Recruiting New Students

Britton Brewer

Every student’s journey through USAO begins in one office: The Admissions Office.  What does this office do in order to recruit new students?

Last year, USAO went through a drop in enrollment.  It went from 1,033 students in fall 2011 to 983 the following fall trimester as recorded in the USAO 2012-2013 Fact Book from Information Services.

Without students, the university has no purpose and can be shut down.

This year’s total number of students enrolled is 921, according to the Registrar’s office.

Admissions Counselor Anna McGill said USAO has two recruiters who are sent to college fairs all over the state of Oklahoma, and, also, to the metro area of Dallas, TX, during one of the two weeks they have college fairs.

She said they also visit high schools and talk to the students about USAO on a general level.

Items are also sent in the mail.  Students are asked to reply by marking that they agree to receive more information about the college.  “We’ll send that to them in hopes that they will respond to us and put that they agree,” said McGill.

Along with the extra information students agree to receive, they are sent invitations to events.  According to McGill, there are three events in both the fall and spring terms.

There is one Preview Day and one Scholar’s Retreat for the fall and spring trimesters.  This year, two events have been added to the calendar.

The first is Scholar’s Day which will be held just after fall classes are over, according to McGill,  and the second is Drover’s Day, which is to be during Spring Break.  “We are hoping to get students when they are not in school to give them a little different time and option with a different format,” she stated.

The university is also utilizing Facebook to reach students.  McGill said they created a page for this year’s new round of freshmen to help them connect and that the results were pleasing.

The school is not currently using any other social media, but McGill says she would not be surprised if Twitter was to come soon.

Aside from the more targeted recruitment, USAO also advertises on the radio, in print and online newspapers, as well as through ads on Facebook, according to Communications and Marketing Director Kelly Arnold, APR.

Getting more online advertising “is going to be effective for us as far as reaching the students and age bracket we are looking for,” said Arnold.