School Hosts Program

A Key Component of Admissions


Sean Fialcowitz, Grady Gore, and Raymond Xu, Staff Writers

An important component of Delbarton’s admissions process is the “student-for-a day” visit, which allows prospective students to experience Delbarton by “shadowing” a current student for a day. The School Hosts program coordinates these visits, pairing current seventh and ninth grade students to the visitors. According to Neel Dhall ‘24, School Hosts student coordinator, there were approximately 250 visitors, each paired with one of either 33 freshman hosts or 7 middle school hosts selected by the admissions team to host.

Admissions Process

The freshman (or seventh-grader) for a day program is just one part of the Delbarton admissions process. Delbarton’s admissions process starts at the October Open House, with many prospective families visiting the various exhibits showing the many programs Delbarton has to offer. This year, 319 families registered for the Open House, according to Dr. David Donovan, Dean of Admissions, “and that’s just registered families”. Many families also arrived on campus without pre-registering. 

The Open House is followed by an individual student interview and a standardized admission test. While the student for a day program isn’t really used for admissions decisions, according to Dhall, it helps “promote Delbarton School to prospective families”, allowing them to make their choice of Delbarton easier. Overall, the visit helps prospective families see Delbarton in action: after all, as Dr. Donovan put it, “it’s not really me with a fancy tie not selling the school” but it’s the students who do.


Host Experiences:  Three members of the Courier staff are active school hosts. We asked them to share their experiences as school hosts.

Sean Fialcowitz:

I found hosting prospective students as a great way to give the same experiences that I had received when I visited the school. While visiting Delbarton as a sixth grader, I was toured by a kind and professional host and left the school feeling that this was the place in which I could belong. When I hosted, I strove to give my guests the feeling that they belonged, and wanted to showcase Delbarton at its best. Being a student host helped me become patient and responsible. When I toured, I came to understand that the prospective students generally did not yet know much about the school, and it was my job to explain to them what Delbarton is like. When I toured, I had to be responsible not just for myself, but also for my visitor. From when my guest walked into Trinity Hall to when he walked out, I was responsible for giving him the best experience possible. I enjoyed hosting students this Fall, and hope that my actions warranted students to see Delbarton in a positive light.

Raymond Xu:

I hosted five prospective freshmen. Some were completely new to the school, while others had multiple siblings who were already members of the brotherhood. Delbarton has had applicants with diverse interests and hobbies: a couple were extremely excited to hear about Delbarton’s various sports programs, while others were captivated by our arts and STEM programs. I think hosting has also let me see the world in a different light too.  By interacting and talking with people who came from different backgrounds, I saw how various peoples outside the school viewed us, but also just by having the responsibility of showing someone else around, I saw areas of the campus that normally I wouldn’t visit as much myself.

Grady Gore:

I hosted around ten eighth graders this year. Being that I have been at Delbarton since seventh grade I experienced my visit a lot sooner than most. Because of this I found myself able to understand how important the School Hosts Program is. When I joined the program I assumed I would be hosting people who had the same hobbies and played the same sports I do. However, to my pleasant surprise I found that I was given applicants with a wide range of interests and abilities. These special qualities allowed me to further appreciate the diversity of the applicants and how they could positively contribute to our Delbarton community.