The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

The University minority community and the Admissions Office put their best foot forward this weekend as they hosted 168 minority high school seniors for the University's annual Invitational Scholars Weekend. For the past three days, 168 possible members of the Class of 1995 partied, studied and ate at the University and say they have enjoyed it. The students will be on campus through this afternoon. Several student organizers of the event said they consider it a valuable service to the high school seniors. They said it gives them a chance to learn about the University and gives them a good idea of what life at the University is like. Organizers said that although they would like to attract more minority students to the University, they do not try to "sell" the University to the high school students. The high school students who participated overwhelmingly said they came away with a positive impression of the University. As the students were herded to pizza receptions, activity fairs, basketball games and tours of Philadelphia, they said they learned that the University is committed to bringing them into the community. And while some students said the University is an ideal school for them, others said they appreciated the honest impressions of the college they received from their hosts. "My hosts have been very frank and candid," said New Yorker Alisha James. "I know it's going to be like that, but it doesn't discourage me." Student hosts, who volunteer to house the seniors, are not screened before the weekend. Sonia Elliot, the University's assistant director for minority recruitment, said hosts attend a training session prior to the weekend. Elliott said because hosts know the importance of the weekend, they are helpful. "They are, to a certain extent, more powerful recruiters than we are," Elliott said. And although many hosts participated to help the scholars, they said they learned something about themselves in the process. "You don't realize how much you like this school until you have the opportunity to talk to someone else," said College sophomore Tomilola Ogunba. While many prospective students said they wanted to attend the University, others expressed concern about its costs. Joanne Po, a Long Island resident, said she is concerned about the minority attrition rate. She said she could probably manage the academics, but the cost of the education bothers her. "I'm worried that it's not because of my academics, but because I couldn't afford it," she said. "Student loans don't go as far as they should." But the scholars had other things on their mind besides academics and financial worries. Many came to experience the social side of college life. Several students said they enjoyed Sunday's Penn Performance Night the most. They said they were impressed by Penn 6-5000, Mask and Wig and the other student groups which performed. "It was really great," said Pennsylvania resident Lynda Pham. "All students did it and it seemed so professionally done." According to organizers, there were only a few minor glitches in the weekend, which the University started planning for in September. According to Pippa Porter-Rex, the director for minority recruitment, some students were unable to attend the Sunday morning tour of Philadelphia because there wasn't enough room on the buses. "For the first time in seven years, more students wanted to go then signed up," said Porter-Rex. Undergraduate Admissions organized the first official weekend in 1984. Although the department is one of the sponsors, many other organizations have contributed to the weekend. "It really is a campus-wide effort," Elliott said. Although no statistics have been collected, Elliott said the weekend draws many students to the University. University students have told Elliott the weekend was a determining factor in their decision to attend. "It really is a wonderful recruitment effort," Elliott added.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.