Stories produced by students in the Meek School of Journalism & New Media
Despite record high enrollments, Ole Miss is still recruiting. Saturday, Nov. 3, was the third weekend in a row that the Student Enrollment Services Office has hosted a large group of high school seniors for Fall Visit Days. The students visit the Ole Miss campus for activities such as campus and housing tours, information sessions and a browse fair.
“In hosting these visit days we want students and parents to see Ole Miss,” said Rachael Durham, Coordinator of Campus Visit Programs. “We want them to feel comfortable and see what it’s like to be a student here at the University, and we really want them to leave with an overall good impression that Ole Miss could be the right choice for them.”
Last month, approximately 700 high school seniors attended the University’s Fall Visit Day on Oct. 20, and on Oct. 27 around 125 high-achieving students with specific ACT/SAT scores attended Ole Miss’ annual Scholars Day. The open house hosted Nov. 3 was a slightly smaller version of the Fall Visit Day, with approximately 200 prospective students in attendance.
Members of the Office of Enrollment Services, as well as different academic representatives and students involved in the Ole Miss Ambassadors program, all help make these visit days run smoothly. Each group works to make families visiting campus feel welcome, which they hope will pay off as the visitors begin to choose which college to attend.
“These visits affirmed my decision to pursue Ole Miss as my first choice as a college and helped me to get more familiar with the campus,” said high school senior Courtney Simmons, who attended both Fall Visit Day and Scholars Day.
“My family has always wanted me to go to Mississippi State, but this visit helped them understand why I wanted to go to Ole Miss all along. They thought campus was beautiful and the school was very impressive.”
Students in the Ole Miss Ambassadors program share their own experiences with the prospective students. Many times visiting students will open up to a student Ambassador.
“As an Ambassador, you get to meet students who might be struggling with the same decisions you had to make,” said sophomore Ole Miss Ambassador Ashley Saulsberry.
Check-in time for Fall Visit Days is usually around 8:30 or 9:00 in the morning. The day begins with an information session led by professional staff members who provide more information about financial aid, scholarships and student involvement. Afterward, students break up into groups and visit a browse fair that provides more information about specific programs on campus and lunch in the Grove. After-lunch tours are given by student Ambassadors and Double Decker bus tours are occasionally offered.
The idea is to help students experience a normal day on campus.
“It shows Ole Miss in a new light and actually gives students a sense of what they would go through on a day-to-day basis here at Ole Miss,” explained Saulsberry.
A new online program has also been introduced this year to make registering for these events simpler and more user-friendly. The Office of Enrollment Services hopes that this encourages more students to visit campus as the time to make their decision draws near.