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Admitted-Student Day vs. Ordinary-Day Visits?


Replies to: Admitted-Student Day vs. Ordinary-Day Visits?

  • Ran the DadRan the Dad Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    We recently saw 3 schools in 3 different states in 3 days. Two were Admitted Student Days (supplemented by one-on-one mtgs I set up for my D to meet with advisors and students). One was not an Admitted Student Day, but a day that I pieced together myself consisting of mtgs with a dept advisor, professor, student, a live class sit-in, campus tour, 2 dorm tours, rec center tour. Despite how extensive the day that I created sounds, the college-planned days proved to be more draining. Why? Lines, waiting, the broad-based approach to their "pitch". At one Big Ten, we spent the first 90 mins at 9am sitting in a huge auditorium, waiting for it to fill, sitting through a band, an acapella group, 2-3 administrators (and one very impressive student who should have been the only speaker over 60 seconds). Far less personalized experience means you can gauge overall "vibe" and "intention", but it's harder to gauge personal "fit". I say supplement the Admitted Student Days with your own pre-planned individual engagement touches for a richer and more informative experience.
  • KaffeineKittyKaffeineKitty Registered User Posts: 131 Junior Member
    My daughter and I attended the admitted student days for her final first and second choices. After the visits, she switched her 1st and 2nd choice - based on conversations she had with current students in her chosen major. So glad we attended. She gained valuable information to help her clarify which school was the better fit.
  • PiccoloMom1995PiccoloMom1995 Registered User Posts: 232 Junior Member
    We saw my D's second and third choices on admitted student days and it totally changed her impression of the schools when she met other potential classmates. She didn't hear from her first choice until end of March and we couldn't fly to see it until 4/29. Like our D, we met many admitted students who had flown in to make similar comparisons that last weekend before submitting a deposit. I do think seeing her first choice on an ordinary day gave her a better sense of what the school and student body was like when they weren't putting on a dog and pony show.
  • magtf1magtf1 Registered User Posts: 268 Junior Member
    edited April 25
    The admitted student program (it was 2-3 days long) was much better than an impromptu visit. The reasons why --

    For my daughter:
    - Met potential/confirmed classmates that she'd been chatting with in the Facebook group
    - Attended multiple sports team practices and lunches with teammates
    - Special social events were arranged in the evenings that included prospective and current students
    - The academic department open house and org fair made it easy to quickly get info about both
    - Multiple meals in various residence halls

    For parents:
    - The college President welcomed accepted students and opened the program
    - Met many administrators, faculty, alumnae and parents at the various social mixers
    - It was very easy to get questions answered, since everything was organized and easily accessible. If we'd instead had an impromptu visit, there would have been a *lot* of legwork on our part to arrange these same conversations.

    If you suspect the Admitted Student's Day at your prospective college would be less authentic than a normal day, then that's not the right school for you.
  • londondadlondondad Registered User Posts: 2,065 Senior Member
    @magtf1 Sounds like a great program. What school was it? Also, did you find 3 days too long? We skipped out on the second day at Georgetown as we feel that we did all that we needed to do on the first day.
  • magtf1magtf1 Registered User Posts: 268 Junior Member
    @londondad This was at Wellesley. Day 1 was an optional program focused on diversity, the formal Accepted Students program was 1.5 days with optional 0.5.

    Yes, the full three days was a bit too much, but we only did it at one school so it was fine.
  • bookwormbookworm Registered User Posts: 7,689 Senior Member
    edited April 25
    Strange but true. Because of flying eat coast to west, with a stop in between, we could only make the accepted students day at the Midwest school. My son gave me a list of classes to attend, and he would do others. I went to meet up with him the next morning, and he was sitting in cafeteria with 3 other young men. They had attended the CA college weekend before, for admitted students day. I never asked, but I think they were more enthused about the CA school, and swayed my son's opinion.

    Then, we get to the CA college, our 3rd school, and they were more than terrific.

