UNI campus visits help students make tough decisions

University of Northern Iowa senior Caitlin Schaeffer had her mind made up. She was going to Iowa State. It was a simple decision that stuck with her all through high school, until she went on a campus visit to UNI.

"The second I got here I just knew this is where I wanted to be," said Schaeffer. "I really enjoyed the campus size and friendly people."

Campus Tour
Prospective students get a campus tour while visiting UNI.

Now Schaeffer is getting a degree in physical education at UNI. She attributes her change in heart to her campus visit.

More than 4,000 students and parents visited UNI this fall semester, which is already an increase from last year. The Office of Admissions provides several different visit formats to accommodate different needs.

Panther Peek Visit Days are scheduled throughout the year and include a campus tour, panel session with UNI students, academic breakout sessions, lunch and group sessions that cover admission requirements, academics and majors, financial aid and residence living.

The campus tour was something Schaeffer really enjoyed. "The visit overall was great, but the tour helped a lot," said Schaeffer. "I really liked how students were giving tours to students, it made me feel more comfortable."

UNI Admissions also offers Saturday visits and group and individual visits.

"Panther Peek visits are a good way to put everything into perspective for students. It gets them thinking about decisions they need to make in terms of college," said Jenny Connolly, assistant director of outreach in admissions. "Group and individual visits are good because they allow students to see a lot of campus in a short amount of time. Saturdays are usually a good time for first visits."

UNI Up Close

UNI Up Close is a day planned specifically for high school seniors. 

In 2007, UNI started a visit day planned specifically for admitted high school seniors called Up Close. Scheduled for the last two Fridays in February, students and families get to interact with all colleges and departments, attend academic breakout sessions, explore residence halls and sign up early for orientation.

Holiday breaks are ideal times for UNI students to visit with their friends and siblings back home about UNI.  That's what Schaeffer did.

"Every time I went home for a break I would tell my younger sister about UNI," said Schaeffer. "She ended up visiting me a lot. We loved that you could walk from one side of campus to another within minutes and how it felt like a campus, not a town."

It isn't a surprise that Schaeffer's sister Kelsey is now a freshman at UNI and enjoying all that campus has to offer.

For more information about a campus visit or to register for one, visit http://www.uni.edu/admissions/.