Around 110 prospective students from 16 states and the Dominican Republic visited Bob Jones University’s campus on Feb. 1-4 during College Up Close, an event for high schoolers and their parents to visit campus for a few days and get a feel for the college experience. High school students spend time on campus visiting classes, meeting students and professors, eating in the dining common and experiencing college life for a few days.
BJU uses College Up Close so visitors can both prepare for college generally and acclimate to BJU’s learning experience.
Admission counselor Julia Lodi said having high schoolers on campus can influence them to come to BJU, and to tell their friends and families across the U.S. and other countries about BJU. “When they [high schoolers] interact with other students, it makes a good impression,” Lodi said. “And they go out and recruit other people because they had a great time at College Up Close.”
Including parents and sponsors, there can be up to 150 visitors for College Up Close events, according to Andrew Carter, who works in the Welcome Center. The visitors on campus ranged mostly from 9th grade to 12th grade, but some were as young as 13 and some had already graduated high school.
In times past, the high schoolers have been assigned to rooms that have college students living in them. But when the pandemic struck, visitors were not allowed to stay in the residence halls. Now, high school visitors can stay in the residence halls again, but not with BJU students unless through special permission. The young men were housed on the third floor of Brokenshire and the women were housed on the first floor of Mack.
Elana, an 11th grade high school student from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was one of the high school student to ride on the motor coach that visited the Fort Lauderdale-Miami area. She came to College Up Close to decide if she wanted to go to college and if BJU would be an option for her. Evelyn, a junior from Hickory, North Carolina, said that she heard of BJU by attending the Living Gallery event and an EDUCamp. “I’m also interested in Christian colleges that are somewhat close by,” she said.
This semester, BJU will host five College Up Closes events. The next one will be held Feb. 22-25.