right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
We've updated the Topics page of our website to better organize and share our expert content. Read more about it here.

Summer visits-where are you headed, any tips?

1910121415

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

  • cypresspatcypresspat 303 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    @homerdog. Well, no one will be accepted to a college they don’t apply to. And we won’t let him apply anywhere he hasn’t visited.

    And the OP’s question was about summer visit plans and tips. Not the development of a college application list strategy, unless I missed something.
    · Reply · Share
  • homerdoghomerdog 4951 replies89 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @cypresspat I guess but what are the chances of a student being happy at a school with lower admissions rates after visiting Cornell, Georgetown, etc? There's time to visit schools after acceptances and dare I say most families can't visit every school their kids apply to. Remember that these schools do not care if you visit and don't track demonstrated interest. If you can manage your S's expectations then more power to you!
    · Reply · Share
  • SilverGrassSilverGrass 27 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @Itisatruth Thank you for the recommendation! Wish we could visit the info session of the three. But will take your advice and do just that.
    · Reply · Share
  • SilverGrassSilverGrass 27 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @homerdog We're East Coast people, so once in CA, will take an advantage of the opportunity to visit. DD's list will most likely will be comprised of the NE colleges with a few she liked elsewhere. Just taking an opportunity to tour, compare and reflect. A long road ahead.
    · Reply · Share
  • tkoparenttkoparent 169 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @SilverGrass Just to second the advice you received from @Itisatruth, We saw Pitzer and Pomona in a single day and did the tours and info sessions for both. I don't think we could have done three, but we did have time to walk around the evening before after we'd arrived in Claremont, as the campuses are quite close together. Maybe you could somehow split up to cover more territory?
    · Reply · Share
  • homerdoghomerdog 4951 replies89 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @SilverGrass I didn't mean to say there's anything wrong with visiting any school but it's very hard for kids to really understand a sub-10% acceptance rate. S19 just had too many friends who had reach-heavy lists (kids who were NMF, 1550+ SAT, lots of rigor, high grades, athletes, musicians, tons of volunteering.etc) and didn't have a good list of matches and safeties they liked. What 17 year old wants to go to their state safety after visiting Duke, Cornell, and Yale? It's just really hard to keep the kids' feet on the ground and I think showing them mostly tippy top schools is setting them up for disappointment.

    Kids do get lucky of course. I must have told S19 a dozen times in the six months after seeing Bowdoin that only seven out of 100 kids will get in. I thought he had his expectations in check but, after he was accepted, I fully understood how invested he was in the idea of going there. He just hadn't shared it with us because he knew it was a long shot but it was his clear favorite. As is preached so much on CC, I just want families to make sure to visit schools that are realistic for the student and find things to love about them.
    · Reply · Share
  • tkoparenttkoparent 169 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @homerdog it isn't necessarily the case that a student won't be happy at a less selective school once they've seen some reaches. I mentioned in another message that we visited both Pomona and Pitzer with our S. Neither school resonated and he didn't apply. Same for Rice, another reach we visited. That was our junior year tour, when we didn't know where he would end up SAT and GPA-wise and wanted to show him a broad range of schools so he could figure out what felt right to him. It probably varies with the kid, but ours was never really focused on more selective/less selective issues.
    · Reply · Share
  • SilverGrassSilverGrass 27 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @tkoparent, thank you. Agree that two colleges are enough for a day. We just cannot spend more than a few days around LA, and so was thinking of mostly going to the info sessions of all the colleges and touring ourselves. But in this case when the info sessions overlap, and we cannot fit more than two a day, and as per @Itisatruth, will visit two and self tour another. DD has never been to LA, so the evenings will sightsee.
    · Reply · Share
  • tkoparenttkoparent 169 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @SilverGrass, If you are planning to combine your Claremont visit with LA sightseeing, be sure to check the distances, as the Claremont schools are not in LA proper but are out in the so-called Inland Empire - it's a fairly long drive. We sort of worked our way out and back, stopping to see Occidental College on our way out to see Pomona and Pitzer, then back to LA. One idea might be to see if you can fly into Ontario Airport, which is much closer to Claremont, and then fly out of LAX (or vice versa).
    · Reply · Share
  • SilverGrassSilverGrass 27 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @tkoparent, great recommendations and the airport ideas! Just looked and see what you mean. Should probably also stay closer to Claremont on the first two nights.
    · Reply · Share
  • SilverGrassSilverGrass 27 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @homerdog, I know exactly what you mean, and DD will be applying widely.
    We had an awakening experience applying to the competitive MS and HS, and later to the summer programs. From all the rejections we all know to apply wide, high and low. A the moment, we're visiting LA, and so will tour some of its colleges. As mentioned before, most likely not many CA colleges will make DD's list. Thank you for your warning to keep the feet on the ground.
    · Reply · Share
  • tkoparenttkoparent 169 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @SilverGrass, in case it's helpful, we stayed right in Claremont, at a place named Hotel Casa 425. It was convenient and nice and also within walking distance of many local restaurants and shops.
    · Reply · Share
  • cypresspatcypresspat 303 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    @homerdog. Good points, but my son has been extraordinarily diligent about selecting schools he is interested in. He took the original list of those which have the major he wants, and eliminated the majority on basic undesirable characteristics (one being super low admit rates, like MIT). He’s a high stats/high rigor kid, so stats won’t lock him out of anywhere, but he is also an athlete and his sports take up 20 hours a week. He won’t have time to do a great job on 20 apps (nor will his HS allow more than 10). From there he uncovered the depts’ specialities (like institutes housed there, large grants awarded, and faculty publications). That’s how he got to his current list. Fortunately our state flagship is a high contender, but that has nothing to do with it being a safety for him and everything to do with the faculty there. He is completely aware of the acceptance rates of all contenders (including for his major).

