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Admitted Students Day vs. Individual Visit

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Replies to: Admitted Students Day vs. Individual Visit

  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,150 Senior Member
    edited February 14
    He needs to rank them and go to the top three or four, then decide. There is little reason to be that indecisive at this stage, except for finances. I agree, force rank with the info you’ve got. Adjust when you see the acceptances and FA (knock out those that don’t work). Revisit the top 3-4 (accepted days if he can, separate visit if not). Don’t try to go to tons of accepted student days. I know you’ve been collecting info like crazy for him. It is time to stop waffling.
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 4,266 Senior Member
    @intparent Well, he's not waffling. He's busy at school and track and I'm trying my best to piece things together. Remember, things will only be tough if he gets into a bunch of reaches that are very similar to each other and we haven't visited. If he gets into Amherst, Williams, Midd, and Bowdoin, he needs to see them. How can he possibly rank them? They are all so similar and they all have the majors he's considering and, in the case of one of his majors, they are all strong. He's got one even bigger reach that, if it comes in, could make this a much shorter process but that's such a long shot.

    At this point, I'm hoping luck will intervene and he will be admitted to the perfect combo of schools that makes this easier on him. I don't regret his list as he thinks he could like and fit at any of the schools on his list and acceptance rates for RD are so low that he needed to cover his bases.
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 4,266 Senior Member
    And I have indeed seen posters on here who have gone to five or six admitted student days. For $300,000, we'd like to make the most informed choice. I know that no school is perfect but it would be a miss for him to not visit most of the schools on his list if he's lucky enough to get in.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,150 Senior Member
    This is why it is better to visit before applying if at all possible. You can’t realistically visit a ton of schools in April.
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 4,266 Senior Member
    @intparent We visited seven of his 13 schools. I didn't want to take him to the biggest reaches so he didn't fall in love. He won't get into all and maybe into none of them so, although it seems like I'm taking a ton of time on this, it's really just a little time to try to be set up for the possibilities.
  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 20,357 Senior Member
    so many of his schools are very similar to one another. Rural LACs that will be full price for us and have the majors he’s considering

    I think if your son lets the admissions staff at those rural LAC's know that he can't make it on admitted students day, they will make appropriate arrangements on another day. My son couldn't do admitted students day at a small suburban LAC, but came the day after --- and he was able to attend classes, ask questions, participate in social activities on campus, etc.

    Keep in mind that all of those admitted student day activities are pretty much a dog and pony show that doesn't necessarily correlate well with what campus life is like on other days - and of course much of it might be t A larger university may really need to have these days set aside to shepherd large groups of students at once. But the LAC's have more flexibility precisely because they are smaller--- and it may have the benefit of being more one-on-one attention.

    When my daughter attended the AS day at the college she ended up attending -- she didn't stay long. Maybe an hour at most. Obviously, she didn't buy into whatever slate of scheduled events or activities they had come up with. My impression was that she spent about 45 minutes on campus and then decided she'd seen enough, called me to tell me it was ok to put down a deposit, and then went about her day. (But she was in NYC, so I can understand why she didn't feel like hanging around the campus).
    How can he possibly rank them? They are all so similar and they all have the majors he's considering and, in the case of one of his majors, they are all strong

    If your son is fortunate enough to have to choose among schools that are so similar that he finds it hard to distinguish among them... then there really is no wrong choice. At that point, he might consider factors that don't require a visit -- things like geography & transportation. Or he can start to delve into information readily available online, such as delving into the college catalog and looking at specific courses & requirements for his majors -- he may be surprised to learn that the course sequence and offerings from one college to another are not identical.



  • AlmostThere2018AlmostThere2018 Registered User Posts: 1,066 Senior Member
    edited February 14
    I think the reality is he'll only be able to do 3 or 4 admitted students days in April b/c they will overlap, he's still in school, and it's only a five-ish week window.

