Class of 2009, Political Science
The closer Jessica Harvey got to high school graduation, the more uncertain she was about where to attend college. "I actually applied to 14 different schools — not something I would ever recommend to anyone," recalls the National Merit Scholar.
Jessica credits her parents with discovering TU on the Princeton Review's Web site.
"Mom and Dad were impressed by the fact that TU had some of the happiest students in the nation," she says. "I thought Tulsa was just too far from home. Then, when we visited a college in Arkansas, my dad said we might as well drive over to Tulsa since it was close. It was actually four hours away, but I am so happy that we made the trip."
Jessica never expected to attend school outside the South, but immediately felt "at home" here. "TU had everything I wanted: Not too large with a rigorous academic curriculum. I also wanted to feel comfortable because college is your home for four years of your life."
For Jessica and many other students, involvement is a key to staving off homesickness.
"TU makes it easy to get to know people and to be active in student organizations," she says.
Orientation, living in a freshman dorm, and meeting her best friend confirmed Jessica's impressions of TU. "People here take care of you," she says.
Currently, she is the marketing director for TU's Student Association, training three freshmen as marketing associates. She also is helping to develop a mentoring program with East Central High School in Tulsa.
"Our goal is to encourage kids to apply to college. We want to help them cut through some of the bureaucracy and offer guidance in the application process," she says. Jessica credits her professors with enhancing the "at home" feeling of TU.
"My first semester, I went to dinner at three professors' homes - three! None of my friends at larger schools have the chance to get to know their professors on that level."
The advantage? Professors who know their students also know their career goals and understand what they need to study to realize their dreams.