Arizona State University was not at the top of Amanda Minutello’s college list. She had applied to 13 schools and only two of them were outside of the Eastern Time Zone. She lived 3,000 miles away on Long Island in Sayville, New York. But her parents encouraged her to attend More to Explore, her only visit to ASU before making her college choice.
“I wanted to learn more about the campus, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and Barrett, The Honors College.” Her Presidents’ Day visit to the Tempe campus did not disappoint. “The enthusiasm, smiles and pride of the current students was contagious. I couldn’t help but want to be a Sun Devil.”
“I was able to meet with professors I still keep in touch with as a current student,” Minutello, 18, said. “And I made friends that I see while walking on campus.”
Sarah Horvath, 19, from Scottsdale, Arizona, had a similar experience, “I met several upperclassmen in my major who I still see from time to time and chat.” Horvath, a digital culture major concentrating on graphic information technology, was already pretty confident that she would be a Sun Devil, but attending More to Explore solidified her decision. “I learned so much about on-campus life, my major and all of the opportunities available to me.”
More to Explore is a choose-your-own-experience visit program for high school, transfer and incoming graduate students. This event allows students to build their own schedules for the day. They can choose from admission and financial aid sessions; club fairs; campus, housing and facility tours including lab spaces, libraries and the Sun Devil Stadium. Each college, including Barrett, The Honors College, offers information sessions and tours. The event boasts more than 300 activities and sessions, and it takes place across four campuses located in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
High school seniors who are admitted to the Downtown Phoenix, Polytechnic, Tempe or West campuses also have the opportunity to spend the night in a residence hall the evening before More to Explore.
“I did attend the overnight experience and was paired with a student in Barrett, The Honors College,” Minutello says. She had applied to ASU because of the strong engineering programs and honors college. Her overnight visit at the Tempe campus was a highlight of the experience. “[My host] took me around campus, showed me the [many] Starbucks locations and told me the secrets about Barrett, engineering and how to be successful at college.”
My host "was a large influence on my decision to attend ASU,” she said.
But Minutello says the moment she knew she was meant to be a Sun Devil was while attending an ASU men’s basketball game sitting in the 942 Crew student section with her host. “The school spirit and the enthusiasm from the students in the stands was exactly what I wanted when choosing a school. That was the night I told myself ASU was my school.”
Horvath also attended the overnight experience at the Tempe campus and said visiting Hayden Library with upperclassmen from her major was a highlight of the evening. “We ended up exploring the nooks and crannies of the library and discovering all kinds of neat stuff. It was a great late-night adventure.”
More to Explore is ASU’s single largest recruitment event each year, hosting more than 2,000 students and their families over two days. The Downtown Phoenix campus will host events on Sunday, Feb. 19, while the other ASU campuses will have their More to Explore activities on Presidents’ Day, Feb. 20.
Matt López, the new executive director of ASU Admission Services, came to ASU after working at the University of Utah and University of Colorado, Boulder. López says he has never seen an event this comprehensive for prospective students. “The number of sessions and freedom of choice given to students when they register means no two students will have the same experience at More to Explore. That mirrors the level of individuality students experience as Sun Devils.”
“In my first semester at ASU, one of the best parts of my experience has been making memories with my friends in the residence hall,” reflects Horvath. “It was great to have a taste of that experience at More to Explore.”
Minutello says her experience at More to Explore was a key factor in her decision to attend ASU. She has advice for students: “Ask as many questions as you can; to professors, hosts, admission counselors and current students. This program is for you, to let you experience a day in the life as a Sun Devil.”
She added that More to Explore is as much for parents as it is for students. “My mom felt right at home when we came to visit. She was more excited to visit campus than I was.”
Horvath encourages visiting students to be open to meeting new people. “Don’t be afraid to make conversation with the people you meet, even if they seem like intimidating, experienced college students. It is a great way to get your feet wet in your new college life.”
Look for Minutello at More to Explore giving tours of the Fulton Schools of Engineering on the Tempe campus as a Fulton Ambassador, and she will be hosting a student during the Tempe overnight experience as well. “ASU is my home because of the experience I had at More to Explore and the people I met during my two days on campus.”
To learn more or register for More to Explore, click here.