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Getting “bonus points/recognition” for sitting in on college class during visit

silverpurplesilverpurple 144 replies37 threads Junior Member
My 11th grader will be visiting a handful of colleges in the next couple of months. Her stats are in the range, actually, alittle above, for the colleges. She signed up to tour and do info session on line. She will be sitting in on a class at each of the colleges. Some colleges she just arranged to sit in by contacting the professor. At those colleges there doesnt seem to be a notation (as far as we can see) that the admissions office will know that she attended the class. Of course she is attending class to help her decide if she likes the college. But we also want the college to note her interest in hopes she not only gets in, but gets merit money. Do they keep track if she sits in on a class? Or does she need to write a thank you to the professor and cc admissions? Or is referencing the class visit in the essay the way to go? Thanks
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Replies to: Getting “bonus points/recognition” for sitting in on college class during visit

  • skieuropeskieurope 39797 replies7248 threads Super Moderator
    edited January 10
    Of course she is attending class to help her decide if she likes the college.
    Shouldn't that be enough for her?

    No, there are no bonus points to be had. If the college has a "why X" prompt or some question about what attracted her to the college, she can mention the class. Yes, she should thank the professor. No, she does not need to cc admissions. Although she can certainly send separate notes thanking admissions and the tour guide for their time. But that's just courtesy, not brownie points.
    edited January 10
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  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins 816 replies78 threads Member
    edited January 10
    It’s worth 10 points, after class eat at their cafeteria for 10 more, spend $500 at their campus store for 50 points. It keeps adding up.

    Kidding aside, we all know this parental anxiety and not wanting to miss any chance to improve kid’s odds. Relax, she’ll be fine no matter what’s the outcome.
    edited January 10
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  • DolemiteDolemite 2118 replies34 threads Senior Member
    The schools where it would matter as far as showing interest (WashU, NWU, etc) the classroom visits should have been made through Admissions. If Admissions doesn't handle that at schools where you contacted the professors yourself then it doesn't matter.
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 1997 replies6 threads Senior Member
    I’m not aware of any colleges where interest prior to admission results in more merit money, as OP seems to hope?

    “But we also want the college to note her interest in hopes she not only gets in, but gets merit money”

    Do any factor this in?
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6931 replies60 threads Senior Member
    But we also want the college to note her interest in hopes she not only gets in, but gets merit money.

    I think you misunderstand how merit money works: it is basically an incentive mechanism, where they get something they are looking for (most commonly higher stats, but sometimes specific regional diversity* or a particular talent**) in exchange for something you are looking for (lower cost). Knowing that a student is interested enough in their school to sit in on a class is (in their world) a basic starting point, not something special, and not something that there is any reason to incentivize financially.

    The two main benefits of sitting in on a class is that 1) it *can* give a better sense as to how that school fits- but, as with tours and overnights, it can also give a false impression- b/c it's a random sample of 1, that might not be representative and 2) it *can* help with the writing of the 'why us' essay- even if the specific experience is not mentioned.

    *Vandy did this when it was trying to build its profile beyond the SE.
    **The famous tuba player example
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6931 replies60 threads Senior Member
    fyi, you can check whether a school counts demonstrated interest on college data.
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  • milgymfammilgymfam 981 replies16 threads Member
    As an aside to all said above, a thank you note to the professor or interviewer, etc, is nice. My D emailed a few times with a professor prior to visiting his class and fully participated while there, and she emailed him a thank you after. He, surprisingly, then dropped a note to admissions saying she would be an asset to the school and the major. I’m not sure that carried any weight, and I’m certain it isn’t the norm, but that is the college my D will be attending next year so it didn’t hurt.
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  • bopperbopper 14139 replies100 threadsForum Champion CWRU Forum Champion
    The visit itself (when you check in, so they know) shows "interest". Some colleges take that into account for admissions.

