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Social Network Launches to Help Potential Cornell Students Make Acceptance Decisions

Cornell University has created a private social network, CUontheHill, to help high school seniors who have been accepted for admission make the decision about whether to attend the Ithaca, NY school.

About 1,000 students who made the early decision to attend Cornell have had access to the site since December, along with current students and alumni, and the site has already had more than a quarter-million page views.

More than 5,200 other high school students who have been accepted but not yet made a decision now have access as well.

Others participating in CUontheHill include Cornell alumni and members of the International Student Admissions Ambassadors, Cornell Ambassadors and CU IMAGE (Increasing Multicultural Admissions and Gains in Enrollment). Some of them are tweeting their recollections of their decision-making processes as they made the decision about whether to attend Cornell after being accepted.

"Basically, we are providing a virtual framework for a conversation about Cornell to occur between our students, our admitted students and our alumni,” said Cornell Undergraduate Admissions Director Shawn Felton.

The network also allows the opportunity for one-on-one and group chats and messaging. Current students can also upload content about the school that can be shared, including photos.

In conjunction with Cornell Days, April 9-20, alumni will be encouraged to participate in CUontheHill and videos that will cover topics admitted students might be interested in will be available. Cornell Days includes a number of events to welcome incoming freshmen with about 1,500 students expected, including 400 from underrepresented minorities.

The CUontheHill component of Cornell Days, Felton said, is an attempt to include international students who may not have the ability to easily travel to the university to participate.

"They want to know what they are getting themselves into should they say yes," Felton said, "and we want them to leave with the best idea, the best sense, of what Cornell is like."

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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