Enrollment encouragement: Oregon State University’s Beaver Box o’ Swag

Aim: To boost enrollment of the top 1 percent of high school students who qualify for Oregon State’s Presidential Scholarship, admissions officers treat academic standouts like blue-chip athletes.

The program began three years ago.

Link to main story: Colleges should always woo would-be students

In the box

  • a special certificate acknowledging the scholarship
  • a T-shirt from an academic college
  • an assortment of special offers, such as free bike rental for a year
  • information about registering early for the Start program, a two-day new student orientation  

– a housing-contract fee waiver

Special delivery

Admissions reps go to high schools to personally deliver the boxes. “We’ve had some amazing responses,” says Blake Vawter, senior associate director of admissions, marketing and recruitment. “One time we arrived during a school assembly and they trotted me out to present this box to the student, and it was like they had just scored the basket to win the state championship.”


In its first year alone, the Beaver Box improved yield by 30 students. 

 Ray Bendici is deputy editor of UB.

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