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University debuts bus tours for prospective students

The admissions office is making a novel addition this year to the familiar campus tour.

For the first time, prospective students were given guided bus tours around Fort Worth in addition to the usual walking-tour around campus, said admissions counselor Lauren Nixon.

The tours, which began Friday, are intended to help students who have been admitted to the university make a final decision on where they want to go, Nixon said.

“It’s really great because a lot of people who have visited campus before and done the campus tour might not be interested in seeing the exact same thing again,” she said. “This is a great way for them to explore some other parts of campus as well as parts of the city of Fort Worth.”

Mike Vosters, a sophomore marketing major and member of the Student Foundation that gives the tours, said the students get to see many areas of Fort Worth, especially those around the university. Students get to see the Botanic Garden, the Stockyards and Sundance Square, he said.

The extra tour of the city is a good way to let prospective students see what they can expect from the Fort Worth community, Vosters said.

“On the way down there we talked about the art museums, different restaurants, places to eat, just kind of where students hang out,” Vosters said. “We try to do the tour from a student’s perspective, not too factual, keep it conversational, tell them what our experiences were and how we interact with Fort Worth.”

Donna Morgan, the mother of a prospective student, said that although she and her family live in Fort Worth, they took the tour because they were told it would give them a fresh perspective of the city. She said what really stood out, though, were the tour guides themselves.

Although all students who are accepted to the university are offered the chance to tour the city, the program is specifically aimed at orienting out-of-state students to the area, Nixon said.

“It really gives them a chance to see the city from a student perspective, since the tour guides are all students,” Nixon said.

Originally from Kansas, Vosters said he thinks a tour of the city is a good way to acclimate students from outside the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“It’s just getting it so that they have a little bit more familiarity with the surroundings,” he said. “Coming back the second time, it’s just really good to show them the city they’re going to be at, the crowd they’re going to be around and what it has to offer.”

Student Foundation planned two more bus tours for this semester. The next one is scheduled for March 27 and the last on April 26, Nixon said.

Nixon said she does not know of any other major university that offers such a program. Officials from Baylor University, Southern Methodist University and the University of North Texas all said they had no program in place to show prospective students around their local areas.

The admissions office still has not decided whether this will be a permanent addition to the recruitment process, Nixon said. She said that decision will be based on the success of this year.

“So far the feedback has been great; the people really enjoyed it,” she said. “If it turns out to be a success, then we’ll make it a part of our program for sure.”

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