My daughter Carmen is starting high school this fall and is already considering the University of Wyoming in her college plans. When her friend Lily, a sophomore from Arizona, came for a visit and was also interested in UW, I signed us all up for July’s Picnic in the Pasture. The free event is one of many held throughout the year to give prospective students more information.
Ways to visit UW also include Campus Pass in September, Discovery Day in November and individual campus visits year-round.
Picnic in the Pasture takes place during Cheyenne Frontier Days, and this year’s event welcomed families from 14 states, including as far away as Michigan and Florida. We were a few minutes late arriving (you know how teenage girls in the morning can be!), so some of the optional afternoon tours had already filled. If you attend next year, aim to arrive on time. After claiming our free T-shirts, we roamed the resource fair and learned about different colleges and clubs. We also gave ourselves a self-guided tour of the Wyoming Union, checked out the food and beverage options and visited the University Store.
UW President Laurie Nichols then gave a welcome address, followed by student ambassadors—each very enthusiastic—sharing what they love most about the university. The most informative part of the day came next: Lily was able to learn about the deals she could receive as an out-of-state student. She was especially excited to hear about the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) award. The award allows students from western states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah and Washington)—who meet GPA and test score criteria—to pay a reduced out-of-state tuition. The savings can equal 150 percent of resident tuition, which is approximately $8,900 less than the standard non-resident tuition. No wonder UW is considered one of the best values!
After that, we grabbed boxed lunches and headed out for music and games on Prexy’s Pasture. The girls requested songs from the DJ while we enjoyed the warm summer weather. Student ambassadors then offered brief tours of the campus around Prexy’s and one of the residence halls. The ambassadors were great. Ask them about the things they’re involved in from clubs to sororities/fraternities and study abroad to get an insider perspective.
Carmen and Lily both want to study abroad during college, so they were excited to hear that UW is home to the largest study-abroad scholarship endowment of any U.S. four-year public land-grant university.
I recommend leaving time before or after your campus visit to see things of particular interest to you or your prospective student. Both girls are interested in theater, and Lily also loves to draw, so after the event ended, I drove them to the beautiful Visual Arts Building and newly expanded Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts.
It was awesome to hear the girls talking about college with enthusiasm. I know it will help Carmen imagine her life after high school and the many exciting opportunities to come.
To learn more about visiting campus, click here. Individualized campus visits can include a meeting with a department representative from the program you’re interested in and even meetings with sports or club representatives.
Laramie resident Micaela Myers is a writer, editor and mom to Carmen, age 14, and Gabriel, age 10. Together with the kids, her husband Joe and their three rescue dogs, they enjoy frequent summer camping trips around the region.