BYU recruiting raises interest

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    By Lorianne Flint

    While in high school, Ashton Eggett had to decide which college to attend. She took the ACT and had her score sent to a variety of schools, including Stanford, Utah State University, University of Utah and BYU. Several weeks later, she received an invitation to visit BYU, inticing her to become a cougar.

    ?Once I attended Y Weekend, I pretty much knew I wanted to go to BYU, ? said Eggett, a freshman from Bountiful majoring in business management. ?I didn?t even bother with the other schools.?

    BYU?s recruiting methods include attending college days in high schools in Utah, as well as seminaries, to provide information for prospective students. Outside Utah, representatives attend 40 to 45 CES firesides, which enable them to see tens of thousands of students. Students who have high ACT scores may receive CDs, shirts, lanyards or key chains from BYU. High school students can obtain more information about BYU and other church schools at www.besmart.com.

    BYU?s recruiting tools are more conventional and practical, while other schools across the nation are using more outlandish methods. Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., is planning to recruit potential students by inviting them to a ski weekend. Centre College in Danville, Ky., sends high school students birthday cards. A promotional postcard sent by Doane College, located in Crete, Neb., offended some people. The card showed a picture of a male student surrounded by women with a caption encouraging students to ?play the field.?

    One of the most successful recruiting tools BYU has is a program called Y Weekend, an invitation for high school students to visit the campus and learn more about BYU.

    ?Ninety-seven percent of Y Weekend students end up applying to BYU,? said Travis Blackwelder, a representative of School Relations. ?Of those, 99 percent end up getting admitted. It?s a great recruiting tool.?

    Y Weekend is a three-day program sponsored during 10 weekends in the fall. High school students who score a 30 or above on the ACT receive an invitation from BYU to attend the program. The program is dedicated to giving the students a real taste of what college life is like. The students take a tour of campus, attend football games, go to classes, meet faculty members and live with roommates.

    Most of the students come from the United States because the cost for international students is too high, Blackwelder said. However, Trevor McKinnon, a freshman from London, couldn?t pass up the opportunity to see what BYU had to offer.

    ?I wanted to see the programs they had to offer firsthand,? McKinnon said. ?After going to Y Weekend, it made me pretty sure about going to BYU. It just felt right and seemed like the right place to be.?

    Y Weekend also helped tip the scales in favor of BYU for student Christopher Barnes. Barnes, 19, from Eugene, Oregon, majoring in exercise science, enjoyed getting a feel for campus life and meeting other students with his same priorities and excitement for BYU.

    ?It was great to be around other people who had their priorities straight and wanted to go to school,? Barnes said. ?It was fun to get a taste of what college life was going to be like.?

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