Admissions boosts recruiting initiatives
Published: Friday, September 20, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 20, 2013 01:09
Last year, a record-breaking 22,500 students applied to Miami. About 3,650 were accepted.
This has resulted in Miami’s “most academically accomplished and diverse [incoming] class in the history of the university,” according to a university press release.
The class of 2017 boasts higher standardized testing scores, GPAs and class rankings, and representatives from more states and countries than ever before.
The record-breaking number of applicants came after 42,425 prospective students visited the campus last year, according to a university press release. These numbers were great news for the admissions office and Director of Admissions Ann Larson
“We were obviously thrilled with the number of students looking at Miami, submitting their application,” Larson said. “Especially in the Midwest, the demographics indicated that the number of college-bound high school seniors are dropping in our states up here, in Ohio and in Michigan. So yes, we were just thrilled with the increase.”
This increase can be attributed to several new initiatives in the admissions department, Larson said. First, the department hired new regional representatives on the east coast, west coast, middle Atlantic, Chicago area and Atlanta area to maintain high numbers of out-of-state students.
“Miami is a very attractive public university option for students outside of Ohio, which is wonderful,” Larson said. “Because of this we have advanced to five regional representatives, that are full time staff members across the United States, as well as two international reps in China and India.”
At the same time, Larson emphasized the importance of maintaining a home base in Ohio. To do this, the admissions office has increased off-campus recruiting by 40 percent to compete with the other 13 public universities in Ohio, Larson said.
The admissions office has also begun to take advantage of new technological outlets to keep in touch with potential new students.
Other advancements in the application process have provided a new technological outlet through which the admissions can reach potential new students. For instance, recruiters can now text students who put their cell phone numbers on the Common Application to check in with them on the status of their applications, Larson said.
In addition to reaching out to students directly, another new recruitment tactic employed by the admissions office is meeting with high school guidance counselors to pitch why Miami is a school they should recommend to their students.
“One high school counselor can affect so many students, and so when we’re out on the road, we do these breakfasts and invite them in to learn about us,” Larson said. “And then on the flip side, not only do we invite in students to come visit us with their parents, we also have some counselor visitation programs where we let them meet and interact with the staff and students and get a feel for our campus.”
The increasing popularity of the Common Application among colleges has made it easier to convince high school counselors to put Miami on their students’ radars: adding Miami to the application only takes a click of a button, Larson said.
However, it is important to keep in mind that off-campus recruitment is only half the battle. The key to hooking students and making them want to apply is to get them on campus to fall in love with the school itself, said sophomore tour guide Emily Gibson.
“It’s the tour guides’ jobs to focus on the positive aspects of the school,” Gibson said. “For example, the campus doesn’t look good right now with all the construction, but you can turn that and say it’s beneficial because we are constantly growing and improving for students.”
Miami is an expensive school, Gibson said, so focusing on what the students are getting for their money is important, whether it’s emphasizing the access to free tutoring or the great recreational center.
“The REC center definitely attracts people,” Gibson said. “Students are super impressed by the aquatic center and the REC, but I would also say Goggin is a big attraction. Students get really excited about how big our hockey program is.”
While these efforts all contribute to the success of recruitment, there are always outside influences that push students towards Miami, like family connections to the school.
First-year Aiden Leahy, said while he attended one Miami recruitment event and received many mailings, in the end, they are not what affected his decision.
“I didn’t really read any of the mailings or anything that I got from Miami,” Leahy said. “My older brother went to school here so it was all stuff I knew about already. Unless there was something amazingly new and different, I had no need to look at them.”
The one recruiting event that Leahy said he did attend was a Make it Miami event, which targets accepted students specifically to help sway their decision towards attending here. This visit to the campus on his own was what ultimately helped push him to come here in the end, Leahy said.