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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Aggressive recruiting diversifies UA

    A sign asking students Wheres Your Hometown? hangs below this map of the United States in the Park Student Union cafeteria where students can place a pin in the map from the city they hail from.
    A sign asking students “”Where’s Your Hometown?”” hangs below this map of the United States in the Park Student Union cafeteria where students can place a pin in the map from the city they hail from.

    A map of the United States hangs in the Park Student Union cafeteria. The sign under it reads, “”Where is your hometown?”” Slender pushpins indicate towns and cities across the nation. Certain states take on the appearance of a thick bristled broom. Arizona and California are by far the most populated, but the Eastern Seaboard weighs in heavy too.

    “”I’m from New Jersey,”” said pre-business freshman Hunter Janoff, proudly pointing to his home state, which is almost entirely covered under colorful pin tops. “”UA is a lot more ‘chill,’ as they say. That’s why I came – at home, it’s more fast-paced.””

    Jannoff is one of 6,709 freshmen enrolled at the UA this fall, a record number. Of his class, 2,653 are from out of state.

    The university typically accepts 30 percent out-of-state students. This year, nearly 40 percent of the freshman class has home addresses outside of Arizona, said Kasey Urquidez, UA director of recruitment.

    Non-residents typically hail from California and Illinois. But East Coast states such as New Jersey and New York contribute a significant number of students; last year, both eastern states ranked in the UA’s top states of student origin.

    Arizona’s warm weather and laid-back atmosphere remain a chief reason for many students to attend the UA, but others from the eastern part of the country are choosing the UA because they say the school aggressively marketed itself to them.

    Students also cited UA’s affordable out-of-state tuition, scholarships and programs such as those offered by the Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques Center.

    Anjelina Wills, a native of the Bronx, N.Y., said that she wouldn’t have considered the UA if it weren’t for the school’s recruitment efforts and scholarship opportunities.

    Wills, a civil engineering freshman in the honors college, said that Arizona targeted her because of her high SAT scores.

    “”They sent me a ton of mail after the SAT,”” she said. “”They bombarded my mailbox.””

    Because of Wills’ high scores, she was eligible for the National Scholars Visitation Program, which flew her to Tucson to visit campus for a weekend at a minimum cost.

    Wills said she was “”pleasantly surprised”” by the campus. After visiting and being awarded a substantial scholarship, she decided on Arizona.

    Nora Minno, a nutritional sciences freshman from Philadelphia, transferred to the UA when the costs of private school stacked up too high.

    “”UA is so much cheaper than the East Coast schools,”” Minno said. “”I went to Goucher – it’s a private school in Maryland – and that was expensive. But schools like NYU are even more.””

    According to a comparison offered by College Board, UA’s out-of-state tuition averages $5,000 less than public universities on the East Coast. Arizona’s $18,678 out-of-state tuition for full-time undergraduates pales in further comparison to the cost of private universities such as Minno’s former school, Goucher, which costs $32,168 a year.

    For others like Jordan Goldberg of Morganville, N.J., tuition took a backseat to his needs.

    The UA was the only school that offered a program like SALT, which provides the kind of tutoring and the learning assistance that Goldberg requires. “”It was U of A or nothing,”” Goldberg said “”The SALT Center is really helpful, and I need it.””

    Scholarships and the school’s alluring programs were one of many draws, according to Uquidez. She attributes Arizona’s popularity to the ease of applying. The school received 1,500 more applications this year than last year.

    Much of how the university conducts business with applicants is online, as 90 percent of incoming students apply online, Urquidez said.

    Urquidez said the UA has a leg-up on other schools, because it provides features like online instant messaging and group chat that allow students to quickly ask questions about the UA and the application process with representatives.

    “”Technology plays a huge role, “”Urquidez said. “”It gives us that competitive edge so that we’re more likely to be their place of choice when they are making that decision.””

    With no cap set on enrollment, it is unlikely anyone knows just how large the next freshman class will be. But with more high school graduates choosing to go to college each year, UA’s touted successes and the combined factors of affordability and ease of application, the UA is likely to continue to grow, Uriquidez said.

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