In recent years, the first step for high school students after being accepted to the University of Miami was to schedule a campus visit at a Make it Miami event. Hundreds of prospective freshmen made the trip to Oxford and spent a day meeting professors, listening to student panels and having sore feet as they walked from building to building before deciding whether to commit or not.
This year, the first step is to visit the new Make it Miami website. On the front page is a photo of the Tri Delt sundial with MacCracken Hall in the background.
âWelcome to the University of Miami!â the website reads. âGet ready to do Miami! “
While it might not be impossible for accepted students to visit campus this spring, it is not easy either.
Andrew Boehm, associate director of Miami tours and events, explained that COVID-19 has made large-scale events such as Make It Miami impossible, but tours and briefings are still relevant today.
âAll of our accepted student events that are on campus book very quickly,â said Boehm. âThere are no more for the whole month of February, and March is also going to be packed. People come to campus to visit.
The auditorium where the briefings are held can accommodate up to 38 people at a time, but Boehm said Miami has chosen to limit the number of students to 10 per time slot to accommodate one guest per student and for keep a low number.
With the limited scope of in-person events available and the pandemic much worse than it was last spring when Miami first closed, many accepted students may choose to stick with online events.
The Make It Miami website is designed for students to follow their own pace. The information is classified into 10 categories, including one for each university college. Each section has a live online calendar of events that students can register for, from student panels to information sessions for specific majors.
Several live online events are dedicated to diversity, an issue Miami has always struggled with. Miami’s undergraduate population on all campuses was 75% white last October, compared to a national average of 55.2% on college campuses.
Admissions Director Bethany Perkins said the new online format for events such as Red Brick Roadshow and Make It Miami makes accepted student events more accessible to those who may not have been able to make it to the campus regardless of COVID-19.
âThere are the students who could still make it to campus, who had the financial resources or a way to get there,â Perkins said. âWe have now provided access to current faculty, staff and students in a way that many students would not have had access to in the past if they had to travel to campus to experience it. “
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The accessibility of online resources is reflected in the admission statistics this year. While the pandemic caused a 13.1% drop in freshman enrollments in the United States last fall, Miami processed around 30,300 applications for next year, a 9.7% increase compared to the same period last year.
The increased number of applications includes an additional 700 applications from under-represented students of color and an additional 100 applications from first-generation university students.
Miami became an optional test this year to account for the pandemic, meaning applicants were not required to submit standardized test results. Although Perkins said this could have resulted in an increase in applications from students who have self-selected in the past, the academic results of the 2025 class remain high. The average GPA among applicants is 3.8, slightly higher than in previous years.
One area where applications are particularly lacking, however, is that of international students.
âAs we see a decline in the number of students from outside the country, particularly in China, applying to university, then we are filling those spaces and filling those gaps with more students from the state and from out of state but in the United States, âPerkins said. “I’m in a position where I’m admitting more students from Ohio and elsewhere into the United States to make up for the declines we’re seeing internationally.”