Two solicit Senators’ help with student recruitment

Julia Brunson, coordinator of the Office of Recruitment and Scholarships and David Gibson Jr., president of One FAMU Association, pleaded with senators and guests to volunteer their time during Monday’s 34th Student Senate meeting.

The two said they need assistance calling prospective students who are interested in attending Florida A&M University.

“Recruiting numbers for National Merit Scholars at FAMU have declined drastically,” Brunson said. “In 2000, FAMU recruited 62 finalists. In 2001, we had 52. In 2002, we had 23, and in 2003, we only had nine.”

In an effort to improve these numbers, Brunson is working with Gibson to sign up volunteers for their call center.

Volunteers will make phone calls to let prospective students know FAMU is interested in their attendence.

“We want current students to talk to prospective students about their college experiences at FAMU, including the good and bad, so they can make an informed decision about where to attend college,” Brunson said.

President Pro-Tempore Jessica Larche’ echoed Brunson’s sentiment by encouraging senators to become involved. Larche’ was recruited heavily by the Office of Recruitment and Scholarships before she was even certified as a National Merit Scholar, strictly because of her grade point average and test scores.

“We know that FAMU is a great university, but the general population does not understand the true dynamics of this university, especially with the negative press that we have been receiving lately,” Larche’ said. “This is a great opportunity for the students of FAMU to publicize the positive aspects of our university.”

The Office of Financial Aid and the Office of Recruitment and Scholarships tested the idea with help from members of the Presidential Scholars Association. The callers were matched with students based upon a number of factors including hometowns, intended majors and extra curricular activities.

“We contacted 250 prospective students,” Gibson said. “Our vision for the call center is to have at least 2,500 prospective students contacted by the end of the semester.”

Gibson said there will be an interest meeting for call center volunteers on Nov. 4 at 5 p.m. in the Office of Recruitment and Scholarships.

Brunson said the University is losing scholars to schools like the University of South Florida and the University of Central Florida, who are aggressively calling students and have more resources for recruitment needs.

“We do not have the resources to put on big college fairs in major cities because no one shows up, and the money could be spent more effectively doing one-on-one recruiting,” Brunson said.

Larche’ said because of the lack of funding in the Office of Recruitment and Scholarships, this is a great time to involve the student body.

“The family atmosphere is what attracted me to FAMU,” she said. “This will give prospective students a glimpse of the family atmosphere before they actually get here.”

Contact Alicia M. Green at