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To tour or not to tour ... That is the question..

TadCooper98TadCooper98 Registered User Posts: 130 Junior Member
When should I go look at colleges? Before I apply or after I get accepted? My list has CSU Sac, Chico, SLO, LB, SJ. UCM , UCD and UCR.
I just don't see how I can get down to So Cal before Xmas break ...
Is it a waste of $ to apply to a school I haven't had a chance to walk around at.
( mech eng major)

Replies to: To tour or not to tour ... That is the question..

  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC Posts: 24,285 Forum Champion
    I would tour as many as feasibly possible. Start with any local schools first. These are easy to fit in as a day trip. Do you have any teacher in-service days at school where you have a day off other an the usual school holidays?

    You could always apply, try to schedule some tours during your Winter Break and then wait for any acceptances in Spring and schedule a tour at any schools you need to make a final decision on before May 1 SIR deadline.
  • yonceonhismouthyonceonhismouth Registered User Posts: 1,977 Senior Member
    I think it is important to visit schools as long as it financially feasible, since it's really the only way you can get the vibe of the school.
  • my2caligirlsmy2caligirls Registered User Posts: 936 Member
    If you can't get down to socal prior to Xmas break, I think you should apply and visit based on acceptances.
  • PhantomVirgoPhantomVirgo Registered User Posts: 1,088 Senior Member
    edited September 2016
    Visit ASAP if it's financially feasible to do so. I had a situation where we could've made the trip in fall with a really tight budget, but we decided to wait until acceptances came in to visit. The problem was that my dad got laid off between fall and spring, and was still looking for work when acceptances came in...so of the 5 schools I applied to, I never got to visit 3 of them.

    My point being, if it's financially feasible to do it now, do it now. You don't know what your financial situation will look like once spring rolls around. On the other hand, if it's not feasible then I would hold off and try to save up for a trip once acceptances come in.
  • Oregon2016Oregon2016 Registered User Posts: 707 Member
    In your case I agree with those saying to apply regardless of visiting, as all of these are non-binding Cal publics. There's no good reason to limit your choices because you haven't walked the campus. It would be different if you were applying to an odd assortment of OOS publics and faraway privates. Good luck!
  • bookguybookguy Registered User Posts: 182 Junior Member
    If it is at all possible, try to visit some schools. That in itself will give you a chance to see what you like -- what vibe, etc. And it might help you get a better sense of which schools are at the top of your list and even if you want to cut out some. If it's not feasible to go far for visits because of finances or your schedule, try to get to the schools near your home.

    btw, my son has found that walking around the campus and striking up a few conversations can be more enjoyable and revealing than the campus tour.
  • TheGreyKingTheGreyKing Forum Champion Williams College Posts: 1,863 Forum Champion
    It's nice to get a sense of the schools and be able to compare them, via touring. Also-Do your schools track demonstrated interest? If they do, a tour demonstrates it, if you sign in in the admissions office.
  • NCalRentNCalRent Registered User Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    I am a HUGE advocate of the campus tour. The one caution I'd throw out is, don't waste time, money and emotion on low probability campuses. Tour your reach only after you get in. It is expensive, time consuming and, you run the risk of falling in love with a school that rejects you. I don't know your stats so, I can't comment on the likelihood of your admission to the schools listed above. As I am sure you know, some are more selective than others. From your list, UCD and SLO are pretty selective, Sac much less so. I wouldn't bother making the trek to SLO unless you had competitive stats. Here's the freshman profile so you can gauge for yourself. http://admissions.calpoly.edu/prospective/profile.html
  • Silent EchoSilent Echo Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    That depends on your budget. If you're looking to go really cheap, I only visited after acceptance and packed my meals in advance, bussed in, rented a locker for the day at a nearby off-campus gym if needed, then bussed out and slept on the way home. If you use public transportation, look for commuter lines to other cities, they'll save you a lot and usually be more comfortable.

    I personally learned the most through aimless wandering and sitting in on classes during my visit. Formal tours are promotional and it can be much more fun (or at least insightful) to discover things yourself. Contact your department/major general email and they may be able to set you up with a class sit in and maybe some club visits, too.

    Best of luck!
This discussion has been closed.