Does this image look familiar? You might have seen it in a commercial on TV, driven past it on a billboard or scrolled by it on social media. But this is more than just an ad. It’s the latest in the U’s commitment to supporting students from the moment they consider attending through their experiences on campus and even after graduation.
“Applying for and starting college is stressful and complex,” says Andrea Thomas B.S. ’88, the U’s new chief experience officer. “So, we decided to boost and organize information and resources for incoming first-year students and focus on making their introductory experiences as stellar as possible.”
Students who are new to the U may know about the Dec. 1 admissions deadline to apply, but not how to find on-campus housing or seek scholarships and other financial support. To help first-year, continuing and transfer students navigate multiple application deadlines and forms, the University Marketing & Communications (UMC) team has created a one-stop online shop: utahfresh.utah.edu.
The website includes a color-coded calendar—with some items noted as “critical steps” in the application process, and others as “optional.” Rather than duplicating existing webpages, the aggregated website sends applicants to all the linked university websites. UMC Director of Digital Strategy Scott Troxel says the goal was to gather all the resources a prospective student might need—from student life experiences like joining the MUSS to reading the Daily Utah Chronicle to setting up a meal plan.
“For many students, university websites are their first experience with college,” Troxel adds. “We tried to create one central, easy-to-navigate page where a first-year or transfer student can find everything they need to know about matriculating at the University of Utah.”
It’s not just a smoother entry process that makes a difference, Thomas says. U leaders know students who live, work and tap into communities are more likely to succeed—which is why, for example, the university offers living-learning cohorts for groups as varied as pre-law to pre-med and from entrepreneurs to the Honors College.
So, whether it’s doing research in Utah on the effects of climate change—like these students here—or studying at one of our campus partners across the globe, the U is dedicated to making the first year the best year. And that’s Utah Fresh.
Watch the Utah Fresh campaign video here: