Prospective students, parents and siblings skip over puddles and rushing water through the streets. A tour guide leads the herd, cloaked in raincoats and armed with umbrellas, into Armstrong Student Center.
They sigh with relief and shake off their coats, chatting while they climb upstairs to the next event. A campus living and housing presentation is about to begin. The room is already full, so the last minute stragglers line the back and side walls. They’re covered in rain, their jackets and umbrellas soaked with the cold.
Stella Powers, a high school senior from Wooster, Ohio, discusses the day’s events with her father away from the crowded presentation. Friday, March 13 was her first time on Miami University’s campus, and despite the heavy downpour that left her brown corduroy pants soaked down the front, she said her experience was great.
“I’ve learned a lot,” Powers said. “Believe me, I like it a lot.”
Over the last 12 years, Miami’s Office of Admission has hosted eight to 10 Make It Miami events every spring. It serves as day-long open houses where prospective students and their families can meet faculty and current students. The Office of Admission hosts various informational sessions about financial aid, housing and honors programs. Prospective students can also tour academic and residential facilities, rain or shine.
Ethan Wigal, a junior political science and global intercultural studies co-major, still remembers attending Make It Miami as a high school senior and accepting his admission. He has been a campus tour guide since his first year at Miami and was promoted to manager at the beginning of last semester.
Although tours are available year-round, student workers can sign up for special shifts at Make It Miami. Because of his experience at Make It Miami, Wigal said he loves getting to work with prospective students. Sometimes, students will even come up to Wigal around campus and tell him he’s the reason they committed.
“Getting to be a part of that process for other students and helping them fall in love with Miami is such a rewarding experience,” Wigal said.
Bethany Perkins, assistant vice president and director of admission, wrote in an email to The Miami Student that these events often play a big factor in helping students make their final college decision.
“The students have many opportunities throughout the day to interact with our faculty and current students within their major to gain insight on the student experience,” Perkins wrote. “This event gives students the opportunity to really picture themselves on campus and as part of our community.”
At the event, students are even able to accept their offer of admission. For each student that commits, the staff rings a bell. Although it differs from year to year, Perkins wrote that six to 10 students typically accept their offer before leaving campus and many others accept theirs shortly after. Last year, more than 60% of prospective students who attended a Make It Miami event accepted Miami’s offer, according to Perkins.
Powers has yet to commit to Miami. She applied to about 20 different schools, and so far she’s only visited two: Miami and Ohio State University. The national deadline to accept is May 1.
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Although Powers hasn’t made her decision yet, the prospective journalism and performing arts major said Make It Miami allowed her to explore and learn about both of her academic interests.
“I’m really happy with all the opportunities that there [are] to offer,” Powers said. “My path won’t be exclusively journalism. As much as I love it, I also love the performing arts, so there’s opportunities for that, which I think is great.”