Fly-in prospectives no longer just Texans

Texas Fly-in Visit Day is a long standing, anticipated visit day each year.

The success of Fly-in Visit Day prompted the idea to include two other major areas in the country.

On Nov. 17-18, prospective students will fly in from Phoenix and Denver for the opportunity to visit campus for the first time.

The Texas Fly-in Day existed for about 10 years. It used to be a road trip, where the University bussed students from Dallas to campus for the weekend and then back home late on Monday. Now, students are flown from Dallas to Tulsa, where charter buses pick them up and transport them to JBU.

This year, 47 students were part of the Texas Fly-in visit.

Although Phoenix and Denver will not attract the same amount of students, the importance of the visit is the same.

“We want to have as many prospective students be able to visit as possible,” said Jared Burgess, Director of the Visitation Program. “Campus is the best asset we have.”

Admissions Counselor Erin Harrell oversees students in the Western part of the United States. She says the Fly-in will give students the ability to see the campus first-hand.

“I believe it will help quite a few students decide to come to JBU, because usually our visit days are such positive experiences for them,” Harrell said. “If we can get them on campus, then usually they will love it. Our students and faculty are so welcoming, and that makes a huge impact on them.”

The idea of adding these fly-ins to the schedule is not a new concept for the admissions counselors. Harrell added that she saw a push from high school guidance counselors so that their students have the opportunity to visit more colleges.

“They understand how difficult it is for their students to visit a college campus, and so they are always looking for new opportunities to present to them,” Harrell said. “They also see how visiting a college drastically changes the college search, and that students are much more likely to enroll if they can get on a college campus and start picturing themselves there.”

Harrell noted that students who live far away find it hard to visit every school they are interested in because of cost of travel.

Because the fly-in costs 100 dollars for the all-inclusive weekend, it is helpful in generating interest.

“Students get pretty excited that they can come visit a college campus without their parents, and parents are excited that it’s affordable to send their students. It’s really a win-win for them,” Harrell said.

Harrell, who travels around visiting schools and prospective students, enjoys seeing the response and excitement from students and their families about the fly-ins being added for them.

Harrell also noted the support from high schools in the areas.

“Guidance counselors have also been incredibly receptive, especially in Arizona. Schools that might not have been otherwise very receptive to us are thankful that there is an opportunity for their students to visit a college that is out of state.”

According to Burgess, the opportunity was advertised through the JBU website, emails, college fairs, post cards to area-specific students and through word of mouth.

Both the Arizona and Colorado fly-ins are full at this time.

For Harrell, the chance to have some of her prospective students on campus is exciting and full of new opportunities.

“I’m most looking forward to being able to introduce JBU to a bunch of new students who have the opportunity to make our school even more diverse geographically,” Harrell said. “I am also excited to watch their interactions on the trip.”