This spring, the admissions counselors at Newman University wanted to try something new. They noticed they had accepted more students by Fall 2015 than they had accepted the year prior. This was an exciting development for the team so they wanted to capitalize on the opportunity. Over the course of several months, they developed a “Senior Care Package” that could help give the prospective students a boost in their remaining semester of high school.
Georgia Drewes, assistant director of admissions, headed the project to “fill the gap in communicating with them [accepted students] between being accepted and starting the financial aid process in the spring.”
In the Wichita area, 12 high schools were chosen: Bishop Carroll, Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Wichita Collegiate School, Trinity Academy, Wichita North, Wichita Northwest, Andale, Maize, Goddard, Eisenhower, Mulvane and Wichita South.
Students from the 12 high schools received a care package that included “hand-made ideas from Pinterest, such as a plastic milk bottle filled with Gatorade mix (a.k.a. Jet Fuel), Rolo candies and a Hershey's kiss wrapped to look like a pencil, lip balm, Tic-Tacs (a.k.a. Test Recovery Tablets), bubble wrap (a.k.a. Stress Relief Capsules), reminders about Accepted Student Days and the FAFSA and a business card from their respective counselor,” Drewes said.
Over the span of three days, the project unfolded, creating a unique experience the university has not had before.
On Wednesday, Jan. 27, students and staff came together to promote the occasion. In order to make this event special, the counselors invited alumni from the receiving high schools to sign a card or write a note to the students receiving a care package.
Drewes herself is an alumna of Bishop Carroll. The experience of months of planning, putting the plan into action and seeing it come to fruition is best described in Drewes’s own words: it was “a blast.”
Associate Director of Admissions Quinn Bowman said everyone “enjoyed signing cards and giving back to our future Jets.”
Those who attended received free ‘swag,’ hot cocoa and snacks.
Thursday, Jan. 28 was a challenging day for the counselors, but ultimately rewarding. Bowan expressed that time was running out to complete all the packages so they really had to pull together as a team to accomplish the task.
Friday morning, the counselors delivered to schools and had a wonderful time of connection. Students got to get out of class and spend some one-on-one time with their counselors and have a little fun with their care package in the process. Both Drewes and Bowman expressed how much fun it was to interact with the students by forging a more personal connection.
“Hopefully, these students are encouraged to learn more about Newman and ultimately decide to come in August,” Drewes said.