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Two college visits in One Day?

nextstepcollegenextstepcollege 116 replies16 threads Junior Member
I am planning to take DS to visit colleges over Veteran’s Day. We would ideally like to visit 4 schools in 2 days. I have narrowed it down to 6 schools to choose from. We would visit 4 this time and 2 more on another trip. The schools we have narrowed it down are: Haverford, Ursinus, Skidmore, Williams, Tufts, Bates. We live in upstate NY. I have debated flying into Boston to visit Tufts and Bates and then flying to Philadelphia from Logan to visit the two in PA. The other option is to drive to Albany, takethe train to Penn Station and then Philadelphia to visit Ursinus & Haverford, and then back to Albany for visits to Williams and Skidmore. It will be just me and DS, and my husband thinks I’m crazy to try to fit so much in on one trip. Is he right? Should I just plan to visit 2 in one location at a time? I’d love to have time to visit UPenn, but I’m honestly trying to be realistic about the schools he may end up at and where a visit will matter the most. I’m just worried that we are running out of time to visit schools. Shouldn’t we plan to visit the schools he is applying to before Admissions start to review applications?
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Replies to: Two college visits in One Day?

  • doschicosdoschicos 21437 replies224 threads Senior Member
    Haverford and Ursinus are totally doable in 1 day. The distance between the other 3 will make it much harder.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5874 replies10 threads Senior Member
    Two in a day is possible if they are relatively close. So Ursinus and Haverford will work on as day.

    None of your others are a great idea. Tufts could be paired with any of the other Boston schools. Williams could work with many of the other Western MA schools. Bates could pair with Bowdoin or Colby. But those aren't on your list...
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1149 replies16 threads Senior Member
    Shouldn’t we plan to visit the schools he is applying to before Admissions start to review applications?

    Why do you believe this is important?
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  • helpingmom40helpingmom40 90 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I can speak to the western MA/Albany part. The train between Albany and NYC is ALWAYS late, especially traveling north out of NYC. I am also not sure if you are looking at doing formal tours and/or info sessions or just walking around yourself but trying to do Williams and Skidmore on the same day might be an issue. Williams generally does organized tours early in the morning and the driving distance to Saratoga makes it doubtful you can make it to a session and tour on the same day as Williams.

    I agree Tufts and Bates are out of the question on the same day. You are looking at over 2 hours in travel time one way and almost 5 hours round trip.

    I love road trips and we did a few with our daughter, one was 7 schools in 5 days so I know they are doable. The schools you are talking about are just too far apart. You could do Haverford, Ursinus, and UPenn on one trip but otherwise you are trying to cover too much distance in too short amount of time.
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  • nextstepcollegenextstepcollege 116 replies16 threads Junior Member
    Two in a day is possible if they are relatively close. So Ursinus and Haverford will work on as day.

    None of your others are a great idea. Tufts could be paired with any of the other Boston schools. Williams could work with many of the other Western MA schools. Bates could pair with Bowdoin or Colby. But those aren't on your list...

    Bowdoin and Colby were on his list, but his list was too long and we were encouraging him to make choices. He is very into the arts (plays percussion and sings) and struggled with which of the three would be the best fit, but chose Bates over the other 2 in the end.

    What other western MA schools should we consider looking at? Williams is definitely a reach and Skidmore is a safety.


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  • helpingmom40helpingmom40 90 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I would suggest looking at Bard, not in western MA but just south of Albany and it has a nice, artsy vibe. You might be able to combine it with Skidmore and Williams and see all 3 in a couple of days.
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  • nextstepcollegenextstepcollege 116 replies16 threads Junior Member
    I would suggest looking at Bard, not in western MA but just south of Albany and it has a nice, artsy vibe. You might be able to combine it with Skidmore and Williams and see all 3 in a couple of days.

    Well, ironically that was my initial plan. DS has also applied to Bard. I guess I will stick with my original plan and visit those 3 over the Veteran’s Day holiday and schedule the others for another time. Thanks so much!

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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5874 replies10 threads Senior Member
    @nextstepcollege , the other western mass schools include Amherst, Umass, and two women's colleges (that don't matter to you!) Yes! Bard! Really interesting place.
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  • mothervillemotherville 9 replies0 threads New Member
    Even for a pair of schools that are near each other, you need to plan carefully when touring two the same day. Sometimes the tour times don’t line up well to allow for lunch in between, traffic, etc. If you’re not starting until 10 or later at one and need to start the next at 1, it can be really tight. A 2:00 or 2:30 start on the second one is better. Think about whether you want to schedule time for an interview for schools where that is helpful (Skidmore) and time to sit in on a class (if available). That can be hard with two on the same day.

