In just one short week, more than 800 high school seniors will flock to Harvard looking for a good time and a good taste of college life during their prefrosh weekend.
But if things do not change soon, as many as 200 of them might end up looking for a place to stay.
"It's always a challenge to get hosts," said Wendy Chang, admissions officer and director of the visiting program, known to most as prefrosh weekend.
"The really enthusiastic ones will sign up immediately, but there are those who mean to sign up and never get around to it," Chang said.
But being short of hosts with a week to go is nothing new.
Each year, Chang is faced with a last-minute scramble. And each year, all prefrosh end up with a roof over their heads.
As of yesterday, Chang said, 400 undergraduates had signed up to host prefrosh for the weekend of April 19-21.
She added that this does not include the total number of spots available for prefrosh, as many students volunteer to host more than one guest.
At least 800 students are expected to attend this year's prefrosh weekend, Chang said, but in the past attendance has been as high as 1,000.
"We never know the definite amount until a few days before the weekend because of the short time frame between notification of acceptance and the actual weekend," said Adam R. Kovacevich '99, co-chair of the Undergraduate Admissions Committee (UAC).
At this point, after accounting for undergraduates willing to host more than one prefrosh, an estimated 600 spots are actually available for prefrosh attending that weekend.
That means about 200 more spots are still needed.
"Late in the game is when you have to get aggressive," Chang said. "We want to get people pumped up about hosting, but we also want to get them excited about the entire weekend."
Chang said some students are just forgetful.
"Some of them might think that it's too late to sign up to host or they Other students offered different reasons for the shortage.
Other students offered different reasons for the shortage.