVOH, we will arrange appropriate transportation with advanced notice. We are unable to accommodate students who have multiple programs in the same weekend, as we feel that each program deserves a student’s full time and attention. To minimize conflicts, we have two DIVOH weekends each fall.
Q: What if I can’t make the weekend I selected on my application. What should I do?
Please let us know as soon as possible. Either call the Office of Admission at (413)-542-2328 or email us at email@example.com.
Q: What should I do if something comes up and I can no longer go to DIVOH?
Again, let us know as soon as possible. Either call the Office of Admission at (413)-542-2328 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be aware that all students who book travel for a DIVOH weekend and don’t attend the program are responsible for reimbursing our office for all costs incurred.
Q: Can I attend both DIVOHs?
No, you may attend only one DIVOH weekend. (Both programs in the fall are the same.)
Q: Will I have Internet access?
You will be able to access Amherst College's wireless Internet as a guest. There are computers for public use in several locations on campus.
Q: What should I bring with me to campus?
Dress for this weekend is casual.You may want to check the weather in the Amherst area before deciding what clothes to pack. The following are other suggestions for what you should bring with you on your trip:
- sleeping bag or blankets and pillow (required - let us know if you can’t bring these items)
- casual clothing
- warm jacket
- towel and toiletries
- cell phone or calling card for any necessary long distance phone calls
- spending money (You will not need to pay for any meals or events while on campus, but you may want to buy some Amherst memorabilia while you are here.)
- HOMEWORK! (You are visiting a college, after all!)
Q: Who can I talk to if I want to learn more about Amherst or DIVOH?
Our fantastic Diversity Interns! These current Amherst students help the Office of Admission plan the program. You can get to know them by checking out the Diversity Interns webpage!