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Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Summer visits-where are you headed, any tips?

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

  • bjkmombjkmom 7942 replies158 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Oh, we certainly didn't visit any school that he wasn't fairly likely to get in to, or that would break the bank. To be honest, I just don't see the point in doing that. Why get his hopes up for a school that, for one reason or another, he's not going to attend?
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7245 replies56 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I very much disagree that visiting reach schools will make it harder for students to love there safeties and matches. We visited 15 schools and 7 came off the list, mostly the reach schools because D didn't think they were a good fit. She was not swayed by prestige or pretty campuses. She was swayed by engineering facilities, research projects, internship/co-op opportunities, etc.... Depends on the kid!
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  • lastone03lastone03 941 replies11 threadsRegistered User Member
    @cypresspat I am glad to see your HS limits apps at 10. I just don't understand 15,20 + apps. All it does is play into the hands of an already flawed system. Oh, and just a heads up about hockey rinks...

    https://und.com/sports/2018/8/7/facilities-compton-family-ice-html.aspx
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  • SilverGrassSilverGrass 28 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @tkoparent, many thanks for the hotel recommendation! Really appreciate the information! Definitely will look for it once know our travel dates.

    @browniesundae, can you share what questions you have in your form?
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  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 432 replies6 threadsRegistered User Member
    My general rule is: If it works for you, do it!

    If it works to visit reach schools where your kid has a remote chance of acceptance, do it.

    Having said that, I'm firmly in @homerdog 's camp. When we took my oldest to his first visits, the ones where you are supposed to visit big/small/urban/rural to see what you like, it was a *huge* mistake to include, for example, Georgetown as "urban" when my son had no realistic chance of getting in. American, which would have been a safety for him suffered by comparison.

    Not saying don't visit reach schools, but maybe not all reaches, and maybe not at the very beginning.
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  • collegemom9collegemom9 795 replies30 threadsRegistered User Member
    Most of the schools we visited were relative safeties. The only school that wasn’t was what ended up being my son’s ED choice. I have a kid who is very easy going, who would have been happy at many different types of schools so we were lucky. When we visited his ED school he turned to me after the tour and said “I have to ED here or I won’t stand a chance”. We agreed and he knew we needed significant FA. I talked to the director and he agreed with us and told us he could back out if the financials weren’t right. I ran the NPC several times and printed out copies. We were very lucky as he was admitted and the school was very generous with us. I wouldn’t have been able to spend the money to look at every school on the list so we were selective. We are lucky enough to live an area with lots of top schools within 30 minutes from our house as well. He even emailed the admissions director at Tulane to let him know why he couldn’t visit and that it was a top choice to demonstrate interest (which I believe factored into his acceptance there as well).
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  • cypresspatcypresspat 328 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    @lastone03 Thanks for the rink info. It seems like through his hockey career we have been in every single rink in the country, but I know that is not true.

    I agree that the 10 app rule is a positive. First it has forced my S20 to treat every app as precious. Second it minimizes the number of students who do not enroll in schools they are accepted into. I groan when I look at Naviance and see a large number of kids fail to enroll at schools with low admit rates. I have to wonder if that damages our HS’ reputation at that school and makes it more difficult for future students from our HS.

    My son’s GC has spent a TON of time with us on his college app list. He has been very helpful in helping him eliminate candidate schools (for various reasons). Maybe the 10 app rule makes the GCs be more careful, too? They are highly motivated to see a lot of students go to ‘marquee’ schools. S20 goes to a medium sized public high school.
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  • NJWrestlingmomNJWrestlingmom 1222 replies2 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    We actually have the opposite problem - most schools we have in mind would likely be safety to match schools for D21. Hard to say because she goes to a different school than S17 did, and is a much better student! We'll have to talk to guidance next year to get a better idea of what a good reach would be. I'm most concerned with her falling in love with something we can't afford! Luckily she still seems quite happy with S17's school as her fall back (Rowan), which is in-state and affordable.

    Major has changed many times, but most of her interests seem to be leaning psychology or writing/communications. Every time I ask her where she wants to visit, she responds, "California". LOL!!! I told her if she can find a couple of schools that might offer merit and get them in range she can apply. But we won't visit unless something comes through! So far, we're definitely going to check out TCNJ (easy day trip) and maybe St. Joe's in Philly. We'll save some further trips for once school is in session so we can get a better feel.
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  • cypresspatcypresspat 328 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    @homerdog Read my post a bit more carefully. He is very happy with his safety (in fact, it is naturally in his top 3 at the moment on its own academic merits). And I am a statistician who does enrollment modeling for higher ed institutions, so I calculate probabilities all day long. So I am pretty good at it. 🙂
    The 3 safety, 3 matches and rest reaches approach doesn’t make sense for him, at all. There is no financial barrier for us. If he gets into only safety. Win. If one of the reaches and he chooses that. Win. Only ‘lose’ is his safeties go out of business in the next year. Unlikely.

    People are terrible at assessing risk and more importantly, they tend to over-emphasize the downside. Using simple probability, it is easy to argue that the approach which is so often touted here on CC is a bad strategy for many. Kids who come from our HS do exceptional well (even in this so-called difficult recent year for applicants) at a bunch of schools that statistically they should not have. Perhaps those schools especially value something our students tend to have, not really sure.

