Arizona is host to two of the largest universities in the US. Arizona State University (ASU), the largest US public university, anticipated record 76,000 students for the 2013-4 year, a 5% increase over the previous year. University of Arizona topped 40,000 in 2012. But out-of-state universities are becoming more aggressive about recruitment in Arizona. Cornell University hosted a picnic on April 19, 2014 for accepted students and their parents at Indian School Park in Scottsdale.
As a part of the Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network (CAAAN), alumni in the State are asked to interview applicants. It is a great way to engage alumni, as well as to have students ask questions of people in their own community, who attended the school or field of study they have targeted.”
“It is so encouraging to talk to such talented high school students,” said Donnelly Nariss Maysey, who coordinates CAAAN activities in Arizona, “It is great to hear what young people are thinking and doing these days.”
Though there were many Cornell alumni in Arizona because of the strong hospitality industry (Cornell has the #1 School of Hotel Administration), it used to be a challenge to encourage Arizona students to venture to the snowy Ithaca, New York, or to get Cornell to accept Arizona applicants because of low school ratings. But, in the past few years, interest in and from Cornell has increased. This year, a record 265 Arizona students applied and 36 were accepted.
At the potluck picnic, an enthusiastic group of alumni welcomed students, who had already accepted, tried to convince others, whose final decisions are not due until May, and answered questions from parents. DeAnn and Michael Meely are very proud of their daughter Julianna, who was accepted to the College of Arts & Sciences. Meanwhile Richard and Shenetta Osei, who already have a daughter Rachel at the Hotel School, were trying to persuade son, Jonathan, to go to Cornell, too.
Cornell is not the only Ivy League college recruiting in Arizona. It is a member of the Phoenix Ivy Council, an association representing over 10,000 alumni from over 30 colleges and universities in the US. Yale and Columbia are examples of universities hosting evens within the next month. While Arizona offers great higher education, it is also a good sign that Arizona students are being sought after by the Ivy League.