More than 1,100 students and their families signed up to become part of the Aggie Experience, the university’s largest recruitment day.
NMSU has seen enrollment decline in recent years, but that trend looks to be changing. The number of first-time freshmen enrolled in fall 2017 increased more than 11 percent from the year before. More than 5,200 students have already been admitted for the fall 2018 semester.
Senior admissions advisor Jonique Sais said events like Aggie Experience help boost enrollment by showcasing what NMSU can offer prospective students.
"A lot of students have never been here and I think it’s extremely important regardless of where you’re going to school to see what the campus has to offer, so this is a great day for the students to come and see if NMSU is the place for them,” Sais said.
To see if it’s the place for her, Cloudcroft High School senior Diana Cook said she’s visiting NMSU to learn more about the school’s hospitality program.
“I’m really interested in the university’s Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management program," Cook said. "I got interested in that through the ProStart program, so I’m here to learn a little bit more about the campus itself and the HRTM program as well.”
Last year, education officials reduced the state’s lottery-funded scholarships from covering 90 percent of tuition to 60 percent. Cook said the more competitive scholarship offers she’s received from other colleges may affect her decision.
“I’ve had some different offers from colleges across the state so today I’m here to learn about NMSU, see if it’s the best place for me and…if those universities have as much to offer as NMSU does too," Cook said.
Along with a nearly 27 percent increase in admissions from in-state students over last year, NMSU is also seeing more students from out-of-state applying. Data from NMSU’s Office of Institutional Analysis shows nearly 16 percent more students have been admitted from nearby states like Arizona, Colorado and California and 17 percent more students admitted from Texas, compared to February 2017.
Coming from out-of-state is Nathen Drow, a junior at Sunnyside High School in Tucson, Ariz. Drow said he’s visiting campus to learn more about Aggie football and the school’s criminal justice program.
“This is my first college I wanted to come see, you know I heard it’s wonderful here, the campus is wonderful, schooling is great, the football program is wonderful so I just wanted to come and check it out," Drow said.
Giving students the chance to explore campus helps high-schoolers like Cook think about what to study. While Cook said she’s interested in the hospitality industry, she also wants to learn about ACES, the agricultural sciences college.
“They actually come together because without agriculture there really is no culture so you have to kind of think about how agriculture plays a role into the restaurant industry because without people, agriculturalists raising crops and livestock, we don’t have any restaurant industries and without restaurants we don’t really need hotels so it all kind of plays hand-in-hand," Cook said.
These future freshmen will have plenty of time to decide which major to pick, but the important part is choosing the college that best fits their needs.