Out-of-state admissions counselors hard at work during ‘travel season’

Ashten Haswell

Five new admissions counselors are visiting several hundred out-of-state high schools that have never been visited by Kent State representatives before.

The admissions office has added these counselors with focus on out-of-state students as part of President Lester Lefton’s recruitment effort.

“We are focusing on non-local Ohio markets and out-of-state markets because beginning this year, there will be a continual sharp decline in the population of college-bound students in Ohio,” said Mark Ledoux, associate director of admissions. “The upcoming high school populations in Ohio, particularly Northeast Ohio, are decreasing. Therefore, we need to continue to develop secondary markets to maintain a healthy enrollment.”

The counselors are recruiting in New Jersey, Chicago, Maryland, Western Pennsylvania, Western New York and Virginia. He said Kent State executives want to pique students’ interest enough to come visit campus, because once they visit, they are more likely to enroll.

“The reason why we’re targeting these particular areas is because these states have a lot of students that export out of their state for education,” Ledoux said. “They don’t have hundreds of colleges like Ohio.”

The counselors refer to this time of year until Thanksgiving as their travel season, as they are out recruiting. Laura Wilhelm, one of the new counselors, compared it to tax season for accountants.

“In our designated territories, each counselor will attend local and national college fairs, visit high schools, answer phone calls and questions about Kent State, send and receive e-mails and, above all, build relationships with students and families,” Admissions Counselor Joy Loper said. “Building these relationships, earning trust and warmly welcoming students to our campus is the key to our success.”

Ledoux said each of the designated areas will have one information night when the counselors will give an overview of the university. The counselors will also talk about financial aid and the specific scholarships offered to out-of-state students. The last thing they will cover is how to apply to Kent State.

So far, the counselors have received positive feedback.

Loper also found that many students were interested in Kent State’s most recognized majors, including journalism, nursing, architecture, fashion design and merchandising. Other popular majors were biology, political science, American sign language and aeronautics.

Contact student affairs reporter Ashten Haswell at [email protected].