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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?

  • SCMomofTwoSCMomofTwo Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    Clemson, UAH, University of Alabama, then up the coast NE. Summer program at MIT, so tour there, Harvard and Yale. Safe travels everyone!
  • sailor7dsailor7d Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    How about seeing Bard near Vassar, Conn College near Wesleyan do avoid Trinity too dangerous during summer months.
  • sailor7dsailor7d Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    As a MA native and a teacher coach at the hs level, I wanted my sons to see as many colleges as possible by state.
    We could visit the NE schools during the school year. Our plan was to see the NY schools first. Hamilton, Union and Skidmore followed by Colgate, Syracuse, Cornell and Ithaca. We then headed south to PA to check out Bucknell, Lehigh, Lafayette, Dickinson, Gettysburg, Muhlenberg and Franklin and Marshall. We went to Philly and visited PENN, Villanova, Swarthmore and Haverford .We turned south to D.C. Georgetown, GW and Catholic U were visited. We proceeded west to George Mason, James Madison, UVA and interview at Washington and Lee.hugely disappointing! We headed southeast on our final swing to see the Quonset Hut dorms at Randolph Fakin Macon and the crown jewel U of Richmond. There is not a more beautiful campus in this country than the home of the Spiders! My favorites were:
    Richmond, Lafayette gorgeous as well,Colgate and Bucknell. Franklin and Marshall, Villanova and Swarthmore also appealed. THUMBS DOWN to Gettysburg, Wash and Lee, Dickinson and Ithaca. Of course UVA and Cornell were as
    overwhelmingly impressive in every way. Haverford, Georgetown and Syracuse left me cold. Our next trip in late August took us further south to the Carolinas. We visited Davidson, Wake Forest, Clemson, UNC Greensboro, Furman,
    Guilford, Wofford, Elon and U oF South Carolina. My rank order was: Wake Forest, Furman and Davidson. Each had a spectacular campus and top notch facilities. Overrated to me was up and comer Elon very cookie cutter red brick Wake Forest wannabe. Our final college trip took us out to the Midwest and Ohio. There we had interviews at Kenyon, Denison and Ohio Wesleyan. We drove out to see OHIO STATE and Wittenberg as well. Most disappointing were Kenyon and OWU. Ohio State was similar to Northeastern back in Boston. We were blown away by Denison beyond beautiful with exquisitely maintained grounds and buildings. It had a Lafayette/ Wake Forest feel to it. Kenyon was dank and gray with tree limbs down everywhere. The classroom buildings and athletic facilities substandard for such a highly ranked school academically. Even a lesser name Ohio Wesleyan had a warmer feeling about it. Seeing the upstart Denison made the whole three days out there worthwhile.
  • bobo44bobo44 Registered User Posts: 165 Junior Member
    sailor7d , did you really do this? Are you a college counselor or a parent looking for one school for one child? This sounds like The Oddysey!

    So interesting to me to hear your evaluation of Denison st the end. For me, that is the one that got away. For my daughter, no way (decided too small, even without visiting.) She was admitted with decent merit and I fell head over heels for Denison's president and his vision for the school. Just so impressed. Alas, not to be! I already went to college, so I guess this decision is hers, not mine.
  • bobo44bobo44 Registered User Posts: 165 Junior Member
    Oh, I see: "sons" plural. But still! That's a lotta schools!
  • BirdintheHandBirdintheHand Registered User Posts: 27 Junior Member
    @sailor7d Where did your sons end up?
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 19,515 Senior Member
    "Kenyon was dank and gray with tree limbs down everywhere. The classroom buildings and athletic facilities substandard for such a highly ranked school academically."

    @sailor7d I know impressions vary from person to person (we really liked some the colleges you disliked and visa versa) but I really don't get you comments on Kenyon's Athletic Center as it is one of the very best among LACs. Perhaps you are confusing it with another school?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqID8OaPpGE


    "avoid Trinity too dangerous during summer months."
    What makes Trinity more dangerous during the summer?