    But if you think that his SAT scores will lock him out any of those schools, you are incorrect. There are schools where that is true, and none of them are on his list. No SAT makes any kid a lock for any of them either.
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  • homerdoghomerdog 5048 replies93 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 21
    @cypresspat it’s all good. You obviously have it under control. If he’s happy with his safety that is, of course, great news. And, if you have data from your high school that shows his grades and scores will get him into some of his reaches, then that is good news too. Kids at our school do get into elite universities but usually they go ED or are recruited athletes or legacies. Parents know that up front when they try to determine their child’s chances. Sounds like you also have good info. Unfortunately for us, a 1510 SAT and three season unrecruited athlete with rigorous schedule includes probably 80 kids so they compete against each other for spots and many get taken by the above noted groups before RD. So, knowing the landscape of the student’s school when making visit lists is a very good thing.
    edited June 21
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  • ARTCCARTCC 177 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    At our D's college, they often close some dormitories for the Summer for renovations. She graduated last month, and her freshman dorm will be closed this Summer for renovations. FWIW, during our campus tour at the college she ultimately attended and graduated from, we were shown through a dorm, but not one for first year students.

    At another college we visited, we were shown a "model" dorm room that was obviously carefully prepared by a professional interior decorator and not actually in use by actual students. While there's nothing wrong with presenting a positive image to visitors, we would have much rather seen an actual dorm room as furnished and used by actual students.

    Due to my work schedule, I had to do my college visits during our D's Fall break during her senior year in high school. I limited her visits to three out of state colleges of her choice. One of the three was also on Fall break when we visited, and unfortunately you just can't get the same vibe as when the campus is full of students and faculty when classes are in session.

    Our approach was to do our own walk-through of the campus's public areas the day we arrived before the formal campus information session and campus tour the following day. We also tried to reserve time after eating in the campus dining facility or other eateries and having her sit-in on a class (may not be an option during Summer terms) to do some sightseeing in the areas off campus.
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  • MoonKnightMoonKnight 377 replies9 threadsRegistered User Member
    I'm not sure if my reply is too late but I went to Yellowstone over the summer and the place was absolutely gorgeous. It was amazing seeing all the wild animals and the beauty of nature.
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  • VeryapparentVeryapparent 881 replies16 threadsRegistered User Member
    We were on the merit hunt so most visits were to schools that offered significant merit to a student with my daughters stats. Also the bonus being that at these schools showing interest was helpful.
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  • natty1988natty1988 638 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    We only went on official tours at schools where my kids had a realistic chance at getting in. That said, when we happened to be near Stanford or Berkeley we went and walked around both campuses after dinner. Even though my kids weren't applying it was still fun to see different college campuses.
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  • AnneivAnneiv 8 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    For us it helps to see them all -- reaches and safeties and those that seemed perfect for DS and those that we knew probably would not fit. When we started the process, on a trip to the Philly area, we visited UPenn and Princeton - they are 1 hour apart, and I personally wanted to see both schools as I had never been there. For one, who knows?! I do want my kid to throw one app into the reach pile if he wants, with the realistic expectations that it is a "reach". He might as well make that one shot the one that he actually likes.

    Also, there is a lot that can be attained from a visit to a school that is not specific to that school. This is a city/urban school - parking in a garage a half mile away, Crossing the street to get to classes, non-students walking through campus, city sounds, etc. Now compare this to the suburban school - Free parking, riding a shuttle, green grass and lots of trees, almost everyone we see on campus is affiliated with the school, etc. For even more contrast, we stopped by Swarthmore (a small LAC) on that same trip.

    Taking in the info sessions at that stage was a waste for us though. Almost everything they tell you -- even at the schools where he will apply -- can be found out on the website (or here on CC) . I find the most valuable part of the info sessions is to listen for something the Admission officer highlights --- something that my student can get excited about and can do more research about and possibly include in a "Why X school?" essay. Other than that, just walking around campus or taking a tour was good enough for us at that stage. But yes, we didn't go "way" out of our way, but if we were in the area, we did them all.
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  • nehikernehiker 91 replies11 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    We are headed to Vassar, Skidmore, St. Lawrence, Rochester and Cornell next week. We may also do drives around campus at Syracuse and Binghamton.
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  • Darcy123Darcy123 290 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    One reason to visit reaches is if you're planning on applying ED. It makes zero sense to ED to a school you haven't visited. We've talked extensively about the realities of low acceptance rate schools and my daughter really likes one of her match schools. We still have a couple safeties to visit.
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  • homerdoghomerdog 5048 replies93 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @Darcy123 I agree with that but I’ll even double down and say visiting during the summer is not enough to decide to ED. If possible , kids should visit during the school year, get into a class or two, and stay overnight. If not comfortable with overnight, at least stay around campus for a couple of days and talk to as many students and professors as you can. Eat in the dining hall. Try to see a dorm. ED is no joke. If you get in, you’re going. Better make sure it’s the right choice.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7245 replies56 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @nehiker - Be sure to check that Cornell is doing tours when you are planning to visit. They were the only school we visited that didn't have daily scheduled tours over the summer months.
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