My Day on an Admissions Tour

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One of my responsibilities in my position is to lead the residence life marketing and retention workgroup. We for sure have a large task at hand — figuring out how we can better the student experience for those who live on campus and to figure out a way to retain students to live on campus. We’ve looked into many factors including on campus vs. off campus housing costs, amenities, and overall experience.  During one meeting, we wanted to know what message prospective students were getting before they apply to come to IU. So, I decided to spend my morning as Valerie, 18 year old Senior from Edison High School (Edison,NJ) and go on an admissions tour. My intended major of interest is kinesiology (yep.. I would so do this if I got a do-over).

My day began with a presentation by admissions. There was an Associate Director of admissions and a student (junior) double majoring in Marketing and Economics and double minoring (forgot these). She was from a suburb of Chicago, which is not unusual for students in Business. During the presentation, they hit on a lot of topics, highlighting the big sell of IU:  Your Community, Your Academics, Your Story.  It was a good combination between information: how to apply, deadlines, scholarships, etc. and storytelling “why I chose IU” “a day in the life” and “favorite traditions” just to name a few.

The next portion of my admissions day was the campus tour, led by a student double majoring in biology (pre-med) and history. The tour highlighted landmarks such as Sholwater fountain (legend has it that Bobby Knight has the last stolen fish) academic buildings: Jordan Hall, Ballentine Hall, Woodburn Hall, and the Chemistry Atrium. We saw the statue of Herman B Wells (if you shake his hand, you’ll graduate in 4 years) and toured the Indiana Memorial Union and the hotel. Our tour guide (and the tour guide in training) gave some fun facts about each building and how much they really loved being a student at IU.

The final portion of my tour was a residence hall. Our tour guide was a student currently living in one of our Living and Learning Centers. She began by talking about the application process and talking about our many, many different housing options on campus. We saw a showroom, a lounge, a computer lab and a dining facility.

Overall, it was a good experience to go through what prospective students and family members go through. It was great hearing the questions that were asked by both the adults and prospective students in the group. I have nothing but respect for our admissions folks, as it is probably challenging to cram in a ton of information in such a short amount of time. As far as information for my marketing and retention committee, it was useful in the fact that we need to be showing the student experience and selling the experience of the students who currently live on our campus.

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