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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?

  • emptynesteryetemptynesteryet 205 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Not trying to be "rude" and I suppose what I am about to type may be taken as such :( it is not my intent. Sharing experiences from 20+ years ago is that really relevant in today's college hunt?

    My FIL went to Tulane (Masters) when acceptance rates were in the 70's. When the Corp of Engineers would say "Pick a school LSU, UNO, or Tulane" and the new engineers would just show up to class. His stories are not relevant to today's climate as much as he likes to share them.





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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5882 replies10 threads Senior Member
    @homerdog , while the Maine schools will feel pretty different than during the school year, lots of students find ways to stay on campus for the summer. Their payback for winter, if you will! So you may find students to chat with even if it's sleepy.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 4493 replies18 threads Senior Member
    First off, if you don't like your guide then switch groups. The guide can make or break your tour experience. Secondly after seeing a few different campuses... All the chemistry buildings look the same. You don't have to do the full walking tour. You can venture off on your own. After awhile they all seem the same. Have your kid try to identify with the campus. Some schools just feel right.

    Meet with the heads of the departments or some professors. This is so much more useful. This is not an interview just fact-finding. This shows interest in the school plus you can use it in your essays.... What did you like about x school? Well.. When I met with Professor so and so we discussed.... X... Get it? Especially small lac... This can quickly lead to acceptance and scholarships. Always send an email to thank them and cc your regional counselor for that school. This is just a mature thing to do since you took someone's time plus it let's the regional school counselor know you are truly interested in the school.

    The day drags on so take some snacks and water /tea etc for a pick me up. Trust me, your impression of a school will change depending if your hungry, tired, out of it etc.

    If you go when schools in session have your child really look at the kids in general. Are these the types of kids you want to be with for 4 years? With two different types of kids we saw very small lac to big ten universities. Some schools have a funky cool vibe, some are very collegiate. Stop students of the schools you are going to ask questions. This was very useful actually. Just a quick, HI, we are touring today... What are somethings that help you decide on coming here? You will get answers you would not imagine and see the maturity of the students.

    All of the big hall school talks seem to be very similar and are the why you should go to that school talks. . It helps if your child actually looks up about the school prior to going to get some background.

    Have you kid write downs few notes about each school and you do the same. Because after going to several of these you will forget which school said what.......

    If you get to your school the night before then go to a local pizza etc place where students will be..... Kinda fun when kids are all wearing their school gear getting ice cream etc.

    Remember to have fun. Some kids find this stressful so gauge your kid....

    Lastly for now..... If they give out like free ice-cream.... Go for it!
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  • ccprofandmomof2ccprofandmomof2 486 replies8 threads Member
    @Knowsstuff How do you arrange meetings with professors or heads of departments?
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  • drewsmom17drewsmom17 308 replies10 threads Member
    I'm getting excited to start the big tour loop on Thursday. The dept tours are always better than the general but we aren't able to schedule those for all of our visits.

    We toured NC State, impressive and huge. It was busy for a summer visit and a local pizza place was very good. We are having fun checking out local spots. The dept tour was good and we got to see a really interesting project in process.

    OH State offers a 5 PM tour so we're hitting Case Western in the morning and driving down to take the late OH tour in a day. I'm curious how that time of day will compare.
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  • drewsmom17drewsmom17 308 replies10 threads Member
    edited July 2018
    @ccprofandmomof2 We have scheduled 2 dept tours and found them online under the dept web pages. We have not tried to visit with any professors.
    edited July 2018
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7685 replies63 threads Senior Member
    @ccprofandmomof2 - we met with professors whenever possible. Some schools were very open to that, others were not. We called the department office specific for our daughter's intended major and asked if it was a possibility. At some schools where profs weren't available, we were often given their emails to correspond (and they were very responsive), and we also had some of the administrators meet with us. One of our best experiences was with an admin assistant of a chem e department who gave us tours of some the locked labs, was able to talk extensively about scheduling priorities, the history of women in their specific program, etc....
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  • bearcatfanbearcatfan 1152 replies12 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2018
    We did all our visits last summer, too.

    Most of the schools were a little quiet, although there were students around. We had to make arrangements ahead of time to meet nursing faculty/administrators since it was summer and they had vacations, too. One college we ended up rescheduling several times, but we got to talk to the head of the nursing school when we did go so that was worth it. We felt summer visits meant the ability to spend more leisurely time on campus, but sometimes you had to arrange things far in advance.

    At one school she was ready to leave right away, although she did apply because it was direct admit nursing. At another school, we both left with the same opinion - not for her - but again she applied, which in retrospect was a waste.

    I actually liked the summer visits, since they were easier to schedule without school and other activities. We decided if she wanted a second look at any of them, we'd do it during the school year (all were within a three hour drive). She got a second look at one, and that is the one she is attending in the fall.

