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Looking to the class of 2025: committing to college during a pandemic

<p>Miami University hires law firm to help address faulty unionization on campus. </p>

Miami University hires law firm to help address faulty unionization on campus.

Miami University sent out its final admission decisions on March 15, and the class of 2025 has begun to fill up as students accept their offers of admission. Due to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, for many, their arrival to campus this fall will be the first time they set foot in Oxford.

Destinee Henderson, a high school senior and recent Miami commit, had to apply and commit to Miami without ever visiting campus.

“I was not able to visit Miami before [COVID-19], and by the time I submitted my application there weren’t any in-person tours available,” Henderson said. “It definitely made the process a lot more intimidating, but the university did a good job providing us with online tours.”

Henderson, originally from Virginia, intends to major in psychology. She said she didn’t get to visit any of the schools she applied to. 

“Ultimately, what really helped me make my decision was the amount of financial aid [Miami] gave me,” Henderson said. “A lot of schools were really short on financial aid this year – being short on funds – so still getting that from Miami really made my decision easy.”

While Henderson may be arriving in Oxford as a newcomer, she intends to make the most of her four years at Miami.

“I can’t wait to get to Miami,” Henderson said. “I’m so excited to branch out and explore a whole new world, since I’m from out of state. I’m really looking forward to joining clubs and grabbing all the opportunities I can.”

While Miami’s class of 2024 was smaller than normal, this year, Miami received one of its largest applicant pools in years.

“Miami saw a [10%] increase in applications over the last year, which [equates] to about 2,800 more applications than usual,” Director of Admissions Bethany Perkins wrote in an email to The Miami Student. “But students also applied to more schools on average this year.”

While many applicants were unable to visit campus in person, Perkins worked to make the process as supportive for applicants as possible.

“We added virtual 1-on-1 appointments with admission representatives this year which we haven’t done in the past,” Perkins wrote. “We also had professors host virtual information sessions so that they could connect with applicants personally.”

Perkins knows Miami’s visual aesthetics play into applicant’s decisions and made sure to include it in the admissions process. 

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“Our campus is still beautiful and welcoming, and we knew it would be important to provide visit opportunities,” Perkins said. “We’ve embedded a self-guided tour into our campus map, and 8,000 visitors have joined us for official campus visits.”

The university did open campus to socially-distanced tours beginning this semester. But most prospective students, like recent commit Victoria Lebda, had already submitted their applications by that point.

“Most of my tours ended up getting cancelled, so I was only able to tour a couple of schools,” Lebda said. “I didn’t actually visit Miami until right before I made my final decision.”

Lebda, an out-of-state student from Chicago who intends to study interdisciplinary business management, decided to attend Miami for the opportunities within the Farmer School of Business.

“I really got interested in Miami in the first place because of the opportunities open to Farmer students,” Lebda said. “When I finally got to visit, I was incredibly impressed. I knew that I’d be proud and comfortable spending my next four years in Oxford.”

Though the pandemic may have shaped her college decision, Lebda has only optimism for the future.

“I’m so excited to come to Miami in the fall,” Lebda said. “I really can’t wait for move-in day.”