Differing from traditional campus tours, the BYU-Hawaii Admissions Office held a Preview Day on Oct. 13 to give prospective high school students the opportunity to be a student in college for a day.
Dylan-Sage Wilcox, an Admissions Office representative and event organizer, said more than 60 high school students in attendance came for two reasons: To find out more about what the university has to offer and for the university to convince them to attend.
“This program is mainly for domestic students from the island. We want our Hawaii students to come here and be a part of this wonderful university,” Wilcox stated. “However, we also had a couple of students from the mainland and one from New Zealand that came.” He said local students were able to attend because it was during Fall Break, and others came because their families were on vacation.
Prior to the official welcome, the students participated in a digital scavenger hunt to familiarize themselves with buildings and accomplish certain tasks at each location.
Amber Rose Oducado, a high school student from Wahiawa who participated in Preview Day, said, “This whole thing was a mini-tour of the entire campus. Most of us live here and have been on the campus before but never in this type of setting.”
The students were then greeted in the Aloha Center by faculty from Admissions and were given information about the campus, criteria for acceptance, and financial tips.
Director of Admissions James Faustino said, “For most people here this is the backyard university. But when you are here, you discover that it truly is a hidden gem. If [these students] want to get into this campus, we are the ones who will read their applications. So, we like for them to have a plan.”
Edward Maiava, an Admissions officer, spoke on what students should expect when they attend BYUH. He also referenced David O. McKay’s vision of becoming leaders and establishing peace internationally. “We see many of our alumni who are living this vision. We want to teach them on how to grow together with this vision.”
Wilcox also said Admissions wants Preview Day to build the vision of President Tanner in terms of demographics. “He has this vision where close to 50 percent of the domestic students accepted are from the Hawaiian Islands.”
Maiava said Admissions wants prospective students to have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and an ACT score of 21 or higher in order to be considered for acceptance. He also gave some facts about the university:
· BYUH was ranked the No. 1 university in Hawaii in 2017 by bestcolleges.com
· There are more than 2,800 students enrolled, and BYUH plans to increase the number every semester
· The student to faculty ratio is 15-to-1
· There are more than 40 majors offered at BYUH
· There are more than 1,900 jobs for students at the PCC and BYUH
· The female to male ratio is 59-to-41
· The average student age is 23
Oducado said she heard of the event from her local church leaders and then signed up online to attend.
More than half of the students were juniors and seniors in high school, said Faustino. Students were allowed to attend a college-level lecture – sophomores went to a college prep seminar, and freshmen attended an academic and career interests seminar.
Annie Reiser, a high school student from Wahiawa, said, “They let us go to a class of our choice, whatever subject we were interested in.” Reiser said this was an excellent way for the students to see for themselves what college classes were like. She said she attended a sports nutrition class.
Maiava stated, “We are a small enough school to where students can actually engage in the classrooms, unlike other universities.”
Participants were then treated to a college meal at The Club, a college experience where Maiava said they could get a feel for eating as much as they wanted.
A Majors Fair was then held in the Aloha Center for the students, which featured faculty members from various departments to answer students’ questions about the programs offered.
At the conclusion of Preview Day, participants were taken to the PCC to watch the canoe show and learn more about the relationship the university shares with the center.