India reality TV show to film on campus this week

UNL will be featured in a reality TV show projected to reach 25 million youth in India.

The show, "College Hunt, USA," will feature two Indian teens experiencing student life at three U.S. universities — UNL; Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio; and State University of New York at Geneseo. One of the students will have the opportunity to attend college at a university of his or her choice.

"College Hunt, USA" is a joint production between the U.S. Department of State and Channel V, an international TV network owned by Star TV and Fox International Channels.

Amber Hunter, director of UNL's Office of Admissions, said the program is an extension of the Indian government's desire to send more undergraduates to the United States.

"For UNL, this is a chance to have our name put in front of 25 million Indian youth," she said. "Our participation in 'College Hunt, USA' is a tremendous student recruitment opportunity."

"College Hunt, USA" is scheduled to shoot on campus April 18-22. Hunter said the two students would participate in a variety of student-life activities while at UNL. The duo will attend classes, live and eat in residence halls, participate in campus events and maybe work alongside UNL researchers.

The opportunity comes at a key time as UNL has started to pursue Chancellor Harvey Perlman's goal to increase enrollment by 20 percent, to 30,000 students, by 2017. To meet that goal, Admissions has increased student recruitment efforts, such as sending UNL representatives to college fairs abroad, including one in India.

"India is a target market for us and, for the first time ever, we sent a representative to college fairs there in August and January," Hunter said. "We plan to continue to invest in student recruitment efforts in India. Participation in this reality television show, like our participation in 'Tommy Lee Goes to College' in 2005,will really help us put our name and brand out there."

Hunter said UNL administrators played key roles in helping the university earn a selection in the show's competitive bid process. She said the positive influence of UNL's experience with Tommy Lee helped gain initial approval from Perlman. During a January trip to explore potential research projects in India, a UNL delegation led by Perlman and Prem Paul, vice chancellor for Research and Economic Development, met with U.S. Consulate officials in Mumbai. During the visit, Perlman and Paul delivered a DVD copy of "Tommy Lee Goes to College" and discussed UNL's interest in the reality show.

"The U.S. consulate shared that Harvey and Prem's visit made a real difference in finalizing their decision to choose UNL," Hunter said. "The commitment to this project from our administration has been significant."

Hunter said UNL's top goal is to make sure the entire Channel V production team — from the student contestants to camera operators — have a great experience while in Lincoln.

"We are really excited to host this production," said Hunter. "We are going to roll out the red carpet for them. We want every one of them to go home and tell their friends and family how wonderful UNL is."

For more information on "College Hunt, USA," go to

— Troy Fedderson, University Communications