High school visits are an essential part of our recruitment efforts at the University of Denver (DU). Collectively, our staff visits well over 500 high schools every fall. We visit high schools in nearly half the states in the U.S. We choose to visit high schools based on the number of students that have enrolled from these schools in the past, the number of applications from these schools, and the number of interested students from these schools. Obviously, we can’t visit every high school but we do our best to reach as many prospective students as we can.
In my role as Northeast Regional Director, I visit over 100 high schools every year. It takes a lot of planning and about 10 weeks of travel to visit the high schools I do. As mentioned above, I choose to visit schools based on historical information as well as current interest from these schools. Ideally, I try and visit 4-5 high schools a day and usually spend about an hour at each visit. The ideal high school visit for me would be to meet with interested, engaged students and also get to spend time with a college/guidance/school counselor.
When I meet with students at a high school, I hope to teach them everything they need to know about the University of Denver. I’ll cover the basics (size, location, etc.), talk about our admission process and requirements, introduce them to the city of Denver and the surrounding area, and answer any questions about majors, sports, campus life, housing and anything else the students want to learn about. I’m also able to give students some historical data specific to their high school. I can tell them how many applications we’ve received from their school in the past, how many students we accepted from their high school, and how many of their former classmates are currently enrolled at DU.
If a student is on our mailing list and we are visiting their high school, they will be notified by email a few weeks and then a few days ahead of time of our visit. It helps if students follow a link in this email to register to let us know you will be attending our visit. During my visits, I love to be asked questions. So, it is important to come prepared. Spend some time on our website in advance of the visit. Ask questions where the answers are not easily found on our website. At the end of my visit, I’ll ask students to fill out one of our inquiry cards. This card adds you to our mailing list (if you are not already on it) and is a record that shows that you attended the high school visit.
A few days after my visit, you will receive an email from me, thanking you for your time. You can respond directly to this email if you have any additional questions or concerns, or need help in arranging a visit to DU. You should save this email as it will have all of my contact information. I will be able to assist you throughout the application process.
High school visits are important for us and for you. It takes a great deal of preparation and planning for us to schedule these visits. Students should also take the time to prepare for our visit. A student who stands out during a high school visit will be remembered when it comes time to make our final admission decisions. I hope to see you at your high school this fall.
Craig Dionne - Northeast Regional Director of Admission