Admissions staff travels, aims to find prospective students

The season for recruiting has begun, and campus admissions counselors are at high schools around the world scouting prospective students.The heavy recruiting season is from early September to late November, and a group of about 15 staff members in admissions are visiting 35 states and 25 countries this year, said Ray Brown, dean of admissions.

Brown, who in previous years traveled to recruit in England and Scotland, just returned from a week-long trip visiting 12 high schools all over the Hawaiian Islands.

“There was a huge turnout at all of the high schools in Hawaii, and I had a blast,” said Brown, who will be traveling to Pittsburgh, Minnesota and California during the next couple of weeks. “I actually travel the least on the staff.”

Karen Scott, director of international admissions, is traveling internationally to recruit prospective students and is currently in India.

A recruiting trip involves meeting with prospective students at high schools during the day and participating in college fairs in the evenings, Brown said.

“We provide information to students and answer any of their questions they might have,” Brown said.

Brown said people from international countries rely heavily on the reputation of a school when making their decisions.

“Reputation plays a huge role because the students can’t visit the campuses ahead of time,” Brown said.

The high schools the admissions staff choose to attend are selectively chosen by looking at the success of previous visits, Brown said.

“We go where we have been successful before and review where many of the applications have come from and where the students who enroll have come from,” Brown said.

Beth Humphrey, associate director of admission, recently returned from a recruiting trip to Tulsa, Okla.

“I had a wonderful time and saw many students with a sincere interest at TCU,” Humphrey said.

Humphrey said TCU is successful at admitting students because of a strong calling campaign, including the Leap Frogs and International Ambassadors, which are programs preceding every high school visit with phone calls to students.

Kaushal Amatya, a sophomore psychology major from Nepal, said TCU didn’t visit his high school, but he did receive a call from a TCU student who was in International Ambassadors.

“It was really nice to hear from a TCU student because it looked like TCU was interested in my attending the university,” Amatya said.

A senior communication studies major and ambassador, Tiffany Wang, said International Ambassadors is an organization composed of a group of selected TCU student volunteers who serve as a liaison between the university and the prospective international students.

They call the students, send postcards and answer any questions the student might have,” Wang said.

Amatya is involved in Leap Frogs, a similar student organization that calls prospective students nationwide and informs them if a guidance counselor from TCU will be coming to their high schools or nearby college sessions.

“I want to help others out, like they have done to me,” said Amatya. “I just love TCU and love answering any questions students might have.”

TCU has about a $4 million budget per year, out of which $75,000 is budgeted for recruitment, Brown said. He said about $1.5 million to $2 million of the admissions budget is spent on salaries and $500,000 is spent on postage for mailings to prospective students, Brown said.

Brown said TCU has received more than 1,000 applications already for fall 2007, which is more than any previous year.

“TCU is continuing to be such a hot place everywhere,” Brown said.