New call center aims to welcome all new admitted UNC students

“We’ve found that for the past several years, as our number of applications have gone up, our yield of students that we have admitted has gone down,” said Montez Thomas, an assistant director of admissions for yield.

The program started in September — calling prospective applicants who had contacted, visited or expressed interest in UNC. While the center is only working four days a week, it casts a wide net, but this is the first semester they will be contacting admitted students.

“Generally, they make about 400 calls a week, so since September when the students had been hired that’s what they’ve been doing,” said Ashley Memory, senior assistant director of admissions said.

Thomas said high school students are applying to more schools than before and with more options, there is more competition between universities.

“We wanted to make sure we found a way to change our approach with recruitment, and to make it more personal,” Thomas said.

Thomas said the inspiration from the campaign came from an admissions office employee who had been employed at a different college running a similar program. The campaign has been partially spurred by the success of a past effort involving reaching out to transfer students, where 20 percent of students who received calls applied to the school — as opposed to a different pool where no students were contacted and none submitted applications.

In January, they made 708 calls, and in February, they made 1,355, Montez said.

Thomas said of the eight students making calls, three are transfer students and four are students of color. The call center’s students talk to potential future students about the University, from concerns to areas of interest.

Senior Emily Williams is one of the eight students who make calls.

“I think it’s really important what we’re doing, because kind of having that personal touch and having someone reach out to you and be like ‘we want you here,’ and student to student this is what goes on at Carolina and this is what student life is like,” Williams said.

Thomas said there are plans to continue the program into the future.

First-year Clayton Hall said he wishes the program had been around during his application process so he could have solicited advice and had some advice of his own to pass down to incoming first-years.

“It possibly could have (helped) in the moment of me figuring out what colleges I actually got into and what colleges I didn’t,” Hall said.

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