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August 6, 2013

Record-setting crowds attend Blinn’s New Student Orientation

Streamlined process allows hundreds to conveniently register, meet with advisors

Blinn’s New Student OrientationFirst impressions can last a lifetime. Thanks to Blinn College’s New Student Orientation sessions, that first impression has led to a life-changing education at the College’s Brenham campus.

Blinn’s New Student Orientations attracted 735 students this year, more than doubling last year’s 313 and almost five times the number of students who visited the campus orientation sessions in 2011. Families visited from throughout the state, and some came from as far away as Michigan and Alabama.

“We worked really hard to make sure that New Student Orientation made it as easy as possible for parents and students to get registered and advised,” said Mordecai Brownlee, director of Student Leadership & Activities. “We streamlined the process and the word got out.”

Blinn has offered four orientation sessions in previous years, but expanded to six this year to meet demand. Brownlee said he expects to increase that total to seven next year.
Blinn began the orientation process with a personal touch this year, calling each family to explain the day’s events, what information the family needs to bring to register and scheduling advising sessions.

“It was important to us that we immediately begin building that relationship with each prospective student,” Brownlee said. “We not only wanted to build that relationship, but we also wanted to provide families with the resources they would need to have the best possible welcome to our campus.”

As soon as students arrived, Blinn examined their high school transcripts and test scores. This year marked the first time that students who hadn’t taken the required tests had the option of taking the test at orientation, allowing them to receive their score and register the same day.

Students who had already registered could meet with financial aid and enrollment services personnel, while others met with Blinn’s academic counselors to begin planning the best way to meet their academic goals. Afterwards, students had the opportunity to meet with housing personnel, take campus tours and meet with local businesses interested in hiring college students.

Of the 735 students to attend New Student Orientation, 403 registered for classes. Many more had already registered before attending orientation.

“Some people just came because they’d heard about Blinn and they were curious about what we could offer them, and in a couple of hours they left as a fully enrolled student,” Brownlee said. “Once students saw our campus and learned about our academic reputation, they got excited and they had a good time.”

Blinn was recently listed among the most affordable large community colleges in the nation by AffordableCollegesOnline.org and one of the top community colleges in the state by Schools.com. Blinn’s 49.4 percent transfer rate to four-year institutions was tops in the state and more than 20 percent higher than the statewide average.

Blinn enrolled 17,989 students last Fall and has experienced 28.3 percent growth since 2006. Founded in 1883, the College’s tuition and fees average about one-third the cost of the same classes at most four-year public universities in the state. In addition to its four campuses in Brenham, Bryan, Schulenburg and Sealy, the College teaches online courses, dual credit for high school and prepares students for quick employment through its workforce education, technical training and vocational education programs. For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.