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Wash U's Discovery Weekend

NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
edited October 2005 in Parents Forum
Wondering if any other parents' kids are at Discovery Weekend now. S 's idea of a joke was to call me this evening and say he was stranded in the airport where he was supposed to transfer to get to St. Louis. That was his idea of a joke since he was at Wash U already.

Other than learning that S thinks the campus is beautiful, I didn't hear much about his experience. Seems he has a busy schedule.

Anyone got any more news?
Post edited by Northstarmom on

Replies to: Wash U's Discovery Weekend

  • A.S.A.P.A.S.A.P. Registered User Posts: 2,663 Senior Member
    That's great that your son was able to take the time to spend three days at Wash U. I wanted my son to go, but he couldn't justify taking two school days off with school and EC responsibilities to visit at this time.
    I emailed to see if he could fly in on Friday morning instead of Thursday, and the admissions office told me that he would miss too much and no one would be there to register him or help him find his way that late in the program, so it wouldn't be a good idea. :(
    Looking at what his week was like (and weekend will be like) it's just as well he didn't plan to go. He also couldn't understand why it would take three days to get an idea about whether he wanted to apply to the university. It seemed a bit excessive to his minimalist sensibilites.
    I'm sure your boy will know whether or not he wants to apply when he gets back. I hope he'll give you a few tidbits to share!
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    I am guessing that Wash U deliberately makes the weekend long and involved to:

    1. Ensure that students demonstrate interest in Wash U by adjusting their schedules to fit in the long trip.
    2. Reduce student's time to see other colleges which may be offering top students like them fly-ins.
    3. Give students a long time to get to experience the campus and to hopefully fall in love with it.

    I also think that what Wash U is doing takes into account the laws of cognitive dissonance. The longer the time and effort that a person puts into doing something, the more they are likely to enjoy it or to see their investment as being valuable. That's a big reason why Greek organizations make the preinduction period so hard, long and involved.
  • A.S.A.P.A.S.A.P. Registered User Posts: 2,663 Senior Member
    Interesting take on their thinking - you're probably right that all of these reasons play a part. I'm surprised, though, that they discouraged him from coming just because he couldn't miss two entire days of school plus a weekend for a college trip - any college trip. Knowing the obligations he has on his plate,I have to say I agree with DS's priorities.
  • concerneddadconcerneddad Registered User Posts: 1,734 Senior Member
    Northstarmom: That plan can backfire, as in the case of my son who was a recruited athlete. Second trips to a few campuses soured him on a few schools -- althought not Wash. U. They were a class act from start to finish -- even after he decided to attend Tulane.
  • A.S.A.P.A.S.A.P. Registered User Posts: 2,663 Senior Member
    Any reports you can share, NSM?
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    S had a wonderful time. The entire experience was very well planned down to the smallest detail. This was impressive as probably a couple of hundred students were there.

    The college matched S well to his host, who is majoring in a subject that S is considering. S also was interviewed by 2 faculty members and a student, all of which shared his interests. The interview seemed to be friendly, informative and thoughtful.

    There were a variety of interesting activities planned, plus there was plenty of time for students to study and to explore the campus on their own. They even gave students a $35 meal card so that they could explore on their own some of the campus's eateries. They also had some very nicely planned group meals.

    S describes the campus as beautiful, the students as friendly, the museum as interesting.

    Because the campus is 25% Greek, he had been concerned that there would be lots of evidence of heavy drinking. He did not see that evidence (though did saw evidence that some students drink, no surprise there). He also found that there are so many non drinking-related activities on campus and in the city that there are plenty of things for students to do who aren't into drinking.

    When it came to academics, he was impressed by the various interdisciplinary majors that are offered. He also was impressed by the diversity that he saw at Wash U, lots of which was routine, not related to Discovery weekend. He also liked the fact that there was no evidence that the college attracts students who are super competitive with each other. He does not want to go to a campus filled with back stabbing Type As.

