University open house focuses on diversity

The University will host about 100 multicultural students for a multicultural admissions open house this weekend and pay for the travel expenses of some students in an effort to increase diversity among the freshman class, a University official said last week.

The event, which will kick off with a reception on Friday, is sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, the Multicultural Student Services Center and the Dean’s Council for Multicultural Recruitment. It includes overnight stays with current students and a luncheon with the council.

Kathryn Napper, executive dean for Undergraduate Admissions, said in an e-mail that the University will pay for the travel costs of a small number of the 100 expected attendees.

“We do provide a modest travel assistance scholarship to a small number of qualified students who may not otherwise be able to afford to visit GW,” Napper said in an e-mail. “This is something we have done for deserving students for many years.”

Napper declined to comment on the number of students who received travel expenses this year and the exact extent of those expenses.

“Except for a few meals and the travel scholarship, this event has a very modest budget, as most events have no cost attached to them,” Napper said.

Junior Katherine Bruce, a student member of the Dean’s Council for Multicultural Recruitment, said that paying for student visits sends a positive message to potential Colonials.

“By GW paying for a visit, it helps students and the parents. It tells students that it isn’t just about the money – that it’s about giving them a chance to see what the University is like,” she said.

Napper said the event’s primary goal is to draw multicultural students to the University.

“Multicultural open houses are just one way to address this goal, and have been successful in increasing diversity in the freshman class,” Napper said. “In general, students who visit the campus are more likely to apply and, if admitted, attend the University.”

MSSC Director Michael Tapscott said his office does not have an official role in the event, but that the MSSC does “partner with and support the recruitment efforts of the admissions office.”

“Our role is to help and support Admissions, and the university… with a focus on the communities and the areas of development that reflect our expertise,” he said in an e-mail.

Freshman Arielle Katcher said that while the idea of reaching out to multicultural students is great, the money could be used to reach out to potential GW students of all backgrounds.

“I feel like that money could be used for people [who] aren’t just multicultural students,” Katcher said. “There are plenty of bright kids [who] don’t have the money to go to a million college visits. Maybe it shouldn’t be completely cost-free, but I definitely think it’s good for them to put down some kind of money.”

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