Multicultural Visit Program Welcomes Prospective Students


Photo courtesy of Oberlin College

Prospective students toured Oberlin this past week.

Editor’s Note: The reporter who wrote this article was an ambassador host for prospective students during the Multicultural Visit Program.

Last week, the College welcomed over 70 prospective students to the Multicultural Visit Program. MVP is an opportunity for prospective students to visit campus for a weekend and live with a student ambassador. During the pandemic, fewer prospective students were able to visit, and they weren’t allowed to stay in dorms. This session of the program hosted the largest cohort since 2020 and resumed regular operations. 

“The main purpose of MVP is first off acknowledging that Oberlin is a predominantly white institution,” Assistant Director of Admissions and MVP Ana Richardson, OC ’18, said. “The whole point is to try to bolster the community of students of color, low-income students, and also first-generation students. So a student can either be first gen, … low income, or a student of color to qualify.” 

The Admissions Office finances travel for prospective students, in addition to costs incurred while on campus. During that time, prospective students tour the campus and eat at the dining halls, as well as go to events and classes. This year, many joined in with performances at Afrikan Heritage House Soul Session or sat in the pews of Finney Chapel for Organ Pump. 

“We put a lot of money into making sure that we are actually bringing in more students of color, and the number one indicator of if somebody will choose your school is if they’ve been on campus,” Richardson said. “So the point of this is to bring in students of color, but also to have students who wouldn’t have had the opportunity to come to campus without it. We pay for their flights, and we pay for everything while they’re here too.”

Many MVP attendees have applied Early Decision and been accepted in recent years. These students state that it was the community and diversity that encouraged them and strengthened the appeal to attend. 

“MVP was the biggest part of me coming to Oberlin, especially because I didn’t know what Oberlin was until a counselor here told me to apply for MVP,”  Cyril Amanfo, OC ’22, an Admissions counselor, said. “I met people who I still know now. I saw everything that Oberlin really had to offer in less than 72 hours. So it was really the biggest part of why I’m here now.”

Each prospective student was paired with one of 30 student ambassadors, giving them a chance to explore the campus with one of their future classmates, as well as ask their hosts questions about the Oberlin experience.

At the end of the program, prospective students can speak with the Admissions Office as well as ask questions to current students. After the weekend is over, MVP participants are sent a survey asking them to detail their experience. 

“I really enjoyed Oberlin,”  prospective student Toni J. Dismuke, who hails from Atlanta, said. “Since it is in Ohio, [I] thought it was gonna be a very quiet, very small town. I thought that the days were gonna be empty, and you’re just gonna sit in the dorms, but there’s something happening every five minutes. Like when we first got here, there was a parade going on. They drew us in, and we danced in the middle of this circle. It was just something to do, and it wasn’t performative. These events were happening with or without us. And it’s just the fact that they’re very open and that people were doing things for them. It’s not a show, this is how it is.”

There are several MVP programs starting back up this year, and College students can expect another round of prospective students on campus in the coming weeks. 

“This is one of the most important programs to me that we put on college-wide because I know it got students like myself here,” Amanfo said. “It puts up an opportunity for students who otherwise wouldn’t have that opportunity. And that’s just really special to be part of that team now and watch students have that same opportunity.”