Print This Post

Admissions works to extend reach of recruitment

Posted on 11.06.2013

Students come from all around the world—across the street or across the ocean—to study at the University of Indianapolis. Although about half of UIndy students come from Marion and the eight surrounding counties, the Office of Admissions is working to change that by attracting more students from around the state, country and world.

“The biggest thing we try to do, more than anything, is just tell. I try to tell stories about our students,” said Director of Admissions Ron Wilks, who also is a UIndy alumnus.

Wilks said that his office works to tell prospective students why they should choose UIndy. He said that some students know that they want to study here because of the university’s healthcare programs in fields with a high demand for workers.

Wilks also said that the university graduates a fair number of teachers. He said that having alumni in the classroom with high school students who are thinking about college helps give students a nudge towards UIndy.

“It’s kind of a whole network that we have that’s out there in terms of alumni and in terms of what we’re doing. The faculty do a lot of work in promoting the university,” Wilks said. “So it’s really a campus-wide effort, not just what we’re doing.”

According to data from the UIndy Office of Admissions, a total of 4,770 students have enrolled at the university over the past six years. From this number, just over 2,000 were from what Wilks calls “the nine-county area,” which consists of Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Morgan and Shelby counties.

However, this number, added to all other Indiana counties, equals 4,166 students from the state. This leaves a slim margin coming from beyond the state line.

Outside of the state, according to the data, the university also pulls in an average of 30 students from Illinois and 16 from Ohio each year. However, Wilks said that the admissions office is increasing its recruiting efforts in Illinois, particularly the Chicago area. He added that his office tries to work with schools from which the athletics department is already recruiting.

One area where the university saw a spike in enrollment was in the number international students in 2013. According to the data, the number of international students enrolled jumped to 50, which makes up about 40 percent of all international student enrollments over the past six years.

Although the university has enrolled more students overall over the past decade, with each class larger than the last, Wilks said that this trend has slowed.

“Part of the growth coincided with the number of students who were graduating and going to college. So we’ve seen that growth for a while,” he said. “That growth has really leveled off. So we’re not seeing the growth that we experienced five to 10 years ago in particular.”

The primary ways that the university tries to attract new students are by sending out copies of Inside UIndy magazine, visiting high schools, operating booths at college fairs and giving campus tours.

According to Wilks, the university conducts more than a thousand tours in a year, with about 500 of those happening during high school fall breaks. This means that, in a two-week window, university student ambassadors give tours for 40 to 50 prospective students each day.

Senior communication major Jenn Meadows was a tour ambassador for three years, assisting multiple times with high school days. She also wrote for Inside UIndy for two years.

“One summer, I worked full-time as a summer ambassador assisting with registration days and summer tours,” she said. “During this time, I also called prospective students to talk to them about UIndy and the college process in general.”

Meadows said that having ambassadors is important because they show what being a student at UIndy is really like. According to her, it also is necessary because some students are specific about what they want from a college, while others have no clue.

“Sometimes, students come in knowing what they want. Other times, it seemed like they had no idea, or they were following the career path that their parents set before them,” she said. “My little brother is a senior in high school, and he’s going through the same process. Planning out the rest of your life is daunting for an 18-year-old.”


RSS Feed  Follow Us on Twitter  Facebook Profile