Monday, August 11, 2008
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
From Page 1
how to prepare for the University,
Winfrey said his office also brings
students to campus so they can
get their own taste of Ann Arbor's
The Application Tailgate spon-
sored by the Detroit office brings
potential students to the Univer-
sity on football Saturdays so they
can complete an application and
experience the Big House all in one
day. The Slice of Life program gives
recently admitted students the
chance to shadow an undergradu-
ate for a day of classes, studying
and dorm life.
For many students, those might
seem like lessons to be learned
from family and friends, but Win-
frey said many of the students he
encounters don't know what every-
day college life is like.
"Even though Detroit might
only be 45 minutes away from the
University, sometimes for certain
students it's like being on the other
side of the world," Winfrey said.
"It's away from the urban areas,
and it's away from the neighbor-
hoods they grew up in."
For those students, Winfrey
said it's important to remind them
that the University is within their
reach - an effort that he said his
office increased dramatically after
Michigan voters passed the ballot
initiative that ended race- and gen-
der-based affirmative action pro-
grams in November 2006.
"In the past, affirmative action
was utilized, but for students now,
no matter their race, ethnicity or
gender, we have to look at prepara-
tion," Winfrey said. "So to me, Pro-
posal 2 has basically made us make
sure the students are prepared,
because the one thing I'll say about
this university is that it has not
changed its standards."
And to help with that process,
his office doesn't just wait for ques-
tions or hand out pamphlets to
high school guidance counselors.
According to Winfrey, extensive
outreach - even to students who
have just begun kindergarten - is
one of the most important ways his representatives from concentra-
office builds a "pipeline" for quali- tions that range from Kinesiology
fied prospective students. to Engineering travel to schools
In the fall of 2007, for example, with Winfrey to explain what the
Winfrey made almost 50visits to 27 programs have to offer.
different Detroit-area high schools, Winfrey said Application Days,
where he spoke to both groups and where students turn in their-com-
highly-qualified individual stu- pleted applications to the Detroit
dents about the benefits of a Uni- Admissions Office staff, and Deci-
sion Days, where they are notified
of their acceptance decision by the
staff in person, are other impor-
Detroit office tant components. of the outreach
bridges gap "It's a recruitment tool that is in
the urban community to make sure
between down- that those who have first-genera-
nand 'U. tion or socioeconomic challenges
feel that they have access to Michi-
gan," Winfrey said. "Because even
in 2008 we're still dealing with the
whole thing that they don't know
versity of Michigan degree. about college and their parents
But over the years, Winfrey said didn't go."
he's found that, particularly in And for LSA freshman Jasmyn
urban areas, discussing the intan- Nicole Irvin, a Decision Day at
gible benefits of a diploma isn't Detroit's Renaissance High School
always enough. That's why his was how she was notified of her
office started a program known as acceptance to the University.
the "M is for U Spotlight," where Though she applied to other
schools like Bowling Green Uni-
versity and Michigan State Uni-
versity, Irvin said she chose the
University of Michigan because
it had the most to offer. Once she
was accepted, Irvin said she didn't
even bother waiting around to see
how much financial aid the other
schools would give her.
Irvin eventually received a par-
tial scholarship from the Univer-
sity, and when she and her mom
had questions about financial aid
forms, she said Winfrey's office
was the first place they went.
"My mom just took it right down
to the Detroit office, and it was
taken aare of," Irvin said. "They
helped her fill out the forms, and
they showed her exactly what she
needed to do."
And even after all of her paper-
work was complete, Irvin said the
programs offered by the Detroit
Admissions office helped her pre-
pare for life at the University.
"I got to know the faces of the
people who work in that office,"
Irvin said. "And they helped me
more than anybody else."
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