With Early Decision and Early Action college application deadlines approaching for high school seniors, the University of Miami is gearing up for yet another admissions cycle. The tour guides, also known as the President’s 100, are hitting the pavement in their orange polos with crowds of prospective families in tow.
As of Feb. 15, 2016, the Office of Undergraduate Admission is at a new location in the University Center by Stanford Circle. The office was previously located on the first floor of the Ashe Building at the center of campus.
Karen Long, assistant vice president of Undergraduate Admission and Marketing, said the new office has been a “dream for literally decades.”
“In the old building, when you went into the office, you went deeper and deeper and there were no windows, so you could have been anywhere,” she said.
Steps away from the new office are the university bookstore, the Breezeway, the iconic U statue and often a food truck by the Rock. Its location is convenient for prospective students looking for a T-shirt souvenir and a photo-op by the U.
“For us to literally be at the front entrance of campus is key. That we are situated right in the heart of the student center is extraordinary. At this campus, maybe more than most, the vitality that happens in that little block here is so special … it is kind of a fishbowl and from the lobby, you can truly see out onto the campus, that is extraordinary,” Long said.
This new office is a step up for UM Admissions, Long said. She said an upgrade in technology has also helped the office engage and inform prospective Canes.
“A consistent challenge is how you share everything that is true and wonderful about this place in the span of a 2.5-hour campus visit. How do you do that? It’s not easy,” she said.
The office now has a presentation room, iPads in the lobby and two large screens to display information, all of which have been helpful in connecting to families on their visit.
Long said the process of attracting incoming students has two phases: first, the school reaches out to students as early as freshman year of high school to get them excited about applying to the university. Second, Long said, is the selection – “You apply, we read your application, we get excited about what we see there and we decide we want you here in this community.”
The excerpts of the Class of 2020 Student Profile made available to The Miami Hurricane show just how varied the incoming freshmen were in their talents, skills and extracurricular activities.
One third of the class led athletic teams in high school, and another third held leadership positions in the performing arts. One third were presidents of clubs, organizations, their classes and/or student government.
Two hundred and fifty-seven students founded organizations during high school, and 25 started their own businesses. Forty-four percent held a part-time job, and 18 percent had an internship.
“We want as diverse a student body as possible and that is not just ethnically diverse, but that is religiously, academically, geographically and socioeconomically diverse,” said John Haller, vice president of Enrollment Management. “That is what makes the University of Miami so interesting and vibrant and engaging.”
According to the same report, 68 percent of the freshman class speaks more than one language, 80 percent have participated in community service and 17 percent belonged to organizations focused on multiculturalism and inclusion.
Despite plans for new on-campus freshman housing and ongoing construction projects, Haller said there are no plans to accept fewer undergraduate students to accommodate the project.
For the Class of 2020, 32,511 people applied to the university, 12,210 people were admitted and 2,144 enrolled.
Haller said the goal for the next freshman class is to enroll between 2,000 and 2,025 students.
The Early Action and Early Decision application deadline is Nov. 1. The University of Miami will send out acceptances to early applicants as early as December.
Correction, Oct. 17, 2016: This article originally stated the Office of Admissions’ goal was to enroll between 2,000 and 2,250 students for the next freshman class. The office is aiming to enroll between 2,000 and 2,025 students.