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Invitation/Scholars/Interview Weekends - what to expect?

SuburbMomSuburbMom Registered User Posts: 257 Junior Member
Anyone have experience with "special" visits that are by invitation only? In particular, I'm curious as to whether you think that students get a fair look at the school, or whether a second visit is necessary?

My D got an invitation after being notified that she's in consideration for a Stamps scholarship at one of the schools she applied to. The school offered to reimburse travel costs, so I don't think the program will be particularly large and we know that interviews for a different scholarship that you had to apply for are the following weekend (everyone who applied was notified of the date when applying; no notification for her on that one yet). My concern for bias is two fold: the school is going out of their way to impress students, but the students are also needing to be "on" as they're probably being evaluated the entire weekend as well.

Do you think it's a good idea for me to register for the public tour and info session that day and just let D go off on her own? There's a parents reception with the Dean in the afternoon, and I'm not sure whether parents are included in the other events of the day. It's hard to tell since the itinerary says, "timeline will vary by student" where they talk about campus tours and meetings.

I'm asking here instead of the specific school forum since the question that was asked about it last year went unanswered. (It's not a particularly active forum, especially considering the number of students that go there.)

Replies to: Invitation/Scholars/Interview Weekends - what to expect?

  • smakl70smakl70 Registered User Posts: 244 Junior Member
    My son was invited to a scholarship event which included interview etc. They had separate activities for the parents while the kids were off doing their "thing". Since there is a parent reception I'd assume they are expecting parents to be there and will have activities for you during the day. If you're not sure I'd call and ask if they have parent events during that time.
  • SuburbMomSuburbMom Registered User Posts: 257 Junior Member
    @smakl70 - Do you think the scholarship event painted a fair picture of the university? This may be the only chance my D has to visit that school.
  • smakl70smakl70 Registered User Posts: 244 Junior Member
    I thought the parent presentation was well done and gave a good picture - we had a mock lecture by a professor, and student panel, etc. The kids also had a student panel as well as their interviews and essay competition. If it would have been our only visit then obviously we would have done the optional tour as well. The only thing missing would have been the opportunity to sit in on an actual class but it was a Saturday so that was out of the picture. You just have to remind yourself that, as with any tour, the school is trying to sell themselves so you have to read between the lines and observe for yourself.
  • Parentof2014gradParentof2014grad Registered User Posts: 802 Member
    edited January 2017
    Between two kids on the hunt for merit scholarships, I've attended several scholarship weekend events, including one that was small enough to reimburse travel costs. All of them had an itinerary for parents and another for students with a fair amount of common events. My kids and I felt like all of them were a great opportunity to get a good feel for the school. All of them involved more than one day, and a good amount of time spent on campus and interacting with students, faculty, and administration. Yes, everyone is on their best behavior, and the food in the dining hall tends to be stepped up in quality, but that doesn't mean you don't get a clear picture of the feel and focus of the school. The school also tends to introduce parents to top students, but if your D is interviewing for a big scholarship, she is a top student, and you can get the best feel for how your student will like the school and the opportunities she will have---from other top students. My kids attend two schools we only visited at the scholarship weekends. Both have lived up to the expectations we had after the weekends.

    The students don't lie--when you ask, "is the food always this good?" you'll get a truthful answer!

    When I attended these as a parent, I signed up for whatever there was to attend, and did attend most of it. It can be entertaining and informative. Listen to everything, ask questions, encourage your daughter to do the same.
  • SuburbMomSuburbMom Registered User Posts: 257 Junior Member
    Thanks. It really helps to have a better idea of what to expect. The "itinerary" she received clearly shows when meals are, but most of the rest of it isn't defined. She's really excited about this, and the school has been near the top of her list, so this might just seal the deal.
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