The Office of School Relations helps prospective BYU students find their way to Provo.
At the end of her freshman year of high school, Sarah Barlow became sick. But this just wasn’t a bad cold or a case of the flu. It was an illness that would continue throughout her high school career, making preparations for college difficult. Sarah’s mother, Emily Warner Barlow, ’72, doubted whether BYU’s Office of School Relations could help her daughter get into BYU, but she still contacted them.
Mark A. Larson, ’83, an area coordinator in the Office of School Relations, came to the rescue. He answered Emily’s questions, connected her with different departments all over campus, and even made arrangements for Sarah to take the ACT. Thanks in part to Larson’s timely assistance, Sarah is now a student at BYU.
While Sarah’s situation was not typical, the service provided by Larson and the rest of the school-relations staff was. They regularly help high school students with everything BYU before they arrive, from admissions and scholarships to housing and choosing a major.
“Our responsibility is to identify prospective students and help them become aware of the opportunities at BYU, and we assist them in their preparation and their application process,” says R. Kirk Strong, ’78, director of school relations. “We give them the information that they need. We help them through that whole process.”
Barbara Rowley Parker, ’82, first made contact with the Office of School Relations when her daughter was a high school sophomore. Through the next couple of years she maintained contact with area coordinator Troy A. Selk, ’00. The information he provided helped her daughter make decisions about what classes to take in high school to be better prepared for entrance into BYU
“The Office of School Relations bridges the gap between Brigham Young University and high school,” says Parker. “It paved the way for my child to get into BYU.”
Ford L. Stevenson, ’68, dean of Student Academic and Advisement Services, says providing information is the biggest service the office provides for parents and students. “When a prospective student is trying to make a decision as to where they ought to attend, information is the key commodity. The more information they have, the better decision they’re going to be able to make.”
Five area coordinators, assigned by geographic area, assist students in a variety of ways. They present conferences all over the nation, host question-and-answer sessions, and train school counselors and youth leaders.
In addition to these services, Stevenson says, “We invite parents who have a son or a daughter who are interested in attending BYU to make personal contact.”
“Get with the right representative,” advises Larson. “If we don’t have the answers, we’ll get you to the right person on campus who can help.”