MISHAWAKA – Late spring and summer are usually high-traffic times for incoming college freshmen to take advantage of university tours while they are deciding which college they will attend the following semester. Lockdowns due to COVID-19 and the subsequent university closures are impacting the way that these tours are conducted; since in-person tours are currently not an option, universities are relying on virtual resources to help students commit to their campuses for the fall.
Bethel University Director of Admissions Stephanie Hochstetler said that the Admissions Department is currently communicating with students who had signed up for a campus visit. The students are being encouraged to view the virtual tour that is offered on betheluniversity.edu and to connect with professors, coaches, and counselors through Zoom or phone call; Admissions encourages all future Pilots to connect with campus in these ways.
Since it remains unclear how COVID-19 may impact fall 2020 semester, Hochstetler says that it is too early to predict exactly how the incoming class may be affected. She also adds that as a community, Bethel is preparing for all possible scenarios.
Despite the uncertainty, Bethel’s application goals have not been affected. In April 2019, Bethel was 77% to their application goal; this year, Bethel is 77.42% of the way to the application goal. The Admissions Department is seeing a slight increase in students who are having issues completing their file because high schools have closed and national tests are being halted, but the admissions team is working to remove barriers that could discourage students from completing their application file.
“I’m so appreciative of all the work that has been done across campus to move Bethel forward during this time,” Hochstetler said. “Our team is working hard to bring in a new class, but recruitment doesn’t work if only one office is on board. We’ve been blessed by countless others across campus who have helped us continue to connect with future Pilots daily.”