Spanish-speaking admissions counselor Katherine Reynoso recently traveled to Puerto Rico for nine days to recruit students for Newman University.
Reynoso had a packed week starting with visiting schools Monday, Feb. 6, through Thursday, Feb. 10.
She visited four different schools every day she was there. On her last day, Friday, Feb. 11, she met with high school counselors for breakfast to make connections with the hopes of recruiting students in the near future.
While some students in Puerto Rico are looking for bigger universities, they are also looking for a more personalized experience from a university like Newman.
Originally from the Dominican Republic Reynoso lived in Puerto Rico for more than 10 years and obtained her bachelor’s degree in communication with a minor in news production from the University of Puerto Rico. She believes that having lived there and speaking the language gave her an advantage.
“The friendliness of the people combined with the nice beaches made me feel like I was still at home in the Dominican Republic,” said Reynoso.
Newman visited Puerto Rico through the National Catholic College Admission Association, which gives exclusive recruitment opportunities to Catholic universities.
“Newman is participating in a recruitment format that is aligned in values,” said Georgia Drewes, senior associate director of admissions.
Because Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, students have U.S. citizenship so they don’t require a visa to study in the U.S., plus they can file for financial aid through the U.S. Department of Education’s FAFSA program.
Drewes explained that Newman rarely sends admissions team members beyond the Midwest for recruitment “due to research showing that students enroll from closer markers.”
However, this wasn’t the first time Newman admissions flew more than 2,200 miles away to put the university on students’ radar. Drewes flew to Puerto Rico in 2019 on behalf of admissions before COVID-19 put the program on hold.
“Katherine was poised to enter schools in and around the San Juan area with confidence, knowing the culture, the language and the expectations of the students, parents and school counselors, even more than other college representatives in attendance,” Drewes added. “This allowed Reynoso to have a more fruitful experience.”
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