Preview Day hosts variety of prospective students

Preview Day 2014 hosted a variety of prospective students.

After sending 44,000 invitations to high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors and potential transfer students, the university hosted a successful Preview Day Nov. 8.

Potential students, families and friends met in Flowers Hall to begin their Preview Day experience, which included exploring campus, hearing from representatives of each of the university’s colleges and enjoying a Lions football game.

“This is our biggest recruiting event of the year,” said Associate Director of Admission Julie Taylor. “This year was really big. Flowers was packed to the gills.”

A total 1,450 students registered at the event and, with family and friends included, attendance reached 3,061.

“This is strictly designed to be a preview,” said Director of Admissions Kim Mauldin. “We encourage them to come back on a more individualized guided tour. There is no pressure to apply to UNA, we just want to give prospective students and their families the opportunity to see what we have to offer.”

Cherokee High School senior Jonathan Wells said he plans to attend UNA beginning fall 2015, and that he learned about Preview Day when Admissions counselors spoke at his high school.

“She said it was a big thing where you get to learn more about the school than you would learn on a regular tour,” he said. “The most important thing (about coming) was I got to learn a lot about the major I want to go into, which is English.”

I learned I could get a double major with Literature or Professional Writing to help my career.”

In addition, guests were able to meet faculty and representatives from campus groups like the Honors Program.

“I saw some of the groups and said, ‘that’s definitely for me,’” Wells said.

Wells said two fraternity members even gave him a tour encouraging him to get involved on campus.

The evening culminated in the last home game of the season against Shorter University, a victory for UNA.

Historically, Preview Day occurs on the same day as the last home football game. This year, because the game came later in the semester, Admissions was given more time to recruit students to attend the event, Mauldin said.

“As an Admissions team, we’re been to more high schools and college fairs than we have in the past,” she said.

This year’s registration saw a 4 percent rise in registration from last year’s 1,393 registrants.

The last promise of the day was the opportunity to win a full year’s tuition scholarship, announced at the end of the third quarter.

Phil Campbell High School senior Darion Beam received the scholarship, however she has not yet been admitted.

Ultimately, Wells said Preview Day confirmed what he already knew about UNA.

“It helped me decide even more that UNA is where I need to be,” he said. “I know I’m going to be a Lion next year.”