    He is also aware that while he isn’t very concerned with fit (perhaps naively), the colleges are. So the visit is more for him to learn if he is the kind of student who each colleges tends to attract. Knowing him, he will work very hard on his apps and wants to know as much about each school as possible.

    Finances are not a barrier. His safeties are highly desirable to him already. And if his safeties burn to the ground this year and he gains zero other acceptances, he is fine with a gap year, too. He loves his summer/vacation job which he has had for 3 years (construction) and can easily do that full time for a year and earn a semester’s tuition.

    Indeed he is very different than the type of student often posting or described here. He knows exactly what he wants. He doesn’t care about what a major is called, he only cares about what he will be learning and what types of research he can participate in (as soon as possible). He is judging the schools on things that are simply not available most places. So ‘finding more safeties’ is not an option. That’s like saying ‘find more schools with water polo teams.’ There are only so many which fit his academic criteria. Tough for a parent to argue with a kid who is choosing a college based on the type and quality of the actual education he will receive. He is just 17 and he very well may change his mind. But so far he hasn’t budged one inch. Given the pile of books on his desk about topics related to his intended major, I have to trust that his choice was far from capricious.

    · Reply · Share
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5595 replies10 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It's fine to visit reaches. Almost every kis I know took several off their list after visiting and it saved them a couple of applications. This is about figuring out where to apply. You just need to keep perspective about odds. And for some kids, having something excite them at a reach encourages them to think about looking for that attribute at a non-reach. And now, back to our thread. Where's everyone visiting this summer?
    · Reply · Share
  • homerdoghomerdog 4951 replies89 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @cypresspat our S19 played year round sports and had a number of other ECs that added up to over 20 hours per week and he had a very rigorous class schedule. He did apply to 14 schools, all of which required involved applications. It can be done. I think you may be over-inflating your S’s chances so just be careful. You say he got a 1510 with a 790 math I believe. That’s a 720 EW which is good but not great. Not sure where he stands in relation to his classmates but just be aware that there are many, many high performing students out there in the world.

    Sorry @gardenstategal. Had to comment. Lol.

    We are going to U Wisconsin because I never brought S19 to a big school and I want D21 to be super sure she doesn’t want one. Our niece lives in Madison so we will visit her as well. All other visits waiting until spring and then fall of senior year. D21 has a pretty good list going and many schools are clumped together geographically so we should be able to see four of them over spring break. Might hit one or two not in that area next fall. We did find that visiting during the summers (especially for smaller schools) didn’t tell us very much.
    · Reply · Share
  • bjkmombjkmom 7942 replies158 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Probably one or two of the SUNYs-- maybe Oneonta, Cortland, possibly Plattsburgh. She's a rising Junior, and is thinking either Elementary Ed or Graphic Arts. She's also not sure about home/ away in terms of networking for a teaching job. So we'll see what the summer brings. But I second the advice of all who said NOT to just show up... go to the school's site, and make an appointment for a tour.
    · Reply · Share
  • Momof3BMomof3B 125 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    S21 is at the EFL camp at Rice University right now, we pick him up on Sunday morning, will spend the rest of the day at Johnson Space Center/NASA (we have S23 twins as well!) and then have a campus tour scheduled at University of Houston for Monday. I figured we might as well as long as we’re there, and from his enthusiastic texts this week it seems like he’s rather enjoying Houston (a tough pill for this born and raised Dallasite to swallow lol).

    We’ve already toured TAMU earlier this year. The rest of our college visits won’t be until the spring..marching band camp starts in July, won’t see my kids again until after football season is over lol.
    · Reply · Share
  • browniesundaebrowniesundae 228 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited June 21
    My twins had a form that they created and would fill out during/after each visit. That way they could compare notes across schools later. When you visit a lot of schools in such a short time as you are doing, they definitely start to blur together without some note taking.

    It's great that your son is doing so much research! With our kids it was like pulling teeth 🙄 Good luck, and have fun!
    edited June 21
    · Reply · Share
  • bjkmombjkmom 7942 replies158 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Oh, and with my son, who isn't big into conversations, I asked 3 questions after each visit:
    - What did you like best?
    - What did you like least?
    - Can you see yourself attending school here?

    When we hit the right one, he didn't even wait for me to ask. He got into the car and said "This is the school I want to go to."
    · Reply · Share
  • homerdoghomerdog 4951 replies89 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @bjkmom See! That's why you have to be careful where you take them. Visit affordable options that match their academics.Or, at the very least, find one of those via visits first and then visit reachier schools. No one wants their child visiting Stanford and saying, "I'm done! This is the school I want to go to!"
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity