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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?

  • SDCounty3MomSDCounty3Mom Registered User Posts: 205 Junior Member
    The schools D19 has visited so far have all proven to be plenty to experience in one day and I don't think we could realistically hit more than one campus in a day. She's looking at schools on the smaller side, all of which have some sort of information session with an AO and also a tour. This summer we are flying to the midwest from California, visiting family for a day, and then seeing four schools in six days. We have to cover a fair amount of ground between each school. But each has at least two things to attend, and she's got interviews at three campuses. Macalester College has five items on her schedule, including the standard tour, info session, and interview, but also a student panel and lunch with a student. I was surprised how extensive that was for a July visit, but I'm glad because there's so much more room to work with in the summer months when it comes to finding time for all this.

    I have found thus far that D19 really can't formulate much of an opinion about a school based on anything other than actually visiting the campus. She has told me that the brochures in the mail all seem the same to her, and for whatever reason she hasn't had much interest in the Fiske Guide. But as soon as she visits a campus she's suddenly got much more clarity. We've visited almost every school in our large home state that she would have an interest in, so now she's going to try on the experience of having to get on a plane to go to school.

    A friend works for a large tech company that is currently working with some university clients to design software that will help them improve their yield. These schools want to be able to identify factors that will predict students' choices. But the anecdotal reports they receive from students often cite really subjective and silly reasons for choosing or not choosing a campus. One student didn't like a particular headline she noticed in the student newspaper. Another was favorably swayed by the availability of bendy straws in the dining areas. Point being...I think it's important to try to help kids form impressions based on multiple factors. Multiple visits, doing various things on the campus when you do visit, etc. Of course this is more feasible in some cases than in others...

    We took an app-based self-guided tour of one campus and that wasn't a hit with D19 at all. I think the "ghost" experience, without official contact with the admissions office, is the least ideal approach.

  • Musicmom2015Musicmom2015 Registered User Posts: 307 Member
    When we toured schools with my DS15 we stuck with one school per day - summer or during the school year. We did a morning info session and tour and then spent the afternoon visiting with the music people, taking a major specific tour, having a sample music lesson, or just wandering around and people watching. As we got “better” at touring we reached out to friends of friends who might know a student at the school. Then we could get a student to really talk to us and show us around to areas not on the tour. I didn’t want to drive or fly some distance and then feel rushed. We plan to follow this again as we start touring with our DD19. We will see Tulane this summer. We may do one of the dc area schools so we won’t be as rushed in the dc / Virginia area next year. I know lots of people manage two a day but it wouldn’t have worked for us. Any tips for Tulane in the summer appreciated!
  • DCNatFanDCNatFan Registered User Posts: 604 Member
    We have managed to do two tours in a single day. Last week we were able to tour High Point and Elon on the same day. It does make for a very long day but we were limited on time and were not sure we would make it back any time soon.
  • PostmodernPostmodern Registered User Posts: 1,203 Senior Member
    While I never like to disagree with @doschicos , I recommend you go to the Dinosaur BBQ in Troy when visiting RPI and instead visit The Varsity on the SU campus, especially if you are not getting a tour. The Varsity is fun and a good view into the "Let's Go Orange!" culture, for better or worse.

    This way you'll only have to park once in Syracuse, and the Troy Dinosaur is right next to a Best Western if you stay in Troy.

    (but don't stay in Troy! lol)
  • TheGreyKingTheGreyKing Forum Champion Williams College Posts: 1,965 Forum Champion
    edited June 2018
    We usually visited only one college per day, and we usually avoided info sessions (we really hated those) and only took the tour and then ate lunch in the student cafeteria and wandered around briefly. These are the only examples of when we did two colleges in a day:

    Colgate info session and tour a.m.(before we gave up on the concept of info sessions!), Hamilton tour p.m., sleep at bed and breakfast near Hamilton College, Hamilton interview the next a.m.

    Arrive p.m. and wander around Franklin and Marshall and eat in cafeteria, Franklin and Marshall interview and tour the next a.m., then Princeton tour in p.m. and depart right after the tour.

    Arrive p.m. and wander around Bates, Bates interview and formal tour a.m., Bowdoin interview and tour p.m. (Son said Bowdoin portion felt short vs. Bates portion where he had more time to wander around.)

    If I had had a child interested in Mt Hoyoke or Smith or Hampshire or UMass Amherst and not just in Amherst College, or a child interested in both Haverford and Bryn Mawr, those extremely close colleges might have made sense to visit on the same day.

    Same day visits need to be of colleges that are fairly closely located to one another not to feel rushed.
  • hiislandmomhiislandmom Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    We did two car trips with our daughter. Trip one, first day- Depart NYC 6:30am - Wesleyan 9am, Holyoke noon, Smith 3pm. Over night in North Hampton. Second Day Williams 9am, Skidmore 2pm. Over night in Saratoga Springs. Third day - Bard 10am, Vassar 1pm. Back to the city by 5pm. Second trip- depart from EWR 4pm overnight in Easton Lafayette 9am, Lehigh 2pm- drive half way to next stop and overnight in Binghamton. Drive to Colgate the following morning. Colgate 9am . Hamilton 2pm. Overnight in Clinton to get a better feel for Hamilton. She ended up taking a third trip and flew to PHL for a quick look at Haverford, a school we could have fit in on the second trip. She fell in love with it, applied early decision and is junior there now. She realized that all of the other schools we had visited were too remote. Haverford had so many things going for it. Part of consortium with Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore and with a train station right across the street- easy access to Philly and NYC.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 20,624 Senior Member
    I suggest having an escape plan too! Very early in our college touring, we went to a very small school, in the middle of nowhere, and we all knew immediately that this wasn't going to work. Unfortunately, we had a meeting with the coach set for later on the schedule. We went on a tour, met with admissions, more down time, coach was with another recruit, then our turn. Took forever! We learned not to set things up that way again.
  • ASKMotherASKMother Registered User Posts: 152 Junior Member
    I think one important thing is to do our homework BEFORE you head out. We didn't visit any school that I hadn't already vetted to see if it met academic qualifications my daughter was looking for as well as opportunities for her major/career plans. We also went back to just a few select schools to interview rather than doing that on the initial tour.
  • northwestynorthwesty Registered User Posts: 3,380 Senior Member
    edited June 2018
    "I'm curious about those of you who say it's possible to do two tours in one day. That wasn't our experience at all. We were usually on campus prior to the start of a 10 am info session/tour that lasted until lunch,we ate in the dining hall, and then had engineering specific tours and meet and greets with profs, that lasted most of the afternoon. Generally speaking we were on campus from 9:30 until 4"

    So how many schools did you visit this way?

    There's a lot of different ways to do visits and how you do it depends on the particular circumstances/kid, how big/small the school list is, where you are in the process, and how much time and money you have to devote to visits.

    Some folks will tell you it is a complete waste to visit a school until after you know you've been accepted. Others tell you it is a complete waste to apply to a school if you haven't visited first.

    We opted to visit more schools more quickly/superficially on the very front end -- to figure out where to apply. So at the earlier stages and also for summer visits, we always did 2 schools in a day if they were close enough to make that possible. Villanova/Haverford. Swarthmore/Penn. Northwestern/Chicago. BC/Tufts (actually a 3-a-day since we squeezed in an informal walk about at Harvard).

    We only did a couple of deep dive visits (sitting in on classes, meeting professors, sleep over in dorm, etc.), and those were only after the kid was an accepted student. To figure out where to attend.
  • ASKMotherASKMother Registered User Posts: 152 Junior Member
    edited June 2018
    @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. I recommend applying to EA decisions if available for your school choices. I can see if you are very arts specific - theater, dance, music/concert - that you would want to make certain you are a fit with their program and professors/instructors; or if you are an athlete to meet with a coach and understand their workouts and practice vs academic schedules. But my daughter sat in on 2 different psych classes at two different schools and 2 different English classes at 2 different schools and they were basically the same as far as lecture/discussion mix. I don't think a decision should/could be made based on a one hour lecture.
  • northwestynorthwesty Registered User Posts: 3,380 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.
  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,899 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.
  • rjkofnovirjkofnovi Registered User Posts: 10,366 Senior Member
    ^^^Florida in July? You should reverse your scheduling.
  • collegemomjamcollegemomjam Registered User Posts: 1,755 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.
  • junanijunani Registered User Posts: 12 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.
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