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Colleges your child crossed off the list after visiting, schools that moved up on the list. Why?

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Replies to: Colleges your child crossed off the list after visiting, schools that moved up on the list. Why?

  • citivascitivas Registered User Posts: 472 Member
    Picking the weather to see any school in is a luxury most don't have. Same for seeing them in-session which is also the right way to do it but not always possible. In our experience, our high school kids pretty much never felt comfortable taking any time off from school to do these tours -- way too hard to keep up with their classes, homework, EC events, etc. And rare was the day they had off that lined up with being able to do the travel involved with one or more tours. So the vast majority of the touring ended up on spring break or during the summer, often with the schools not in session. Not our first choice, just what's available. Accepted Students days in spring of senior year was the only time exceptions to missing school were made (at the choice of the student) and even then only once that wasn't a weekend. Our son skipped an accepted student day for one of his top prospect schools because he didn't want to miss an band competition and school play he was involved with, both back-to-back days.
  • PetulaClarkPetulaClark Registered User Posts: 621 Member
    edited October 12
    I agree about visiting schools when the weather is worse. We went to Portland OR in Feb, didn't deter my D17, who is enrolled now at Reed. D19 saw Smith and MoHo in April, not the worst, but we wondered where the leaves were? They were on our trees in NC the day before.

    Best times are January and February. We may go to San Diego next year with D19, in Feb or April....not sure that matters there. But St Olaf and Lawrence? On our maybe list, and we don't want to see them in July. Of course, if we go to a campus loaded with snow, that will just thrill my North Carolina born-and-raised D's heart.
  • PetulaClarkPetulaClark Registered User Posts: 621 Member
    @citivas We are lucky that D's HS has a week break in February and one in April, when colleges are in full swing. So we've been able to visit then. No fall break, though juniors and seniors have a Friday thru Monday weekend, best suited for local in-state visits. But a few weeks ago D19 and I did leave Thursday after school and drove over 6 hours to central PA, and saw Dickinson and Franklin & Marshall the next day. Both moved up on her list, especially Dickinson.
  • citivascitivas Registered User Posts: 472 Member
    I've heard about schools that get these various breaks in the winter, etc Sounds great.. Our kids school is straight forward. Other than the official national holidays and the week between Christmas and New Year's there is one week either before or after Easter weekend and that's it. And they don't get out until late June. But we don't start until after Labor Day and usually have unplanned snow days. Makes the AP's fun since the school gets a late start for the classes and still have to take the tests in early May like everyone else.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 14,084 Senior Member
    Late August can be a good time to visit. We did some of those for colleges which were in session as my kids didn't start the high school year until after Labor Day.

    Long weekends can work as well.
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 1,277 Senior Member
    We're using the one day the kids have off in October for teacher conferences to visit some schools. I'll stay and go to conferences while my husband flies to MN with S19. We just don't have many days off where college kids are in school. Spring break works and we will use that as well. Our (short) winter breaks are just for Presidents Day and for Martin Luther King day which I believe give us two long weekends. One in Jan and one in Feb. So I guess those are options if colleges have tours/classes on those holidays.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 14,084 Senior Member
    A lot of colleges do have classes on those days - Presidents Day and MLK, @homerdog, although some don't start back for classes from winter break until right after MLK day. I'm sure you could find some that do, though.
  • VeryapparentVeryapparent Registered User Posts: 217 Junior Member
    I noticed last MLK day there were many colleges offering Monday (the holiday) as a campus visit event.
  • BooajoBooajo Registered User Posts: 784 Member
    Like @citivas kids here just go to school labor day until June with 1 week in late December, and 1 in late March. School meets on MLK day, president's day, Columbus day, whatever. And my kids really REALLY did not want to miss school or ECs on weekends to tour colleges. So we have stretched the tours over a lot of vacations and summer. And it is true, summer visits are not as good. So now I have a kid with several colleges he's never seen on his list, and I have no clue how he can do everything he thinks he's going to do with accepted student days.
  • swtaffy904swtaffy904 Registered User Posts: 58 Junior Member
    We won't see every school D is applying to. She has visited 11 so far; of those not applying to 4. Some of the ones she won't see are safeties but there are two she is really interested in that we just won't make it to. One is a super reach the other a high match. If she gets in she will go to accepted student day for sure
  • jollymamajollymama Registered User Posts: 105 Junior Member
    @PetulaClark , we toured Case Western in late March on a day when bone-chilling rain turned to snow showers. My Carolina boy was so excited, he took pictures of snow falling to send back to his friends! Now that he's been there two years, he's a little less enamored of snow ... still happy at Case, though we could hardly have picked a nastier day to visit. (Admissions was well prepared with handouts of school-logo ponchos for all ... and plenty of coffee and hot chocolate in the student center.)
  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 6,782 Senior Member
    Funny, we paid virtually no attention to the weather at all. My D was always primarily interested in the vibe. Most other stuff can be found on a college website. We had some insanely cold visits during a Feb break, so if my D had judged by weather, she would have never applied anywhere.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 2,927 Senior Member
    We saw plenty of schools in bad weather, but the one I mentioned above, well.... maybe it was the long walks between buildings on muddy, icy dirt paths (perhaps a short cut to minimize outdoor time?) where the few people we saw had their heads down to avoid the wind and sleet. Maybe it was that when we got into a building, if there was something odd going on, there was no escaping it. Maybe having to do the normally outdoor parts of the tour at a whisper indoors in a hallway so as not to disturb classes, or maybe it was the glaring from students when we did disturb them, (so we moved to a stairwell) that felt oppressive. The weather itself was not the problem but the mess it made of the tour logistics was real. The plan just didn't work on that day! And clearly, it worked on visit 2.

    We made a real effort to visit northern schools in winter as that's the norm there for the school year and trust me, we saw and liked plenty on less than lovely days. My point above was not that you couldn't like a school in cruddy weather but that 2 visits could feel really different.
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