MEMPHIS and JACKSON, Tenn. — From Ripley (pop. 7,785 in 2021) in Lauderdale County in West Tennessee, Ripley High School senior Joey Jones dreams “of being very successful, having a big family and travel with my family to see the world.”
At the Jackson stop on the Middle Tennessee State University True Blue Tour to recruit prospective students for 2024 and beyond, Jones, a 4.0 GPA student and 2023-24 valedictorian who scored a 33 on his ACT “is definitely set on coming to MTSU” in fall 2024. “What sold me is that it’s close to home, the affordability and the Aerospace program,” he said.
Highly regarded Aerospace and its professional pilot program with more than 900 future pilots enrolled is one of the signature programs featured on the tour, which just completed very successful stops in Jackson and Memphis on the 14-city swing across four states to acquire future Blue Raiders.
MTSU administrators and staff engage with prospective high school and transfer students, answering their questions and providing information about financial aid, housing, scholarships and much more, including MTSU’s 300-plus quality academic programs available to them.
Noontime luncheons are held for counselors and community college staff, where a new MTSU scholarship initiative has been unveiled this fall. In Memphis, 36 high schools and Southwest Community college received $2,500 scholarships to award their students. In Jackson, 28 schools and Jackson State Community College were awarded $2,500 scholarships.
In a school with 641 students including 165 seniors, Jones is a catcher on the Ripley Tigers’ baseball team. He said he will have a full-tuition U.S. Air Force scholarship, MTSU Trustees Scholarship and Tennessee Hope Lottery Scholarship and plans to apply for the MTSU Honors College Buchanan Fellowship, another full-tuition award.
In addition to pro pilot, Jones also said he would pursue mechanical engineering (to earn money after graduation), participate in the Air Force ROTC program (with Tennessee State University, a partner with MTSU’s Army ROTCprogram), study abroad and may try out for the Blue Raiders baseball team.
“MTSU is not a party school,” said Jones, who plans to live off-campus. “It will give me the ability to study and live by myself.” He visited MTSU Oct. 13, taking a daily campus tour.
Alumni TV reporter
MTSU College of Media and Entertainment broadcasting alumnus Imani Williams (Class of 2018) works as a reporter for WMC-TV Action News 5 in Memphis and attended the MTSU Jackson tour event.
“I love MTSU,” said Williams, who was asked by MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee to speak to the audience. “MTSU has the best journalism program in the state. I knew if I wanted to get a job in TV, I had to go to MTSU. It was all about making connections, calling and getting contacts for this or that story. MTSU is truly a family inside a city.”
Jenena Sweezer, school counselor for Medical District High School that’s housed in partner Southwest Community College, was a ball of enthusiasm at both the Memphis counselors’ luncheon and in bringing daughter Hannah Sweezer, 16, a junior at her mother’s school, to the student reception at Esplande Memphis in Cordova, Tennessee.
McPhee told Jenena Sweezer for her daughter “to explore her options.” Sweezer said she plans to bring 43 juniors to the MTSU campus in Murfreesboro.
Dec. 1 deadline
Admissions representatives highly recommend students apply by the Dec. 1 application deadline in order for qualifying students to receive guaranteed scholarships. Transfer students have a Feb. 15, 2024, deadline to apply for guaranteed scholarships.
For more information, call 615-898-2233 or email email@example.com.
After visiting Birmingham, Alabama, and meeting with prospective students at the DoubleTree by Hilton Perimeter Park Wednesday, Nov. 15, the MTSU team will visit Huntsville Nov. 16 at The Westin Huntsville, 6800 Governors West, wrapping up the fall 2023 True Blue Tour.
To preregister, visit www.mtsu.edu/rsvp. Walk-ups are welcome at the student receptions.
The visits include a 6 p.m. reception for high school students and their families and potential transfers from other colleges and universities. There also are noontime luncheons for counselors and community college staff, who will learn about a new MTSU scholarship initiative.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)