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When is the best time for overnight visit?

AgentninetynineAgentninetynine 1539 replies14 threads Senior Member
edited July 2013 in Parent Cafe
At some point in the next few months, Spygirl will be making a trip to interview at one of her top choices. Is this the time for an overnight? Or should it wait until she hears if she's accepted?

Advice please!
edited July 2013
25 replies
Post edited by Agentninetynine on
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Replies to: When is the best time for overnight visit?

  • OperaDadOperaDad 2404 replies72 threads Senior Member
    If she is already visiting the school for an interview, then there is no reason not to do an overnight. It will give her a fuller experience of the school, and may affect whether she even applies. If you have to make a special trip, then that is a different story.

    Although my D had pre-application visits (thought not overnights), she did visit the top two schools she was admitted to.

    The overnights during the application process tend to be more representative of school life. The Admitted Student visits are much more staged. Keep that in mind.
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  • AgentninetynineAgentninetynine 1539 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Thanks, Opera Dad. It'll be a 2-hour flight to the school so it seems to make more sense to have the overnight along with the interview, rather than make an additional trip.
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  • minimini 26172 replies259 threads Senior Member
    thursday nights.

    And for top choice, before admission is better. (for one of my d's, top choice - and the highest ranking school - became bottom choice.) Also, an overnight at safety is a good idea, if you can swing it. The safety is the most important school on the list.
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  • jonrijonri 7300 replies134 threads Senior Member
    I agree with Thursday night. If there are a lot of Friday classes, Friday night is even better. (I don't know any college that offers this; she'd have to make her own arrangements.) I'd add that if possible, your D should stay with a friend or acquaintance. Why? I think a lot of kids react to the host who may or may not be someone they like. (It's like reacting to the tour guide on steroids.) If your D can stay with someone she already knows, that's not an issue. I also think students, even "friends of friends," are also more honest about a school's warts with visitors they know.

    I have a kid who was very "into" an EC, so staying with people involved in that EC was useful. These were the group my kid was most likely to end up hanging out with in college.

    IME, most kids who are unhappy in college are unhappy for social reasons, so going to a few parties and seeing how (s)he will or will not fit in can help.
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  • RacinReaverRacinReaver 6555 replies55 threads Senior Member
    Also, please please please make sure your kid really wants to attend the school before sending them on an overnight. I used to host guests and the worst were those only there because their parents made them. They'd typically just want to sit in the room and read or just not do anything. My roommate and I would want to go out, student wouldn't, and we didn't want to leave them alone in our room.

    Same thing is true for students doing alumni interviews. We're volunteering our time to help your kid find out about the school, make sure they want to be spending an hour or so with us.
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  • AgentninetynineAgentninetynine 1539 replies14 threads Senior Member
    If she stays overnight it will be her decision. This school is her top choice at this point and it's a match for her stats & major, so I do think it's a good idea to see if she likes the culture.

    Spygirl is a serious student. Partying doesn't interest her. Socializing, yes. Partying no, so we shall see how it goes.
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  • 07DAD07DAD 5102 replies67 threads Senior Member
    Sort of all the above. Although I made the offer for him to visit pre-admission, Son declined until after admissions were received. He worked with his regional admission rep at the admit school he liked the most on paper and got the plane ticket paid for because he waited to visit so that he attended their Scholar's Day.

    He flew by himself and stayed in the dorm with a girl he knew who already attended that college and stayed over both Thursday and Friday Nights. It sealed the deal for him.

    I liked that he got to experience the reality of getting from and back to the airport on his own.

    Are you going on this interview trip?
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  • AgentninetynineAgentninetynine 1539 replies14 threads Senior Member
    I will be going with as she's flying on a $99 companion fare, so I get to be the companion. I'll be staying about 40 miles south with a childhood friend, enjoying my overnight visit :)

    Spygirl just spent a month studying in a foreign country so she has a clear idea what college life is about. She just wants to see what the lay of the land is like at this particular school.
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  • MarianMarian 13230 replies83 threads Senior Member
    She just wants to see what the lay of the land is like at this particular school.

    She won't do this by visiting overnight.

    What she will see is what life is like on a particular day of the week, during a particular part of the semester, for the specific students she stays with, who may or may not be representative of the campus as a whole.

    It's like trying to get an idea of what New York City is like by only visiting Times Square. Or only visiting Harlem. Or only visiting Wall Street.