    Also, take pictures of the dorm tours. We agreed that most academic buildings looked the same, but the dorms helped her differentiate the schools.
    edited July 2018
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 4493 replies18 threads Senior Member
    @ccprofandmomof2.. Sorry about the delay... I am not getting my notifications since new update. As stated just look up the department or professors and email them. We never had an issue at small, collegiate or ivy type schools. All were very encouraging and helpful. Calling the specific department can be helpful for guidance. Remember, all schools want students. They also want students that show interest. You are taking an extra step to talk with a professor etc. This shows interest. This is also helpful if your kid is going to be interviewed. This can be practice per se. Your kid doesn't need to do anything special like wear a suit etc. Just being themselves is key.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 4493 replies18 threads Senior Member
    As far as 2fers. We did do Georgia Tech in the morning and Emory in the afternoon. Talk about drastic contrasts. My son was looking at engineering schools but everyone told us to checkout Emory since we were there. As you can imagine Georgia Tech was a more formal and intense "we are a great research and engineering elite university". Then Emory school talk was great, low key and the admissions head was down right funny. She went over what all the helicopter parents were doing to their kids (we are all so bad) but stressed to the boys to open up on their essays. She said the girls will all write and tell you everything about them but boys will rarely write anything about themselves. She said to let the boys know... It's OK to brags little.......
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  • Tyler333Tyler333 17 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Summer is a great time to visit colleges. I am from California, so I tend to have a strong tunnel vision for California schools unless they appear to be better academically. Being in California allows me to easily travel to UC, Cal States, and Private schools in California. A good campus travel would be driving from Southern California to Northern California. This is a perfect way to hit the majority fo campuses through the state of California.
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  • worelyclanworelyclan 54 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Completely agree with @TheGreyKing ... we became a lot more efficient once we gained the confidence to start skipping info sessions. Sure, questions would come up later that were likely answered on the tour or at the info session, but it wasn't that big of a deal to go back and find somebody and ask the question. Nobody ever puts you in the penalty box for asking a question that was answered earlier and something that you skipped. As was pointed out, SO much of the information is obvious and already known. When you regain that hour or whatever it is, it makes a difference over the course of a trip.

    We had zero problems doing two schools in one day where geography permitted. We tried three once and that was pushing it. If one had been a quick "no" then that would have helped but all three were contenders.
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  • drewsmom17drewsmom17 308 replies10 threads Member
    Checking in from Rochester NY. We have now been away from home for 3 weeks, including stays with his sister, a week at the beach, then a few days with grandparents. The driving and living out of suitcases has gotten old and we are ready to be home! That said, we are pacing ourselves to give each visit a fair chance.
    Updates-
    OH State-cancelled tour. He feels that he has seen enough big state schools. He has been to MI State, UNL, NC State in the past year.

    Thurs, U Del- not great visit, no mention of CS in info session, assigned group guide had no connection to anything S19 was interested in. Probably off the list. Also hated the cost of parking, $10 for all day in the garage on campus. $6 for 3 hrs but we didn't know how long it would take.

    Friday, Lehigh-surprise hit! It drizzled, was humid as heck, couldn't hear the guide unless close, but he loved it. The info session had the best speaker so far. He didn't mind the steps or lack of ac in some dorms. He loved that it was set in a mountain, the canopy of trees, and style of buildings. He commented about the ivy climbing and liked the look. Also liked the types of programs available. He did not expect to like such a small school but it's a definite contender at this point. His HS has 2300 students.

    Sat-RPI- went down on his list after visit. Surprise to us both since it was one of his top choices. Did not like the complete science focus, seemed very serious, he felt uncomfortable. Knows it has excellent opportunities and loves hockey but didn't feel it. Great info speaker and guide, beautiful, cool day so conditions were perfect for a good experience. Funny he did not like the "open, big sidewalks"

    Drove through Syracuse, he liked the looks of it. SiL's nephew goes there if he decides to look into it.

    We both hit the traveling wall today. I got cranky after the visit until I found coffee. He ran out of steam tonight so we're lounging and will see a movie tomorrow. Maybe Niagara Falls if we feel adventurous.
    Monday-RIT
    Tuesday-Case Western then home.

    Biggest surprise- all the tolls!!!!
    Best part- we both love researching and talking about colleges. Also share lots of music tastes.
    Worst part- no chauffeur!

    U of MN later in month during visit to grandma.

    I'd love to hear other trip reports if you care to share.
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  • TS0104TS0104 928 replies27 threads Member
    I agree, @emptynesteryet; it would be very helpful if @sailor7d would edit that post (if possible) to put the tour years on. I think some of the information could be helpful, but some regarding facilities is simply outdated. Heck I've personally seen the huge changes in the OSU campus over living near it for 20 years. Lots of shabbier apartment areas cleaned up, new modern dorms, surrounding area revitalizing as well. Culture, reputation, strengths and weaknesses can change over time as well.
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  • MAsecondtimerMAsecondtimer 161 replies1 threads Junior Member
    We have done many tours with S14 and D18. At some schools you could pick your student tour guide...often they are introduced after the info session and mention their major, and where they are from. Some schools "assigned" you to a guide...often based on where you were sitting. My kids learned early on to try to tour with somebody that they could relate to...for whatever reason. This was based on their major, region of the country they were from...or could have been something else that they saw as in "I can maybe see myself being friends with that kid". Whatever worked for them was good for us. When we were assigned to a group we occasionally switched if that made sense. We learned that a tour guide can make or break a tour....we remember the great ones and we still mention a few "terrible" ones.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23285 replies17 threads Senior Member
    Funny he did not like the "open, big sidewalks"

    Okay has to go on the stupidest reasons a kid won't look at a school thread. I get it, it's the little things, but this is right up there with 'the doors are too big.'

    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/705291-stupidest-reason-child-wont-look-at-a-college.html
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  • drewsmom17drewsmom17 308 replies10 threads Member
    @twoinanddone I know! There were several reasons but that was the one that surprised me. We laughed and I told him about that thread. Thanks for posting it!
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  • drewsmom17drewsmom17 308 replies10 threads Member
    edited July 2018
    He also wont even think about Duke because of sports rivalries. No, he doesnt play on a team, just can't stand them.

    I wish that thread would stay open, it was pretty funny.
    edited July 2018
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  • RedslpRedslp 159 replies6 threads Junior Member
    We're headed to Cal-Poly tomorrow for our first college tour. Is it acceptable for my son to wear shorts?
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