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Summer visits-where are you headed, any tips?

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

  • northwestynorthwesty 3541 replies9 threads Senior Member
    "@northwesty that was our theory too... see more up front so you don't waste time and money applying to schools that aren't a fit; go back to interview/spend the day at the ones you are really interested in to 'show interest'. On that note if you wait for your acceptances, especially the very end of March RD decisions, you are going to have a VERY busy April trying to visit and compare before May 1st."

    Exactly what we did -- the deep dive visits all happened in Jan--March time period after early admits. April is a tough time to do much visiting.
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  • barronsbarrons 23054 replies1955 threads Senior Member
    Big difference between trying to tour a Michigan and Wisconsin sized school in one day vs a Colgate and Williams (excluding actual distances). That would include seeing the student oriented parts of town. Colgate/Williams would take about 15 minutes to see the town. UM and UW a good 2 hours each.
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  • rjkofnovirjkofnovi 10440 replies109 threads Senior Member
    ^^^Florida in July? You should reverse your scheduling.
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  • collegemomjamcollegemomjam 1886 replies1 threads Senior Member
    I suggest trying to schedule formal visits if you can and have the time. Keep in mind many schools track demonstrated interest and you might as well get credit for being there. And some schools claim not to track if you demonstrate interest and I think they mean it, but I do think there are some instances where having visited might have made a difference for some people I know.

    Doing two in one day is fine if they are close by and if your student is open to it. We did two a day with my girls sometimes but my son has already said he only wants to do one a day. He turns off after a while.
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  • junanijunani 12 replies2 threads New Member
    edited June 2018
    We are in the process of scheduling some further afield schools to tie into long weekends away. UVM is over our July 4th break, we know the town well but it's an excuse to do the formal visit and enjoy the fireworks too. Another Friday/weekend will be UWisc Madison but we have to fly, and there will also be the drive to Syracuse. Will try to tie in 1-2 other schools in the vicinity to make the most of our time up there. Our others will be more local overnights to Northeastern, Drexel, UMD whenever time allows.

    Suncreen, hats, water, snacks, comfortable shoes - nothing like a grizzly teenager, and their younger sibling to cloud the experience. We caught the sun going around UVA on a cool spring day.
    edited June 2018
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  • KLSDKLSD 261 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Time devoted to visiting each school can depend on a student's application plan. If the guidance counselor has recommended that your high stats child look for the best fit and potentially apply ED or SCEA, spending time on a school specific tour (i.e. engineering), with professors, in classes, meeting with students and eating at local restaurants is worth every minute. Otherwise, it is terrific experience just to dive into departments of interest and meet with grad students and professors.
    Many students change their intended major freshman or sophomore year, but those that have the most exposure often seize the incredible research opportunities once on a campus. We did not view the in depth portion as college searching, more as a career search and and a way to nudge our children to be more comfortable engaging one on one with professors. Once they chose their top school(s), I brought them back to meet with professor(s), tour labs and attend classes without a parent tagging along. Their reactions at the end of the day told me everything I needed to know.
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  • IsoinfoIsoinfo 99 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Have you considered Purdue? With his stats, he may get some merit aid, even from out-of-state. And it wouldn't be too much out of the way (between Case Western and Illinois).
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  • Momto2girlsMomto2girls 56 replies19 threads Junior Member
    Last summer we went to Grinnell (my D19, her BF, BF's mom who is an academic) and none of us were impressed. Ditto with other summer visits. D19 and I went back this spring, when school was in session, and had a totally different experience. Seeing the campus with students she could talk to, meeting with admissions, financial aid,and the head of her potential major department moved Grinnell to the top of her list. I would not recommend summer visits. This fall D19, D20 and I will visit Colby, Bates & Bowdoin, and if D19 is accepted for some fly in programs, she'll do a few others on her own. It is a challenge to miss school for visits but we think worth it.
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  • gate84gate84 12 replies1 threads New Member
    All good suggestions.
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  • firstwavemomfirstwavemom 367 replies3 threads Member
    My S19 visited a couple of schools when D17 was going through the process and he wants to apply to both. We may visit those again at some point since they are within 2.5 hours from home. Visited UMiami in March and my husband took him to Boston in April to visit Northeastern and BC. Right now son's list is just 6 schools. We plan to do a tour at our in-state flagship, UMD (just a short drive from us), and may travel down to Wake Forest in August. If that doesn't happen, I'm fine with making a fall trip there. If we visit family in Atlanta, we may look at Emory and/or Georgia Tech.
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  • elena13elena13 886 replies15 threads Member
    Will look forward to hearing about some of these summer visits. Two summers ago, D17 and I toured U.Richmond and then hit several school in PA (Villanova, Bryn Mawr, Lafayette, Gettysburg with drive bys of Muhlenberg and Haverford). This summer, S19 has no interest in college visits. He has seen a few and thinks he will be happy being away at college and can find things to like about any campus. Ugh.
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  • TheGreyKingTheGreyKing 2169 replies102 threadsForum Champion Williams College Forum Champion
    @elena13- We greatly enjoyed our college visits, but if your son is pretty much an optimistic and non-fussy person for whom a specific “fit” is not essential because he can make himself feel happy just about anywhere, that’s great!

