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Summer visits-where are you headed, any tips?


Replies to: Summer visits-where are you headed, any tips?

  • KLSDKLSD Registered User Posts: 227 Junior Member
    Time devoted to visiting each school can depend on a student's application plan. If the guidance counselor has recommended that your high stats child look for the best fit and potentially apply ED or SCEA, spending time on a school specific tour (i.e. engineering), with professors, in classes, meeting with students and eating at local restaurants is worth every minute. Otherwise, it is terrific experience just to dive into departments of interest and meet with grad students and professors.
    Many students change their intended major freshman or sophomore year, but those that have the most exposure often seize the incredible research opportunities once on a campus. We did not view the in depth portion as college searching, more as a career search and and a way to nudge our children to be more comfortable engaging one on one with professors. Once they chose their top school(s), I brought them back to meet with professor(s), tour labs and attend classes without a parent tagging along. Their reactions at the end of the day told me everything I needed to know.
  • IsoinfoIsoinfo Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    Have you considered Purdue? With his stats, he may get some merit aid, even from out-of-state. And it wouldn't be too much out of the way (between Case Western and Illinois).
  • Momto2girlsMomto2girls Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    Last summer we went to Grinnell (my D19, her BF, BF's mom who is an academic) and none of us were impressed. Ditto with other summer visits. D19 and I went back this spring, when school was in session, and had a totally different experience. Seeing the campus with students she could talk to, meeting with admissions, financial aid,and the head of her potential major department moved Grinnell to the top of her list. I would not recommend summer visits. This fall D19, D20 and I will visit Colby, Bates & Bowdoin, and if D19 is accepted for some fly in programs, she'll do a few others on her own. It is a challenge to miss school for visits but we think worth it.
  • gate84gate84 Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    All good suggestions.
  • firstwavemomfirstwavemom Registered User Posts: 369 Member
    My S19 visited a couple of schools when D17 was going through the process and he wants to apply to both. We may visit those again at some point since they are within 2.5 hours from home. Visited UMiami in March and my husband took him to Boston in April to visit Northeastern and BC. Right now son's list is just 6 schools. We plan to do a tour at our in-state flagship, UMD (just a short drive from us), and may travel down to Wake Forest in August. If that doesn't happen, I'm fine with making a fall trip there. If we visit family in Atlanta, we may look at Emory and/or Georgia Tech.
  • elena13elena13 Registered User Posts: 798 Member
    Will look forward to hearing about some of these summer visits. Two summers ago, D17 and I toured U.Richmond and then hit several school in PA (Villanova, Bryn Mawr, Lafayette, Gettysburg with drive bys of Muhlenberg and Haverford). This summer, S19 has no interest in college visits. He has seen a few and thinks he will be happy being away at college and can find things to like about any campus. Ugh.
  • TheGreyKingTheGreyKing Forum Champion Williams College Posts: 2,092 Forum Champion
    @elena13- We greatly enjoyed our college visits, but if your son is pretty much an optimistic and non-fussy person for whom a specific “fit” is not essential because he can make himself feel happy just about anywhere, that’s great!

    And within similar colleges, the similarities far outweigh the differences anyway. E.g., a kid who would be happy with Williams would probably also love Amherst, Bowdoin, Middlebury, Bates, Colby, Vassar, Swarthmore, Haverford, Wesleyan, Skidmore, and Connecticut College- all similar northeastern small liberal arts colleges with no (or basically no) fraternities. So there might be something to be said for being able to search just by guide books and websites!

    Just beware of not visiting colleges that want to see demonstrated interest. In the list above, not visiting Bates, Skidmore, or Conn, if you live within a half-day’s drive and are not so poor the trip would be an obvious financial burden, possibly might lead to a rejection unless you find other ways to demonstrate and document your interest.
  • circuitridercircuitrider Registered User Posts: 3,238 Senior Member
    The vibe at Williams and Wesleyan is totally different.

    Here's how I would put it: there are large contingents within the student bodies at each school that would probably feel like minority groups at the other. Ostentatiously preppy kids who might be comfortably tolerated at Williams would probably be objects of derision at Wesleyan; ironic hipsters who might find a few like-minded chums at Wesleyan's periphery would most likely transfer out of Williams after a semester. However, that leaves a huge swath of people in the middle of the bell curve who are at each place just because of the academics.
  • soxmomsoxmom Registered User Posts: 759 Member
    Very true, @circuitrider. The location of the two schools is a pretty big differentiator too, though. My S17 who is very outdoorsy loved Williams. My D19 wouldn't even go look at it because of the isolation factor, instead she's very attracted to how (relatively) easy it is to get from Wesleyan into NYC and how many restaurants/coffee places there are to walk to from campus.
  • drewsmom17drewsmom17 Registered User Posts: 296 Junior Member
    We are mostly sticking to the basic tours so far. We attended the Engineering dept tour at NC State and it was different from the Michigan State dept tour. Both impressive but NC State seemed to provide more info about the opportunities within the dept and had current students share their experiences.

    @soxmom Haha, S19 learned over at one point to whisper newbs to me when one family asked a pretty basic question.

    The info sessions are getting repetitive but we do get another view of the school based on how it goes.
  • elena13elena13 Registered User Posts: 798 Member
    Regarding being happy at colleges with very different vibes and whether or not to visit, I believe that my S could be happy at Williams, Dartmouth or plenty of other LACs. However, I also feel he could be happy at Georgia Tech. For him, academics and finances (and potential financial aid) are the most important factors. Yes, I'd like him to visit more schools to narrow in on some of his preferences, but there are some good reasons not to visit at this point. Wherever he ends up, he will likely work hard, find some way to get involved in sports and will make friends with a variety of kids (as he does now). For some families, the notion of a perfect or even great fit is not high on the priority list.
  • CheeringsectionCheeringsection Registered User Posts: 2,376 Senior Member
    Do research on the usual weather (temperature range, type and amount of precipitation, # of sunny days, etc) during the school year and read over it the day of your tour. Students need to understand the weather they see during a summer visit may be very different from the school year.

    Stay as close to, or even on, campus overnight. Some schools rent out dorm space in the summer. Pricing is usually quite good and the perspective on campus life is great.
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