One of the perks of being a small, private university in the heart of Kansas is that high schoolers can receive a highly personalized tour and look into life at Newman through “Difference Makers” visits.
During Difference Makers visits, Newman provides van transportation to pick up the high school students, counselors and teachers. Students experience a tour from a trained student ambassador, receive name plates, enjoy a complimentary lunch, listen to a presentation from an admissions counselor and listen to either a faculty speaker or student panel.
Each high school student then walks away with a Keeper Scholarship — a renewable scholarship quote for when they apply to Newman University — as well as an informational packet about Newman, a free T-shirt and other complimentary “swag.”
“We really try to make them feel honored, special and seen,” said Senior Associate Director of Admissions Georgia Drewes.
Geoff Louvar, admissions digital marketing manager, explained that on Nov. 14 alone, “we offered Northeast Magnet School students $692,000 in renewable ‘Keeper Scholarships.’”
For an even more personal experience, admissions will often invite current Newman students who graduated from the featured high school to speak on the panel.
This way, Drewes explained, “students can see a familiar face and have feedback more specific to their transition to college from their individual high schools.”
Drewes explained that these events also help to fight some common misconceptions of attending college, specifically at Newman University.
“Students who haven’t experienced our campus often think you must be Catholic to attend, that there’s no way it can be affordable, or that because we’re a private school, it’s difficult to be admitted, and we get to squash a lot of those in the midst of this short format visit,” she said.
The special visits celebrate both the hard work of the students and that of local counselors and teachers.
“We get to honor the counselor or teacher with colleague feedback and a Difference Maker plaque for their classroom or office,” Drewes said. “We celebrate them in front of their students to really recognize the impact they have on students realizing their post-secondary goals. Anyone who helps bring a group of students to our campus is a ‘Difference Maker’ in our eyes.”
Former Newman admissions counselor Macey Neal has worked as the college and career coordinator at Northeast Magnet High School for two years. A group from Northeast Magnet visited campus on Monday, and Newman admissions recognized and honored Neal with her very own Difference Maker plaque.
Neal said receiving the Difference Makers award was an unexpected bonus.
“It helps reassure me that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing,” Neal said. “I really enjoy my job and you don’t always feel the rewards until later when you see students go off and enjoy their college experience, or be able to afford the school that they really wanted to go to. Knowing that I helped play a role in getting them to their end goal is really exciting.”
For Neal, bringing her high schoolers to the Newman campus makes the college experience more tangible.
“You don’t really get the same personal touch from a website or a pamphlet as you would getting to walk around campus, meet people and hear student experience firsthand,” Neal said. “It’s really nice to get out of our typical element and go experience different colleges.”
This week, two other high school groups took advantage of the Difference Makers visits: Wichita North led by Rachel Schmeidler, and Wichita South led by Whitney Mohr — both of whom received their own Difference Maker plaques.
All high schools are welcome to schedule a personalized visit to Newman University through the Difference Makers and Keepers program. Sign up below to schedule a visit today.
Schedule a Difference Maker visit
During your visit, you and your students will enjoy lunch, a student-led tour of campus, a scholarship presentation, and Q&A with our current students, faculty, and key staff members dedicated to your students’ future success.