    If he wants to squeeze more in, I'm sure they'll be happy to set up nice visits on other days -- but even so the window is short and even in April last year my D was very busy with school and determined not to lose her 4.0 the last semester of HS so she couldn't just blow off school...I imagine your S feels the same.

    If he has lots of acceptances he may have to let some go right off the bat and make choices on those to visit -- with priority on those he's not seen before I suppose.

    I know it's hard not to be able to map them out now but that's the nature of the beast. Be prepared to pay high airline ticket costs b/c you'll be booking w/ pretty short notice!
  • chercheurchercheur Registered User Posts: 1,251 Senior Member
    We set up some individual visits and felt we got more out of them than the generic admitted students' events.

    It's hard to remember everything, but here's some of what we did:
    --campus and dorm tours
    --met with the department head and got answers to questions about the major
    --met with an advisor and went over the high school transcript, AP credit, and possible freshman schedule
    --lunch with current students in the major
    --met with financial aid and scholarships
    --visited the student health center/pharmacy
    --checked out the banking/ATM situation
    --met with honors program coordinator
    --walked around on our own and talked to current students - that's where you get the best info!
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,150 Senior Member
    @AlmostThere2018 That is exactly right. For what it is worth, we found AS days at smaller schools to be particularly valuable. It is more than dog and pony at a small school. Their strengths and weaknesses really show up when they are trying to put their best foot forward.
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 4,266 Senior Member
    I can already see the dates of almost all of the AS Days on the websites. None overlap with no other option. (Some overlap but then have second dates that make it possible that they don’t have to overlap.). As for school. Eh. This will be more important. As I look at it right now, matter what, he wouldn’t miss more than eight days. Honestly, his teachers would work with him to figure it out. Three of his classes will just be reviewing for AP tests by then and he can review on his own.

    I think we can put them in some sort of order and then start crossing off as he get his rejections. Lol. My question was mainly around how to get the most out of a non-AS visit day and I’ve gotten some good answers on that. First, that AS Days do seem important and, second, there are ways to make other visits more personal and maybe good enough.
  • BKSquaredBKSquared Registered User Posts: 1,090 Senior Member
    Is your son planning to run track in college? If so, even if he was not recruited but has good enough times to walk on, maybe the coach can work with the AO to pair your son with another track team member on an unofficial overnight. At least for my D who plays on a team for a rural LAC, her primary social group is her team.
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 4,266 Senior Member
    @BKSquared yes possibly. There are a handful of schools on the list where the coaches told him he could run if he gets in RD. Good idea to stay with a track teammate. He’s already done that at one school and it was quite eye opening.
  • mamommamom Registered User Posts: 3,599 Senior Member
    edited February 14
    I prefer individual visits: sit in a class or two, meet with a prof in the dept of interest, overnight stay if possible, eat in dining center, attend a sports game (if he is into that type of thing, attend an arts/theater production, etc. I find the admitted student days dog and pony shows which may not be representative of the daily life at XXX college.
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 23,673 Forum Champion
    I have been to some great accepted student days and some not so great accepted student days. I'd take a deep breath and see how things fall out. See where he gets in, how the finances turn out etc. for each school. If in the end he does have two long-distance schools he wants to see again and they have accepted student days on different weekends then I'd do one accepted students day and one individual visit.

    How should you decide which accepted student day to attend? First, you can look at both college's schedules for accepted student days and see if one school appears to have a more thoughtful program. If they look similar, see if either of the schools would allow him to shadow a student for a day (where he could attend classes, eat in the cafeteria etc.), do an overnight, or arrange something which could give him a good feel for the college.
  • wisteria100wisteria100 Registered User Posts: 4,070 Senior Member
    There are pluses and minuses to accepted student days and regular visits, but you can get what you need out of both. If your S gets into those 4 you list above, he should go to all and decide whether it is the official accepted day or otherwise based on logistics. Would be a nice problem to have!
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