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Nighthawk Preview days offer high school students a peek at UNG

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Nighthawk Preview days are open-house-style events intended to help high school students understand what it's like to be a student at UNG.

Mike Francis can remember attending a Nighthawk Preview event as a high school junior in spring 2016. He was struck by the one-stop nature of the half-day experience that helps potential future students learn more about the University of North Georgia (UNG). It was more than a campus tour, with numerous opportunities to learn about the school.

"It gives you an in-depth look at the campus without taking up too much of your time," Francis said.

More than three years later Francis, a junior pursuing a degree in criminal justice as part of UNG's Public Safety Academy, is part of the UNG Admissions Office team of student tour guides who will help navigate high school students through UNG's campuses at the events this fall.

Nighthawk Preview events are scheduled for Sept. 28 on UNG's Oconee Campus, Oct. 12 on the Dahlonega Campus, Oct. 19 on the Cumming Campus and Oct. 26 on the Gainesville Campus. High school students can register for a Nighthawk Preview event for free on the UNG admissions website.

Fall Nighthawk Preview days

Oconee: 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 28, 8:30 a.m. check-in

Dahlonega: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 12; 7:30 a.m. check-in

Cumming: 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 19; 9:30 a.m. check-in

Gainesville: 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 26; 8:30 a.m. check-in

Students can tailor their day at the open-house-style event to their particular interests with information sessions. Sessions will vary by campus. They include: Admissions, Corps of Cadets, current student Q&A, Financial Aid, Honors Program, housing and meal plans, language programs, Orientation and Transition Programs, Student Involvement panel, study abroad, and transferring into UNG. A session in Spanish is included on the Gainesville Campus.

Hannah Reed, assistant director of Admissions for recruitment and marketing, said the Admissions Office aims to make Nighthawk Preview a low-pressure environment.

"We want it to be a fun day. The college search process can be intimidating," she said. "We want to get them excited about searching for a college."

Reed said the opportunity to talk to current UNG students is one of the most valuable parts of a Nighthawk Preview. Reed said it's important for high school students to ask their UNG student tour guides about favorite study spots, college search advice and why they picked UNG.

"We want them to get an idea of what it's like to be a UNG student," Reed said. "It gives them a really good idea of what to expect."

Francis, for one, fell in love with the inclusive community at UNG and is eager to share that passion with students in search of where to spend their college years.

"The community at North Georgia is second to none," Francis said. "I like showing them what makes UNG stand out."

His advice to students in search of a college is simple.

"You want somewhere that's going to feel like home," Francis said.

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