    I'm not saying that she shouldn't visit, just that she should realize what she's getting into.
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  • 07DAD07DAD 5102 replies67 threads Senior Member
    IMO--the whole transition to college is made much easier if the student has "been on their own" a bit like away from home study or camp counselor in training, etc. That said, there is very little that equates to a freshman dorm.

    If she stays over, it is nice if she can experience both some classes and a weekend night, if possible. Is there anyone there your daughter already knows? That can result in a little more typical experience.
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  • AgentninetynineAgentninetynine 1539 replies14 threads Senior Member
    She doesn't know anyone but there it's possible some former grads from her high school may be willing to do an overnight. Spygirl is quite focused, much more than DH & I were at her age. She knows what she's looking for in and out of the classroom.

    While an overnight might not give her the entire scope, hopefully she can pick up on the overall vibe.
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  • minimini 26172 replies259 threads Senior Member
    The reason Thursday night is important is that you find out whether the weekend and all that goes with is leaking into the rest of the week.

    And, no, she might not get a full, complete, or even true picture. Well, those are the breaks - a bad overnight is as good a reason to reject a school as any, with so many fine schools out there.
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  • AgentninetynineAgentninetynine 1539 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Are there still Thirsty Thursdays on college campuses? Are visits generally one night or two?
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  • 07DAD07DAD 5102 replies67 threads Senior Member
    A visit where you child knows and stays with a current student can be whenever and for however long the current student is agreeable. I am not aware that there would be any involvement by the college. I do not know if "official" visits are one or more nights.
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  • whenhenwhenhen 5530 replies111 threads Senior Member
    Thirsty Thursdays are very common at most college campuses. Virtually every student at my LAC had classes on Fridays, yet a minority of students did find time to imbibe the night before.

    An overnight is exactly what the name implies. It's over in one night.
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13154 replies246 threads Senior Member
    Overnight + class sit-in made useful visits for me when I was looking back in the Stone Age. It allowed me to check out a class (or two), eat in the dining hall at least twice, see what the dorms are like (my hosts were kids I knew and thus made a point to show me dorms other than their own and so on), and of course, what's up with studying and parties and stuff.

    If it's doable, I'd do it. And enjoy YOUR overnight too :)
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threads Senior Member
    If your student wants to apply ED, then I can see the point of the overnight visit now. Otherwise I would wait until accepted students days. Also... on campus interviews are almost never required (even if they want you to interview, there is almost always an opportunity to interview if you live near a large city, or with an alumni, or via Skype). I would not take a trip just for an interview -- unless she is a music or theater major and has an audition, then of course you have to. It just doesn't seem worth the effort.

    After this last admission cycle (second kid, leaving for college in a month), I have become a fan of attending accepted student days and staying overnight. Even if your student gets a lemon for a host, there are enough other hosts/prospective students around that your kid can tag with them if they want to. Also, the schools plan a lot of stuff where the kids can get a better flavor for the schools and students. My D went to accepted student weekends for her top 3 choices, and definitely felt like she had a much better handle on the pros and cons of each school after approximately 24 hours on each campus. Even though she had visited each school for a "day" visit before applying, she got a lot of milage out of those overnight stays. She ended up making a different decision based on those visits than she expected going in.
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  • RacinReaverRacinReaver 6555 replies55 threads Senior Member
    Thirsty Thursdays were only common in some of the majors at my college. At my brother's school a little ways down the road, I know they occasionally even had Thirsty Wednesday (too much work to come up with alliteration, I guess).
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  • whenhenwhenhen 5530 replies111 threads Senior Member
    We called them Wasted Wednesdays. I thought that was the common term.
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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 9045 replies79 threads Senior Member
    DS did a Friday visit at Case, prior to Sunday night "sleeping bag weekend" (and Monday class at Carnegie Mellon. In between we got to see the Ohio grandma ;)

    He sat in on 2 Friday afternoon classes. In retrospect, that was probably not the best time for class sampling. The students didn't seem engaged, but they could have been sliding into TGIF mode.

    I think he only got to one CMU class, which he liked ok. But truly the most valuable thing we learned on that trip was that he preferred other engineering-centric schools on our list. He likes small, project-oriented classes with highly engaged students. His choice is not for everbody, but in the end it's all about fit. Ha, and affordability too.
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