    I wish we had visited these schools prior to being admitted, spent more time, etc. choosing where to study and live for 4 years is still major, yet seems to be done in less than a day. It is like thinking you are in love after one date.
  • PheebersPheebers Registered User Posts: 574 Member
    If at all possible, do both, or attend the program and try to have your student do an overnight or something unrelated to the festivities.

    We flew to an accepted students weekend for honors students and WOW did they put on a show. Beautifully catered sit-down dinner (not your standard rubbery chicken and pasta, lol), dessert at the President's house, fruit, cheese, and pastry plates everywhere, shuttles to take us wherever we wanted to go, lots of swag, etc. Highly customized folders/bags with schedules upon check-in. BUT -- my daughter did an overnight too, and the experience was not good. Once she left the special programming, the students were unenthusiastic and not friendly. The dorms and classrooms were dreary and basically, people weren't welcoming.

    The school went from high on my daughter's list to "nope" despite a terrific merit package.
  • anomanderanomander Registered User Posts: 1,183 Senior Member
    We did three trips to Cal (UCB), one trip we just wandered around the campus on our and checked out the local area. The next trip was an official guided tour, and the last trip was for the admitted student event/fair (Cal Day). They were all valuable in different ways. The biggest benefit of the admitted student day was getting to chat with graduating seniors in her intended major, and getting tours of major points of interest including the gym, various sororities, and various dorms. It provided a much more detailed look than the regular tour.
  • engineroenginero Registered User Posts: 76 Junior Member
    I just recently graduated high school, and will be attending university in the fall. The school that I chose, which I could not be more happy about, I was able to visit both for a normal tour and an admitted students day. While I totally understand what you are saying about the "show" some colleges put on to convince admitted students to come, I think there is a lot of value to these days. Not only do these days often allow you to connect with current students, which in my opinion is one of the most helpful things in the college decision process, but it is also a very different experience seeing a university as an admitted student rather than an applicant. The first tour I attended, while I tried to take in all the information, it was nearly impossible not to get wrapped up in the thoughts of "will I get in here", "how do my stats match up", etc. At the admitted students day, the school gets to try to convince you of its value, just as you (the student) did to them through your application.
  • deluxdelux Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    I attended two admitted student days at two different UC schools that I already did love and I have to say I definitely fell in love with them even more afterwards. I knew going into it and while I was there that I was getting a biased view of the schools, but it was also a chance to talk to a lot more students than just going on a normal day. Since everyone was out and about with the mission of engaging you, it was a lot more open and friendly than kids just trying to get to class. A lot of clubs and organizations were out too, which was my favorite part, because seeing what kinds of activities there was an abundance of really made me see the spirit of the schools and how I could fit there or not.

    I guess all in all it isn't just a normal day at the school, but at the same time, if the way in which the school and its students going all out is not how you would see yourself doing the same... it's probably not the right place for you.
  • rickle1rickle1 Registered User Posts: 78 Junior Member
    Our experience was they serve quite different purposes. The regular tour / info session was more about seeing the school (literally), getting a sense of the vibe, etc. We visited many and after a few, our S would almost immediately size up his interest level (or lack thereof). It was a good tool to decide where to apply without getting too committed.

    Upon acceptances, he narrowed it down to two schools and we attended both admitted student days. Both were highly selective small schools with good undergrad focus, known for academic quality, etc. Both had full days with lots to see (more in depth than the info sessions: opportunity to sit in on a class, eat lunch with students, student activity fair, sessions with career services and study abroad office, and of course the swag to take home) Based on all the interaction, he "liked" the first one, but it was clear it was a much more low key student body. Not big school spirit, athletics, etc. He told us he "could" be happy there- not exactly the endorsement a parent was looking for! The we went to the next one about a week later. WOW, what a difference to him. He immediately (seriously, before the event actually started - just over coffee and a donut) sized up the crowd and atmosphere and told us "this was it, it's exactlyw hat I want!" We asked if he was sure and he confirmed so the day was great. He could actually spend it enjoying his surroundings and not comparing and worrying about it. He didn't want to leave.

    Happy to report he is just as excited halfway through his first semester.
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