Low Preview Days turnout does not sway Admissions Office’s outlook

Andy Ouriel and Andy Ouriel

On top of already low student enrollment and the most poorly attended Preview Days in years, the admissions office remains optimistic.

Every year, the Admissions Office conducts two Preview Days during the fall semester for potential students to come see for themselves what the University has to offer, Assistant Director of Admissions David Rice, said.

In 2008, the two Preview Days attracted 1,125 students, the lowest since 2001. The 2008 Preview Days also drew the lowest number of visitors accompanying potential students since 2002.

Rice said the low turnout was due in large part to snow storms that occurred across the state on the second Preview Day in December.

Even though Rice is still happy with the turnout of Preview Days – one hosted usually in mid-October, the other in early December – the weather significantly impacted the number of people coming to the second preview day.

“The important thing is to get students on campus,” Rice said. “Videos, brochures, DVD’s, they all look great, but the college and the University is what they have to see.”

Student Tour Coordinator Patrick Hays makes sure he stays upbeat and motivated throughout the campus tours to ensure potential students have a great first experience at the University.

“We always tell our tour guides to be positive and highlight [their] personal experiences,” Hays said.

While he cannot control which students from his tour group come to the University, it does make Hays feel good about the ones he helped in influencing their decision to come here.

“Every once in a while a tour guide gets a student to come back and it makes you feel good,” Hays said.

Rice said the two Preview Days in the fall are considered to be the “playoffs,” while President’s Day, Feb. 16, will be the University’s biggest day for visitors, hence making it the “Super Bowl.” President’s Day is different from the Preview Days because students do not have the day off from their classes, giving visitors the opportunity to visit with faculty and sit in classes.

Associate Director of Admissions Kerry Diehl, said the President’s Day preview has been going on for years. Diehl said there is always a large number of people coming to visit on President’s Day due to high schools having the day off.

“It’s a great day for them to experience Bowling Green,” Diehl said. “The entire campus comes together and the community is on board with this.”

Diehl said President’s Day is also unique because the student can pick what they want to do, from visiting residents halls to meeting with a financial aid advisor. Many opportunities are available to get the information needed a potential student and family might inquire about on this day.