As the state’s flagship university, the University of Utah strives to be a model public university in delivering unmatched value in higher education and health care while making social, economic and cultural contributions that improve the quality of life throughout the state. In an effort to increase accessibility and better communicate about the opportunities available at the U, the Office of Admissions has hired its first in-state regional admissions counselor, located in southern Utah. Angie Atkinson is a U of U alum and a state-licensed school counselor. She previously worked as a college counselor at Dixie High School in St. George, Utah.
“Angie is such a great addition to our team as we work to increase access and awareness about pathways to the U in Southern Utah,” said John Marfield, executive director of admissions. “She already understands the area and how best to introduce high school students to the U in a way that is going to resonate.”
Atkinson began her new role on Jan. 10, 2022. She will regularly visit and build relationships in Washington and Iron counties and will also serve rural and remote schools throughout Southern Utah
“Even in these challenging times, many of our students are excelling academically and contributing in important and exciting ways,” said Atkinson. “I feel confident that students in the remote areas of our state will use their talents to expand opportunities for growth and have a positive impact on not only their future, but the future of the U as well. I’m thrilled to work with them and their parents as they navigate the hundreds of options offered at the U.”
The U has three out-of-state regional admissions counselors—in northern California, southern California and, as of November, in Houston. Marfield said they have seen a significant increase in applications from California as a result.
“We have seen a 38% rise in applications from California since we’ve had regional admissions counselors located there,” said Marfield. “It makes a huge difference when you have someone living in an area who is able to integrate into the school community. That regular face-to-face interaction matters and they’re able to give students more and better information about what the University of Utah has to offer.”
Marfield said many students from southern Utah have never visited the U’s campus and may not think of it as a viable option. He’s confident being able to meet with a regional admissions counselor at their own high school will encourage more students to visit and apply – especially once they learn about scholarship opportunities for in-state students such as the For Utah Scholarship which covers tuition and fees for four years for Pell Grant-eligible students, and The Guarantee, which offers aid to every valedictorian and salutatorian in the state.
“We take our commitment to being the university for Utah seriously and want to ensure that cost is not a barrier for as many students in our state as possible,” said Marfield. “Having an admissions counselor in southern Utah means more students and their families discover how the unique educational experiences available at the U and learn how they can reduce the cost of receiving a degree from one of the top research universities in the nation.”