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Admission Receptions: bringing Georgia Southern to you


Every year thousands of prospective Eagles flock to Georgia Southern for Open House. Admissions Open Houses offer prospective students and their families the chance to learn about academics, student life, programs and requirements for the University. But for many students, finding the time and resources to travel to Statesboro can prove troublesome.

To allow more students to experience the value of an Open House without coming to campus, the Office of Admissions provides four Receptions each academic year throughout the region. Receptions are held in Jacksonville and Augusta in the fall and in Atlanta in the fall and spring. For more than a decade these Receptions have brought the Georgia Southern experience to families and future students throughout the region.

“The Receptions are some of my favorite events we host because it is taking Open House on the road,” said Associate Director for Freshmen Admissions Christy Rikard (‘07). “We literally load Georgia Southern onto a bus and bring it to students in their hometown!”

The Admissions staff works tirelessly to prepare for a successful Reception. Planning begins at the start of the spring semester with choosing dates, locations, catering and vendors for events. Postcards and emails are sent and phone calls made to promote the Receptions. Billboards are put up, social media ads planned and college fair and high school visits are made.

Meanwhile, detailed travel arrangements are made. The assistant director for Visit Programs books charter buses to transfer staff and student volunteers to and from Receptions. Two to three weeks before the event, students in the Office of Admissions prepare student bags for check-in and roll t-shirts to give to those who apply or check their admission status at the event.

Once all of the arrangements are made, the bustle of Reception day begins, and the months of planning come to life. For two hours, guests can visit with booths from University organizations, admissions, academic colleges, housing, financial aid, scholarships and the University Honors Program.

“Event days are my absolute favorite,” said Sean Cleary, assistant director for Visit Programs. “You spend many long days planning out every last detail for each Reception and can finally see all of the pieces come together to host a fun and informative event. The real fun comes when all of the students start to check in, and you can start to match up faces with the names that you have seen listed on your Excel spreadsheet for the past few months leading up to the event. I would compare Receptions to being at a big family reunion.”

Aside from the helpful professional staff available at the event, current students offer insight into their day-to-day lives as students on campus and are happy to discuss living on campus, balancing work and school, getting involved, and transitioning from high school to college.

“Parents and guardians enjoy many of the same benefits as students at Receptions, but can also learn more about the Parent and Family Association and speak with the parents of current students and alumni about their experiences with having a child at Georgia Southern,” said Cleary.

Of the 821 prospective students who attended the past four Receptions, 244 enrolled at the University, yielding a 77 percent enrollment rate of admitted senior attendees for the following fall term. Each year these Receptions continue to play a crucial role in attracting the best and brightest and growing the enrollment numbers at Georgia Southern.

“These events are such a great opportunity to show off what Georgia Southern is all about,” said Caleb Rogers (‘15), admissions counselor. “The way everyone on campus teams up and is so willing to help students and parents out is such an example of our ‘Southern hospitality’, and really shows the guests that we really are offering the ‘large-scale, small-feel’ experience we talk about.”

To learn more about Admissions Receptions, visit

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers more than 125 degree programs serving 20,674 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered and hands-on approach to education. Visit for more information.


Posted in Events