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Spring Invitational a success for incoming students and parents

While the graduates of 2013 won’t begin classes until August, their involvement with the University has already begun. On April 1, incoming students invited to the Spring Invitational visited the campus to get a feel for life as a Tiger. 

Spring Invitational is held each year as an orientation program for the best and brightest of the incoming class. In order to be invited, applicants must be accepted to the University with a high school gpa of 3.2 and a composite SAT score of 1260 or a composite ACT score of 28.  

The Invitational lasted nearly three days, all of which were packed with events designed to familiarize incoming students and their families with campus.  

“It’s an event we look forward to every year,” said Bonnie Alford, director of the Office of Orientation. “It gives us an opportunity to showcase what LSU has to offer in academics, leadership, and involvement.”  

Incoming student Kelsey Cage of Baton Rouge said meeting with LSU Ambassadors, Greeks, and other organizations already influenced her to get involved next year.  

“I would like to get involved in Greek life, a mentoring program, STRIPES, and maybe even become a student Ambassador,” Cage said. “I chose LSU because I felt like I belonged.”  

All students were required to check-in and attend events such as Preview LSU, where students got to hear from Chancellor Michael Martin, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Astrid Merget, Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of University College Carolyn Collins, and head football coach Les Miles.  

Students attended a meeting about senior colleges and met with their orientation leader, along with advisors for scheduling classes. Students involved in the Invitational received priority scheduling.  

Spring Invitational also offered students the opportunity to earn college credit by testing out of course work. Testing was offered in calculus, trigonometry, physics, chemistry, French, German, Latin, and Spanish. Students could earn up to 40 credit hours during testing. Although this event was once called “Spring Testing,” the same tests are offered during all orientation programs.  

Students received their test results on the last day of Spring Invitational. One student, a Louisiana resident, earned 40 hours of credit. Eleven other students earned more than 30 hours of credit, technically making them sophomores before attending their first class.  

“All of the students did well during testing,” Alford said. “Even earning three hours of credit is helpful for them.”  

As with any orientation, students were given the opportunity to register for a meal plan, receive their Tiger Card, and tour residence halls. Specialty programs were offered for specific students such as Welcome to Louisiana, a introductory session for out-of-state students; Commuter Student Success, for students living off-campus; and a Texas Tigers reception for students to meet Texan alumni.  

“By the time they leave here, they have a pretty good idea about what they are embarking on for the fall semester,” Alford said. “The activities help them understand the LSU history, culture, and traditions.”  

This year, 1,282 students attended Spring Invitational, improving on last year’s number of 1,217. Of this year’s group, 1,010 students were Louisiana residents and 272 were out-of-state students, 118 from Texas alone. These students had an average SAT score of 1272 and an average ACT score of 29.1.  

Students are not the only ones getting involved during Spring Invitational. Parents and families of incoming students are encouraged to attend events so they can be included in their son or daughter’s transition to college life.  

“We host a family orientation that lets the parents see first-hand the same kind of information the students are getting,” Alford said. “It really helps the parents make a successful transition.”  

Parents could pre-register to attend the events. This year, 846 parents pre-registered while about 70 more registered upon arrival. Last year, 641 parents were registered. Throughout the various activities, parents were informed about financial aid and scholarships, safety and security, and family relationships and college life.  

“When parents are involved, it helps to reiterate what we have done with the students,” Alford said. “It’s a lot of information to take in at once, so we try to give them what they need, when they need it.”  

High schools with students participating in Spring Invitational have the opportunity to earn an LSU Golden Achievement Award. The award honors the top 20 high schools in Louisiana whose students earned the most credit during the Spring Invitational exams.  

All incoming students were invited to Bengal Bound, the official welcome week for students, which starts on Thursday, August 20—the official move-in day. The first day of fall semester classes is Monday, August 24.


Holly Ann Phillips | Editor | Office of Communications & University Relations
April 2009