College Q&A: UHV recruiting efforts pay off with new students
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By Ken Cooke
I have read a lot about how the University of Houston-Victoria is growing. What is UHV doing to recruit new students?
UHV has seen consistent, double-digit growth for some time, and last year, in its first-ever recruiting drive, it shattered its goal of attracting 200 underclassmen when more than 300 signed up for fall classes. The university expects that to continue as recruitment progresses full speed ahead throughout the South Texas population centers and beyond.
"The response to our recruiting efforts for fall 2011 is outpacing last year in all areas," said Denee Thomas, UHV senior director for enrollment management. "Since Sept. 1, UHV recruiters have conducted more than 450 campus visits, college fairs, college-awareness presentations and counselor events."
Thomas added that these efforts are bringing more applications from the target areas of Houston, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley.
As of March 24, UHV had received 1,475 freshman applications, and 537 students had been accepted. A total of 1,440 applications were received during the entire first recruiting season. Of course, it is unknown how many of UHV's accepted students will actually register for fall 2011 classes, but the trends still point to continued student growth.
Applications for fall 2011 have come from 89 Texas counties, 12 other states, and there are even 29 pending applications from outside the U.S., from the Bahamas to Zimbabwe, India to Togo.
UHV has two recruiters in San Antonio, who cover that city and the Austin area, and two more in Katy, who cover the Houston area and portions of East Texas. Three staff members in Victoria split their recruitment efforts between new freshmen and transfer students while covering Laredo, Corpus Christi, the Valley and the Coastal Bend region outside the Victoria College service area.
UHV's marketing messages stress the university's affordability, personalized attention and small class sizes, quality campus in a supportive community, excellent faculty and growing slate of degree offerings.
"Parents and students are recognizing that Victoria is a good alternative to huge universities and large cities," Thomas said. "They know that, for some students, a small campus where professors and staff members can give personalized attention to students is a perfect fit."
With many of UHV's new freshmen and sophomores being the first generation in their family to attend college and the overall growth in the student body, it's an exciting time to be at UHV.
Ken Esten Cooke is the communications specialist at the University of Houston-Victoria. If you have a question about UHV, contact him at 361-570-4296 or firstname.lastname@example.org.