    Taking a class gets you information on whether you like the college/students/teaching at that college.
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  • lostaccountlostaccount 5331 replies90 threads Senior Member
    edited January 10
    I once had a student ask for extra credit when I needed someone to run to the next building to pick up some extra blue books. Please don't come to any school I'm associated with. Oh, by the way, any learning happen? Cause you know, lucky you to have the chance to learn something without paying for it...but that isn't what it is all about is it?
    edited January 10
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  • lostaccountlostaccount 5331 replies90 threads Senior Member
    edited January 10
    "New Discussion
    Getting “bonus points/recognition” for sitting in on college class during visit"




    Please...go to the school down the street or in the next state. Pretty please! With a cherry on top? and sprinkles!
    edited January 10
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  • allyphoeallyphoe 2475 replies60 threads Senior Member
    edited January 10
    Anecdata: My kid lost something during a campus visit, called me in a panic, and I went to the admissions office to see if they knew what the lost-and-found process was. I explained that I was doing the looking because my kid had self-scheduled four back-to-back classes and we had to be in the car to the airport 30 minutes after the last class ended. They told me what three places to look, and then asked for her name. And I was like, "oh, she's just a junior, and she was on a tour yesterday," figuring that, particularly for someone who wasn't an applicant, she'd already checked whatever demonstrated interest box existed for a campus visit, and their Common Data Set says they theoretically don't consider applicant interest. But no, they really wanted to know who she was.

    So I don't think it's completely ridiculous to let the admissions office know that you're also sitting in on a class. But I wouldn't expect anything to come of it; certainly no merit. My kid recovered her lost item in the first place suggested, which was reward enough.
    edited January 10
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  • citymama9citymama9 2499 replies142 threads Senior Member
    edited January 10
    It didn't help my D with her ED school. She sat in on a class where the prof. asked her to participate. My D said most of the students seemed tired and didn't really talk much. My D said she ended up answering more than she planned to since no one else was raising their hand when the Prof asked questions. She said afterwards the Prof told her it was a pleasure having her in her class and she hoped to see her in the fall. I don't think anyone in admissions knew about this. It was an interesting experience for my D, but it didn't help.
    edited January 10
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  • citymama9citymama9 2499 replies142 threads Senior Member
    It was arranged through admissions, btw.
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  • AmkngkAmkngk 190 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I’ll be the outlier, though I’m sure it’s a rare case. My daughter arranged a class visit through the head of the department. When she got to the class, the prof handed her an evaluation form and asked her to fill out her name, etc. on the form were spots for the interviewer to score and also a box to check for “scholarship.” Yes, my D was having a surprise interview after class. Anyway, she applied ED, was accepted with very nice merit $.
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  • Leigh22Leigh22 706 replies9 threads Member
    #9 #10 Yikes.
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  • Leigh22Leigh22 706 replies9 threads Member
    homerdog- great point. These essays are much more heartfelt when an on campus experience really resonates with you. For my S19 it was an interview with a current student. He came out of that interview so pumped up about the college and the students and it made his essay writing effortless. Admittedly, he set up the interview to “show interest “ but it ended up being much more.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7825 replies66 threads Senior Member
    Totally agree with @homerdog. My daughter got so much out of classroom visits. Conversely, the ones that didn't go well usually got scratched off the list entirely.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5573 replies79 threads Senior Member
    edited January 12
    Although I agree it can be helpful in the mosaic your student is building. But one or two classes shouldn’t be make it or break it.

    Wrong professor. Wrong day. It’s impossible to really know a culture from a single class or two.
    edited January 12
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34826 replies394 threads Senior Member
    D1 refused to attend any class. Not her style. (Confidence, not laziness or disinterest.) But she did meet with a friend of a friend who taught in the dept my kiddo wanted. She could reference that in her Why Us. (And she did later study with that person.)

    You really don't "need" to sit in or even contact a prof. You DO need to know what the college wants. You do need to show, in the Why Us, that you are interested enough to have the details straight on this college, why you match them. That's the critical part of "interest." That you "get it." Not that you flew or drove into town, sat in on a class. Any number of kids can go through those motions and still not "get" the college.

    Where it can help merit is if she does match what the college looks for (including institutional needs) and they really really want HER. That starts with her own homework on the college, her own self match.
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