This year, the University of New Orleans’ largest annual open house got even larger. More than 850 visitors, including 409 students and 448 guests, flocked to Get to Know UNO on Nov. 19 to learn about the University’s degree offerings, academic culture and extracurricular opportunities.
It was the largest attendance in more than 10 years and represented a 48 percent increase over 2015 student attendance figures, said Brett Hornsby, assistant director of orientation and communications.
“Considering the rising cost of a college degree nationwide, I think the University of New Orleans is seeing the rewards of its ongoing commitment to providing a top-notch education at an affordable price,” he said. “Being a major metropolitan research institution graduating students with some of the lightest debt loads in the nation while having the highest early career salaries is music to the ears of many families.”
Bookstore sales also appeared to reflect the momentum building around UNO. They surged from about $1,300 at the 2015 Get to Know UNO event to over $5,200 this year, Hornsby said, arming students and their family members with in-demand gear.
Get to Know UNO has been a staple of the University’s prospective student outreach since 2002. It is one of the best ways for interested students to meet one-on-one with UNO faculty, staff and student leaders. More than 200 faculty, staff, students and alumni participated in this year’s event with 91 departments and organizations manning informational tables at the UNO Recreation and Fitness Center.
“There’s a personal touch that comes with attending one of our open houses,” Hornsby said, “and it’s something that we feel is representative of any student’s experience here at UNO. Visiting campus allows families to see that we offer the incredible academics and involvement opportunities of a major university, with the feel of a tight-knit community.”
UNO is always a draw for local students interested in staying in the New Orleans area. But Hornsby said he also noticed an increase in out-of-state visitors this year. Prospective students came from Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.
UNO President John Nicklow has made it clear since taking the reins of the University this year that increasing enrollment is his top priority. New students and transfers were up slightly this fall, with a 7 percent increase in transferring students. Additionally, the percentage of African-American freshmen enrolling was up 22 percent year-over-year.
“I am so proud of our faculty and staff for their involvement in this year’s Get to Know UNO,” President John Nicklow said. “It’s the result of a lot of hard work and planning. I’m thrilled that so many prospective students and parents were able to a true sense of the enthusiasm and engagement among members of our campus community. And the event is going to keep getting better.”