  • wisteria100wisteria100 Registered User Posts: 4,052 Senior Member
    @doschicos I had the same reaction to @sailor7d’s reference to the Kenyon athletic facility. Perhaps it was a long ago visit prior to the building of that facility? Instead of being ‘substandard’ for a school of that caliber, it’s almost too good for a school of that size!
  • NEPatsGirlNEPatsGirl Registered User Posts: 2,877 Senior Member
    We visited dozens of schools, even flew to Scranton and worked our way down to Baltimore over a four-day period to see 6 or 7 of them. We found visiting multiple schools in a day (usually only two but sometimes three) pretty easy. We spent the more time at the schools she was most interested in and sometimes just walked the campus of those that happened to be in the vicinity to get a first impression. D was very organized in the process. We already had a spreadsheet detailing priorities. She then did an index card for each school with the info needed/questions. My best piece of advice is to take a picture of each school or campus....if you are visiting many schools it really helps in the end to distinguish them from each other in your mind. I generally drove late afternoon, we grabbed a hotel and had a nice dinner, spent the evening discussing the schools we visited and got a good nights sleep...repeat the next day.
  • melvin123melvin123 Registered User Posts: 1,397 Senior Member
    @doschicos the area around Trinity (if we're talking about the one in Hartford) has a high crime rate. There is a 9pm curfew for anyone under the age of 18. I don't have statistics, but having lived there, there is more crime in the summer.
  • melvin123melvin123 Registered User Posts: 1,397 Senior Member
    But I would feel fine visiting Trinity during the day.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 19,515 Senior Member
    edited June 2018
    @melvin123 I agree that That area isn't the greatest. Just wondering why anyone would think it would be different the other 9 months of the year as opposed to just summer. There are still programs on campus and campus security during the summer.
  • TheGreyKingTheGreyKing Forum Champion Williams College Posts: 1,958 Forum Champion
    edited June 2018
    @soxmom , @circuitrider - S visited and loved most of the colleges I named above, plus some others (e.g., Hamilton), and we all felt he would have been very happy at any of them. The schools were more alike than different, with their differences mostly a matter of degree. For example, all of them lean liberal— Wesleyan, Vassar and Skidmore just a bit more so!

    In the final analysis, yes, if it had come down to Skidmore or Lafayette, the relatively small difference in fit would have been a bit more pronounced and he would have gone to Skidmore. But all the colleges that stayed on his list after the visits (including Lafayette) felt like places he would be happy both academically and socially.

    He picked Williams (above the other similar LACs) for early decision because it is rural and nestled among mountains, it has an active club team in his sport, it has great community building for the freshman class with the “entry” dorm system and orientation programs, it is the top-ranked northeastern LAC in US News and Forbes, and he had a legacy advantage. He is thrilled to be going there, and I do not think he would have been happier anywhere else. But I do think he could have been just as happy at many of the other colleges we visited. (Of the colleges you both mentioned, Wesleyan and Vassar were among his five finalists for early decision. He loved Bowdoin too, and the only reasons Bowdoin was not an ED finalist were that it was farther away from home and as hard to get into as Williams but with no admissions advantage there.)

    In fact, the best part about visiting 21 colleges was learning that there was not just one perfect match, and therefore that his happiness did not hinge on a crazily competitive admissions process!
  • TheGreyKingTheGreyKing Forum Champion Williams College Posts: 1,958 Forum Champion
    edited June 2018
    ^Most of our visits had the effect of confirming, “Yes, this would be a great place to go to college,” rather than eliminating a school. In fact, of 21 colleges visited, only one was definitely eliminated immediately after the visit, and only one other was definitely elimininated months later after comparison to the others we visited.

    (I suspect three more would have dropped out if he had had to apply RD and write all those supplemental essays.)

    The search was narrowed down a lot before the visits, based on reading about them—colleges were eliminated as too big, too fratty, too weird, too urban, etc.
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 4,228 Senior Member
    Summer visits are fine. Expectation just has to be that smaller campuses like LACs will seem sleepy. You can't hold that against the school on a summer visit. You can still see if you like the campus. Check out the surrounding town if there is one. Get questions answered by the student tour guide. You can't do any of that looking at websites. We visited Kenyon and Denison last summer and S19 liked them both. Now that we are closer to application time, he's decided we should go back in the fall to see the campuses with students in session. I don't know that we would make this trip before applying since he's pretty sure he'll apply, but they both like kids to interview and so we will take S19 out of school for two days and go in the fall instead of making another summer trip. Kills two birds with one stone since he can interview, see students, and hit a class or two.

    We are going to Bowdoin and Colby this summer. I expect to find them sleepy...and probably not that much different than lots of the LACs we've seen. Like Kenyon, Bowdoin likes kids to interview and we are trying to give S19 the best leg up we can. Plus, I've always wanted a summer Maine vacation so I can check that off too!
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