For the first time in school history, Wichita State University admission staff is traveling to Florida to recruit potential new students.
“We are going to host an event for prospective students as part of the celebration of the men’s basketball conference tournament,” said Wichita State University Director of Admissions Bobby Gandu.
Gandu said the Breakfast for Future Shockers event has been in the works for about a year.
“We had a conversation, should we do it in Orlando? It’s a lot further for our fans to travel, but we decided to move forward on it to see what would happen,” he said.
The event is open to the public and is meant to give prospective students an inside look at what it would be like to attend WSU. Gandu said admission staff and administrators will be on hand to field questions.
“It’s really just going to be a fun event, a casual event, so that students can come in, have breakfast with some folks,” Gandu said. “Some of the students who might be attending could qualify for tuition discounts if they’re children of alumni who live in another state now or if they are form one of our I-35 corridor partners to where they could get an in-state discount.”
Gandu said moving to the AAC conference has opened a number of doors for the university.
“They don’t necessarily know what academic programs we offer, but it starts a conversation. People come over to our table and people say, ‘hey, you’re in our conference now or we have heard about you,'” he said. “They are now at least interested in starting a conversation with us where as maybe 10 years ago before some of this basketball success we’ve had, they wouldn’t have really known much about Wichita State at all.”
He added during March and April WSU experiences an increase in inquiries from potential students.
“When we have more success with athletics, it gives us way more eyes looking into our window. It’s still up to the admissions team and others at the university to help recruit and yield that student, but it gives us so many more opportunities than we used to have,” he said.
While Gandu said he’s not sure how Friday’s event will go, he said he’s hopeful about the outcome knowing WSU is truly one of a kind and it’s affordable.
“It’s really how does your college feel to those students and we have had great success in the Midwest recruiting students, but we are finding on the east and the west coast the students see that there is great value in our tuition right now,” Gandu said.
The Discover Wichita State in Orlando: A Breakfast for Future Shockers is at 8:30 a.m. at the Courtyard Marriott Orlando Downtown: 730 N Magnolia Ave.