HighRiser Program makes prospective students Terps for the night

By Mollie Higgins

With high school seniors having to commit to a college soon, the University of Maryland’s HighRisers Program gives prospective Terps some insight on what it’s like to be a Terp for a night.

HighRisers is an overnight stay program offered through the Department of Resident Life, giving high schoolers the chance to stay with a UMD student and see what it’s like to live on campus.

Prospective students might already be committed to UMD, or they may still be undecided. Regardless, HighRisers provides them an opportunity to consider their next four years.

Students stay with their hosts in the dorms. Freshman Hailla Vinson, whose major is undecided, participated in the program when she was a senior in high school.

“I wanted to see what living in a dorm was really like,” said Vinson, who mentioned she had time to talk to other students on the floor.

In addition to getting the dorm life experience for a night, the students are encouraged to show the HighRisers places around campus. Terpzone offers nighttime bowling, billiards and video games for everyone participating in the overnight stay program, so they can have fun and interact with other students.

Although HighRisers has been successful in the past with helping prospective students see what it would like to be a Terp, this will be the last semester for the program.

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Photo Courtesy of the Department of Resident Life

“We are the last Big Ten school to still be running a program like this,” said Emily Leonard, the Assistant Coordinator of the Student and Community development Programs Office.

Overall, HighRisers doesn’t just give prospective students the chance to stay overnight. It allows them to see the passion that the students have for their school and the Maryland Pride students who come here have. In the end, they hope that this valuable experience will make them want to come back in the fall and also be a Terp, too.

“I would feel good if I had someone who was on the fence about this school and after their visit they were like, ‘I really want to go here,’” Vinson said.

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Photo by Mollie Higgins.

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