    For us, the fly-in worked out well, and was worth the time. For $ reasons, we were unlikely to send S to visit unless he got accepted. Now, however, he has experienced enough to know that he definitely wants to apply, and he knows enough about the college to write an application that reflects his information-based interest in Wash U.

    For time reasons, S has not bothered to apply to other fly-in programs, so this probably will be the only one he'll do this fall. He may, though, do an overnight at our expense at another college that is high on his list.

    Now I'm just hoping that S gets accepted and gets merit aid! Wash U seemed like a great fit for him. I hope that they feel the same way about him.
  • katwkittenskatwkittens Registered User Posts: 2,227 Senior Member
    DS was also invited to Wash U's weekend but opted for Williams instead. He flew out on Saturday and returns this evening. So he missed a day of school and his ECs, but since it was a Monday it was not as crucial a miss as a Thursday or Friday would have been, probably another reason he went to Williams instead of Wash U. He has been invited to several fly-ins (at their expense) but I think he is going to be very minimalist in those he chooses to visit.

    He has been invited to West Point (again at their expense) for four days and 3 nights but it is on a Thursday/Friday during wrestling season, and during a huge state invitational and a state math competition at the local uni. I know his fly-in for Amherst is on a weekend to a Monday (Halloween) which his high school gets off so he won't miss any school then if he decides to attend. We'll see.

    Depends on how the weekend at Williams went if he goes to anymore. He decided against the Cornell Engineering one and the Dartmouth one. I think he is still applying to Dartmouth but not Cornell.

    Thanks NSM for filling us in on the one from Wash U. Son was frenzied before he left, he had to complete his Morehead app before he could get on the plane Saturday!!

  • A.S.A.P.A.S.A.P. Registered User Posts: 2,663 Senior Member
    Thanks for the update, NSM. It sounds like the timing worked out well for your son, especially since the airfare was included. That's a hard offer to pass up. I hope it's one of his options come April!
  • cathymeecathymee Registered User Posts: 2,384 Senior Member
    just a warning about the Amherst area on Halloween weekend...it's a crazy place
  • Faline2Faline2 Registered User Posts: 4,171 Senior Member
    Enjoyed your Wash U visit post, NorthstarMom...St. Louis is a wonderful place to live and work, and the student body there is super. Hope they give him an admission that includes merit money...exciting time. It is hard to miss classes but these trips are more memorable no matter what the outcome is in April.
  • pittheelspittheels Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    For very large percentage of students (>90%), applying for WashU is purely waste of time and money. WashU sends you materials to lure you to apply and to increase their rejection rates and college ranking. My daughter is a #1 student in an extremely competitive high school, National Merit Scholar, with >1500 SAT, three 800s on SAT2, several 5s on AP tests and many extracurricular activities. She received tons of recruiting materials from WashU (more than 5 pounds to be exact, we collected them all at that time) from their admission office and professors since the beginning of her junior year. She felt very good about it and applied there with very good recommendations. In the end, she is wait-listed first, rejected in late July. I think what WashU is doing in this game is very similar to cheating.
  • wjbwjb Registered User Posts: 2,908 Senior Member
    Wash U's acceptance rate last year was 22%. Yes, Wash U does market with a fury. But I think it's important to distinguish between Wash U's aggressive marketing tactics and the education undergrads get once they are on campus. That education is top-quality.
  • pittheelspittheels Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    If Wash U really feels by their hearts to have that "top-quality" education, do they need aggressive marketing?
  • wjbwjb Registered User Posts: 2,908 Senior Member
    That aggressive marketing (together with large endowments from local business interests) has enabled Wash U to draw in (via merit awards) some top-quality applicants who otherwise would not have attended, and to build a top-quality school.
  • pittheelspittheels Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    Apperantly, wjb is speaking for Wash U admission. I just want to give some honest advices to parents who do not know the games that Wash U is playing, so that other parents will not feel to be cheated in next April.
This discussion has been closed.