    And within similar colleges, the similarities far outweigh the differences anyway. E.g., a kid who would be happy with Williams would probably also love Amherst, Bowdoin, Middlebury, Bates, Colby, Vassar, Swarthmore, Haverford, Wesleyan, Skidmore, and Connecticut College- all similar northeastern small liberal arts colleges with no (or basically no) fraternities. So there might be something to be said for being able to search just by guide books and websites!

    Just beware of not visiting colleges that want to see demonstrated interest. In the list above, not visiting Bates, Skidmore, or Conn, if you live within a half-day’s drive and are not so poor the trip would be an obvious financial burden, possibly might lead to a rejection unless you find other ways to demonstrate and document your interest.
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  • circuitridercircuitrider 3378 replies169 threads Senior Member
    The vibe at Williams and Wesleyan is totally different.

    Here's how I would put it: there are large contingents within the student bodies at each school that would probably feel like minority groups at the other. Ostentatiously preppy kids who might be comfortably tolerated at Williams would probably be objects of derision at Wesleyan; ironic hipsters who might find a few like-minded chums at Wesleyan's periphery would most likely transfer out of Williams after a semester. However, that leaves a huge swath of people in the middle of the bell curve who are at each place just because of the academics.
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  • soxmomsoxmom 744 replies21 threads Member
    Very true, @circuitrider. The location of the two schools is a pretty big differentiator too, though. My S17 who is very outdoorsy loved Williams. My D19 wouldn't even go look at it because of the isolation factor, instead she's very attracted to how (relatively) easy it is to get from Wesleyan into NYC and how many restaurants/coffee places there are to walk to from campus.
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  • drewsmom17drewsmom17 308 replies10 threads Member
    We are mostly sticking to the basic tours so far. We attended the Engineering dept tour at NC State and it was different from the Michigan State dept tour. Both impressive but NC State seemed to provide more info about the opportunities within the dept and had current students share their experiences.

    @soxmom Haha, S19 learned over at one point to whisper newbs to me when one family asked a pretty basic question.

    The info sessions are getting repetitive but we do get another view of the school based on how it goes.
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  • elena13elena13 886 replies15 threads Member
    Regarding being happy at colleges with very different vibes and whether or not to visit, I believe that my S could be happy at Williams, Dartmouth or plenty of other LACs. However, I also feel he could be happy at Georgia Tech. For him, academics and finances (and potential financial aid) are the most important factors. Yes, I'd like him to visit more schools to narrow in on some of his preferences, but there are some good reasons not to visit at this point. Wherever he ends up, he will likely work hard, find some way to get involved in sports and will make friends with a variety of kids (as he does now). For some families, the notion of a perfect or even great fit is not high on the priority list.
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  • CheeringsectionCheeringsection 2521 replies78 threads Senior Member
    Do research on the usual weather (temperature range, type and amount of precipitation, # of sunny days, etc) during the school year and read over it the day of your tour. Students need to understand the weather they see during a summer visit may be very different from the school year.

    Stay as close to, or even on, campus overnight. Some schools rent out dorm space in the summer. Pricing is usually quite good and the perspective on campus life is great.
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