    Ideally, yes, you want to visit the schools before applying, but if the logistics prove difficult for a few of the lower priority ones, you can decide you will do a revisit if accepted instead of a visit ahead of time. You have to balance out the stress and cost of all this running around with the stress of high school academics and activities.
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  • mamaedefamiliamamaedefamilia 3489 replies24 threads Senior Member
    edited October 13
    When we toured with my oldest, we only rarely did two campuses in one day. When we did so, the travel distance between them was no more than an hour. Even then, you want some wiggle room in case of traffic or other delays. Also, by the second tour, your child is likely to be more tired and that may affect his impression of the school.
    edited October 13
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  • PepperJoPepperJo 292 replies11 threads Member
    We were rather ambitious in our second east coast visit. Afternoon flight from LA to Philadelphia, slept, had an early Swarthmore session/tour, then took the train to Philly for a UPenn tour/session in the afternoon. Flew out a few hours later to Logan. Rented a car and drove to Dartmouth very late at night. Dartmouth morning session/tour, then off to an afternoon Williams session/tour. Drove to Providence late in the afternoon. Did a Brown info season/tour the next morning, then drove to Brandeis for the same. (We actually would have driven to Yale instead, but it was snowing and we didn't want to get stuck in CT.) Left Brandeis early and did our own tour of BC. The next morning we went to an info session/tour of BU, then afternoon self guided tour of Northeastern. Was it too much in such a short time span? Probably, but I had mapped everything out, and we eliminated schools along the way that really were of lesser interest to my daughter (Bennington, Tufts, Holy Cross) It left for little exploratory time which I would have enjoyed. We hit 5 states in 5 days. Yikes!
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  • skieuropeskieurope 39625 replies7195 threads Super Moderator
    @nextstepcollege , the other western mass schools include Amherst, Umass, and two women's colleges (that don't matter to you!) Yes! Bard! Really interesting place.

    Too far away from Williams to be done in the same day, though, although obviously Amherst and UMass could be done.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34556 replies384 threads Senior Member
    edited October 14
    Think of your kid. Too many visits together and they all turn to mush in the mind. Kids can't always separate impressions as we do.

    And college tours aren't always at perfect times. We left one, drove 90 minutes and missed the last chance at the second. You can get there, but they don't wait for you. It takes careful planning.

    Seems you're only thinking what's technically possible, not the coordination.

    Why not visit Skidmore now, on a Saturday? Don't know where you are in Upstate. Get a 9am tour, then drive 90 mins to Williams. Last tour at 3pm. Of course, many recommend reservations and this is the tight season. But if it works, you're done with that segment and, believe us, informed about the challenges of squeezing too much into one trip.

    Frankly, it's a shame to visit Boston and Bates in a rush. And two hours up to Bates means two hours back to Boston. Lousy traffic around Boston.
    edited October 14
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  • bigmacbethbigmacbeth 583 replies4 threads Member
    Seems a little late to be visiting for this cycle to me. I assume they all consider interest? D17 and I did 7 in 5 days and it was a lot of fun, but a little stressful and I wouldn’t do two in a day again unless it’s easy. I’d find a way to show interest in the ones I couldn’t visit.
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  • nextstepcollegenextstepcollege 116 replies16 threads Junior Member
    edited October 14
    We are 3 hours north of Skidmore, about 20 minutes from the Canadian border. DS has decent SAT/ACT scores (1420 & 32), and a 4.0 unweighted GPA with mostly Honors courses on a 4.0 scale. He is lacking class rank and academic rigor. He comes from an extremely competitive public high school. That said, the school is small and doesn’t offer the volume of AP’s that larger schools do. He will only have 4 under his belt after his Senior year. He has a clear hook as a vocalist and percussionist. He cofounded two bands he performs in, and produced and released an album with one. He’s performed in musicals at school, band, chorus (where he’s had solos). He’s very into the arts.

    He has applied to a few of the Ivy League schools, but is not expecting to get accepted. He would be thrilled if it possibly happened, but we’re trying to focus visits on schools he has a reasonable chance of getting into, and ones that we see as a fit. Not sure this is the best approach, but we have a limited amount of time and know that we won’t be able to see every school he’s applied to. I’m somewhat concerned he will end up loving Williams and Haverford and not get accepted, but I’m also concerned if we don’t visit, he will have zero chance of getting accepted. FWIW, we have visited Vassar, Hamilton, Colgate and Cornell and he liked all of them.

    @PepperJo, what was your daughter’s impression of Tufts? You said it was one of lesser interest before the visit, so just curious what schools she ended up being glad she visited?
    edited October 14
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  • doschicosdoschicos 21437 replies224 threads Senior Member
    Have you looked at St. Olaf?


    "Think of your kid. Too many visits together and they all turn to mush in the mind. Kids can't always separate impressions as we do."

    Maybe for some but my kids had zero problems with it. We did 2 most days doing 8-9 in a 5 day stretch. Taking notes right after certainly helps.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5874 replies10 threads Senior Member
    Clarifying that I meant yes to Bard, but not yes to Bard and Williams on the same day. (That's what paragraphs are for!)
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2463 replies36 threads Senior Member
    edited October 14
    I’m somewhat concerned he will end up loving Williams and Haverford and not get accepted, but I’m also concerned if we don’t visit, he will have zero chance of getting accepted.

    Williams does not consider interest, so that may be the natural one to leave off due to it's relatively remote location. OTOH it is a good place to visit, as the location either speaks to a student or it doesn't.

    Look on the common data sets to see the other schools that consider demonstrated interest, and to what degree....then prioritize visits at those where it is important or very important. I think at Bates and Skidmore it is 'important'. There are other ways to demonstrate interest beyond or in place of a visit.
    FWIW, we have visited Vassar, Hamilton, Colgate and Cornell and he liked all of them.

    I would have suggested Vassar and Hamilton, good that he likes them! Ithaca could be a highly likely school. Ursinus will be a safety and he would get good merit there.

    I agree with evergreen that Skidmore is not a safety, especially if applying RD (50% of the class is filled in ED)....also second the suggestion to visit on a Saturday, freeing up some time on Veteran's day. Voice and percussion are generally not thought of as 'hooks', unless these departments support a student's app with admissions....which is uncommon.

    Good luck.


    edited October 14
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