ECU student Cassidy Cannada, a junior birth through kindergarten elementary education major, gives an admissions tour to prospective students.

As the fall semester comes to a close, East Carolina University’s Office of Admissions is working to read through potential students’ applications and deciding who will have the opportunity to become a Pirate in 2020.

Stephanie Whaley, the assistant-vice chancellor and director of admissions, said the biggest thing the office looks for in prospective students relates to who has the drive to go through their degree program and eventually find a rewarding career.

“As we are recruiting students, we are looking for those who are on a college preparatory track for their high school graduation and those who have a desire to contribute to the ECU community,” Whaley said.

The admissions office has special initiatives which are being implemented in order to advertise to prospective students, Whaley said.

Whaley said one initiative is an attempt to provide a personalized experience during the recruitment process by having admissions counselors at ECU’s campus begin to have counselors throughout eastern North Carolina as well.

“We continue to have those counselors, and we have increased our presence of regional counselors throughout the state this year so that we are able to provide the same personalized attention that we provide to eastern North Carolina students, to those throughout the state,” Whaley said.

Whaley said an additional initiative being taken is ECU’s participation in North Carolina’s Apply to College Week which happened between Oct. 21-25. During that week, ECU waived application fees for students who wanted to apply. During this time, ECU received a record number of applications during that time, a total of 6,225 freshman applications were received, she said.

“We participated by waiving the fee because we heard from many people that the fee can be a barrier to the admissions process, and ultimately, the enrollment process,” Whaley said.

The campus tour program has additionally been revamped this year in order to give prospective students a better impression of ECU’s campus, Whaley said. The tour now starts in the Main Campus Student Center (MCSC), which Whaley said she feels will be a better first impression of ECU and what it has to offer.

ECU is also offering new scholarships this year in order to attract different kinds of students, Whaley said. The Beacon Scholarship, which is an automatically awarded merit based scholarship, and the Raise Me scholarship, which is awarded to students who qualify for free or reduced lunch at their high school, Whaley said.

“Basically, students with demonstrated need have the opportunity to earn micro-scholarships by documenting what they’re already doing in high school. For example they have to put in their high school courses, and based off the grades that they get they get money,” Whaley said.

According to the Raise Me website, students may earn money for having leadership roles in their respective high school community.

Whaley said the student essay is a very important part of an application, because it allows for the office to get a prospective on the student whose test scores and high school grade point average may not allow for.

Julie Poorman, the director of financial aid, said 72% of students at ECU have received some sort of financial assistance from scholarships, loans or work possibilities.

Poorman said it is very important that students get all of their information correct when they are applying for their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), because a failure to do so could result in months of waiting in order to resubmit your FAFSA.

Poorman said it is additionally important for students applying for FAFSA to use a wired internet connection instead of WiFi, because applicants will be entering personal information like their social security number.

It is additionally important that when applying for FAFSA or even to college through the admissions process, that students use a permanent email address instead of a temporary high school email, because once a student graduates, that email will be inaccessible.

Keith Graziosi, a senior in high school applying to ECU from Greenville, said the essay portion is an important part of the application process.

“The majority of your application is just stats on how you did academically in school and shows nothing about your personality,” Graziosi said.

Graziosi said that he wants to attend ECU because of the athletics and the culture surrounding it. He has gone to football and basketball games at ECU since he was little and wants to continue to support ECU throughout his college career.

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