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Recruiters to cut back on travel

By Rachel Williamson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday Feb. 27, 2002

UA admissions recruiters say cuts in recruiting may result in fewer applications

Recruiting visits to some out-of-state high schools in the spring have been delayed because of budget cuts.

Approximately $30,000 in cuts to the admission department's budget have prompted the department to cancel recruiting trips to Hawaii, New Mexico, Washington, New York and New Jersey - the home states of 854 University of Arizona students in the 2000-2001 school year.

Although admissions officials are unsure how many students will be lost as a result of the trip cancellations, out-of-state students are a key source of income for the university, Budget Director Dick Roberts said.

Arizona resident students make up two-thirds of UA, but out-of-state tuition generates twice as much money, Roberts said.

This year, non-resident tuition has brought in $80 million while resident tuition has brought in $37.2 million. Most applications come from California, with 2,300 applicants as of January and 8,867 Arizona applicants as of this week.

The number of applicants is rising every year, even as the admissions department has less money and resources, said Wendy Ten Elshof, a UA admissions counselor.

"It's hard to say if we'll lose many students," Ten Elshof said. "But I see it as a missed opportunity."

The average cost of an out-of-state recruiting trip is $250 per person, per trip, with 15 trips per semester, said Margaret Duarte, accountant for admissions and new student enrollment.

The department's goal was to target high school students during the spring semester of their junior year in addition to fall trips, which target seniors.

Moving to a spring recruiting cycle will not reduce the number of out-of-state applicants but draw in early applicants, said Lori Goldman, director of admissions and new student enrollment.

"Service level will not be what it could be," she said. "You can only spread so thin; we can't follow up on students."

Targeting high school students in their junior year helps the potential UA students and the University of Arizona administration to better prepare, Goldman said.

"It provides an early answer so students can spend more time investigating schools," Goldman said.

UA administration, she added, could get an earlier glance at what the next freshman class will look like in order to move resources appropriately.

Spring recruitment gives students an earlier housing and scholarship opportunity, Ten Elshof added.

"Going to a student's high school makes them feel like the university is interested in them and that we really want to work with them," Ten Elshof said.

Informing high school students about colleges is important the moment they walk into ninth grade, said Marisa Ostroff, college and career center counselor for Tucson High School.

"It gets them accustomed to the idea so it's not such a shock," she said.

More phone calls and e-mail will be used in place of face-to-face interaction and letters, Ten Elshof said.

"Eventually, we can't do as high quality of a job as we're doing now," she said.


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