UK travels through state to recruit students

When agriculture education senior Britney Wilkenson was considering colleges, she wished she had someone to guide her.

“I had a lot of questions about college and majors, and it was overwhelming,” Wilkenson said.

Now, she’s helping high-school students around the state prepare to choose a college at the annual See Blue Preview Nights that began last night in Pikeville, Ky.

“Many of these students don’t know if they want to go to UK,” said Wilkenson, a College of Agriculture ambassador. “But they have an interest, and we are able to answer so many of their questions and help them explore the different majors we offer.”

Campus organizations and representatives from various colleges at UK will travel to nine communities around the state throughout the next month to meet high-school students and answer questions about UK.

Prospective students will be able to meet with representatives from campus departments including financial aid, campus housing, undergraduate admission, Greek life and Army ROTC. Ambassadors from many of UK’s colleges will be available to speak to students about what to expect from college life.

“That is what is most important about this event,” Wilkenson said. “It’s a good way for these students to meet with other students face to face and get a real idea of what the university is about.”

The event serves “to give (prospective students) basic information about UK, show them what it’s like to experience life here and garner an interest to come to UK and visit,” said Amy Jones, a UK spokeswoman.

“It allows students from these areas to come and find out more,” Jones said. “It’s about having that personal contact.”

Although Wilkenson thinks it’s important for prospective students to visit UK, she said the Preview Nights are a way for UK to reach out to Kentucky communities and introduce them to the university.

Stephen Barnett, associate director of undergraduate admission and associate registrar, said one of the main goals of the See Blue Preview Nights is to show high-school students the importance of higher education.

“We encourage the students who come to pursue every possible opportunity to learn more about what a college degree can mean for their future,” Barnett said. “Specifically, we bring these representatives from the colleges and from campus groups to show them how UK can help them reach their goals.”

Preview Nights will make its second stop tonight at the Community Center in London, Ky.