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Summer visits-where are you headed, any tips?


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

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 75,660 Senior Member

    OOS for Wisconsin...$50,000 a year.

    OOS for Minnesota 40,000 a year.

    Michigan is $62,000 but do you qualify for need based aid? They don’t guarantee to meet full need for all OOS students, but are moving closer to that! Maybe it would work financially if you qualify for need based aid.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 5,217 Senior Member
    I wouldn't ED anywhere without visiting while school is in session, but summer tours are fine (with comfy shoes.) At most schools, there will be some students on campus (doing research, heloping with csmps, giving tours!) so you may get lucky and get a little more of their time than you might during the school year. Schedule tours and interviews in advance!

    At most schools, the admissions department will have a list of good local eateries. One that was recommended on a summer tour is now a regular stop of ours on northbound trips. And I totally agree that it's less stressful if you stay the night before wherever you are touring in the morning. Much less stressful!
  • swampdragginswampdraggin Registered User Posts: 278 Junior Member
    3 tips
    Many LACs and small universities will fell pretty quiet and hard to differentiate during the summer -especially because they will be very quiet with no extracurricular activities there or maybe summer camp programs - so just pay attention

    You are going to plan and plan and drive/fly and at some point you will arrive at a campus where you will say WOW and you kid will say "I dont even need to get out of the car here" Do not freak out and start saying I took all this time out and ... - no kid have ever changed his or her mind in the situation.
    I suggest " I hear you but we are here anyway - let's grab a quick lunch and get out of here and move on (maybe they want to explore more after lunch but this is highly unlikely) and then enjoy the next place.

    Don't say WE are looking at blah blah blah college - your child is going and your just a driver/guide - I dont know if you said those things I just remind everyone
  • brentwoodmombrentwoodmom Registered User Posts: 217 Junior Member
    We are going to Virginia Tech and Tennessee in July. And then hopefully we are done. My son currently has a very short “apply” list, so I’m hoping he will like both of these.
  • northwestynorthwesty Registered User Posts: 3,414 Senior Member
    Two-a-days are totally fine if the schools are in the same geography. Especially for a first look and especially in the summer time. Taking two days to see Ga Tech/Emory or BC/Tufts would be a waste of time. Taking four days to see Haverford, Nova, St. Joes and Penn would be ridiculous.

    Once you get the schools narrowed down a bit, one-a-days while school is in session make more sense. When the students are around, the best thing to do is eat in the cafeteria and chat up your table mates.

    My kids always had to get out of the car and do some looking, but then it was totally OK to bail early if me or the kid was not feeling it. Feel free to ditch the info session if you're not feeling it. Feel free to just show up and tag along on a tour even if you could get an assigned spot through the website. We did this all the time without question. Feel free to dispense with the tour completely and just do a drive by/walkabout. If you do these things, you can cover a lot of schools and also not burn the kid out.

    Do your long driving between geographies in the late afternoon/evening. Don't leave yourself a meaningful drive or tight time schedule for morning appointments.

    Do some fun stuff as much as you can. Try to find the best pizza, BBQ, tacos, ice cream, etc. in whatever towns you are in. Do some fun tourist/locals stuff in the towns you are visiting -- concert, ballgame, whatever.

    Make sure the iphones are loaded up with music that both you and the kid can tolerate.
  • ASKMotherASKMother Registered User Posts: 171 Junior Member
    We didn't travel for the summer but we did visit 10 schools in 6 days over Spring Break my D18's Jr year. It was a little tiring (mostly on me the driver) but not horrible at all - actually very fun M/D road trip! After each school I would try very hard not to comment and she would journal about her experience - anything unique that she noticed and then ranked specific aspects. I do agree with @twoinanddone though on 'we came all this way, you will look' and 'my opinion matters'; but neither were even brought up. D18 wanted to talk and was grateful to get to visit in person. That being said I only tried to point out the really glaring 'parent' red flags. We would talk about her thoughts after she wrote and I would basically give my pro/con/con/pro views trying to point out the good and the not so good (at least as I saw it) but ending on a positive. We also asked the guide at each school - what three things do you not like/would you change about your school?; what is your favorite school tradition or event; and tried to ask random people (the people working in the Dhall, the librarian, the girl at the front desk of the rec center, the staff at the bookstore) what they thought of the students - do they seem to get along, are they all friendly toward each other or do people sit alone; are they around on the weekends; do they pick up after themselves. Definitely have some questions to ask... they will remember you better! I agree with @northwesty that you can easily do 2/day. Our schedule was: Furman on a Sunday (not an official tour-friends of the family were in school there and gave us a student's 'real' tour); Wake Forest/Elon - Monday, UNC-Chapel/Duke- Tuesday, W&L/ UVA -Wednesday, Wm&Mary/URichmond -Thursday, Georgetown on Friday then headed toward home. We had already visited Vanderbilt, Rice, Birmingham-Southern, Alabama, Auburn and UAB. We had done our homework and knew the schools offered academics that interested my daughter. It was a great way for my D18 to narrow choices and think about what she really wanted in her next academic environment as well as encourage her to apply for scholarships - the nicer the school the more money she would need! I would agree that you should call head (or look on their website) for a tour ... admissions isn't in full swing like they are in the school year and sometimes tours are only offered 1-2 days a week. Part of me is glad to be done but I also already miss the idea of looking at schools (but mo fear S23 is coming up soon with a D25 to follow!) Good luck to all!
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 5,489 Senior Member
    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. Do the small LACs not do discipline specific tours/meetings?
  • mom2andmom2and Registered User Posts: 2,712 Senior Member
    While summer is not ideal, it is also not that easy to get a great view of campus life on Saturday morning tours. And, as others have said, it is not always easy to do 2 in one day, unless the schools are close together. We had to leave a tour early or miss the info session to try to get to 2 schools in one day. Doing a week of tours during junior year spring break can be challenging and the schools tend to run together. Since most schools don't offer a lot of Sunday events, it can be tough to see a lot of schools during junior year and fall of senior year. Summer visits can be unavoidable.

    All in all, go when you can. Target some different types of schools if your student doesn't have a specific preference: large, small, urban, suburban, rural. And don't expect too much. A rainy day can make a great school look drab, no kids in the cafeteria or student center may just mean they are all still asleep (on Saturday morning tours). Look beyond the school visit to all the other information when making a list.

    Try to enjoy and not get too stressed about the tours/info sessions.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 20,003 Senior Member
    "Do the small LACs not do discipline specific tours/meetings?"

    Many schools with engineering do separate engineering tours but, no, schools generally don't do specific tours for other majors that I have seen. If one's not interested in engineering, no need for a special tour. But do most of those interested in engineering always take both the regular and special tour?

    In our case, we had interest in seeing dance, art, music facilities depending on the kid and if those weren't on the official tour, it was easy to swing by and pop in. It didn't necessitate a full day on campus, especially for a first visit. One kid also met with many coaches and we still had time for that as well most times and often interviews as well if they were offered in lieu of info sessions.

    Given a desire to visit many schools on limited vacation time from school/work and wanting to maximize the $$ being spent as well, we found it very easy to visit 2 schools many days. Schedule the first tour/info session of the day at one school and the last one at another:

    Amherst/Williams/Smith/Mount Holyoke

    Haverford/Swat/Bryn Mawr


    Carleton/St. Olaf/Macalaster

    Conn College/Wesleyan


    Dickinson/Franklin and Marshall

    ...to name a few examples. Pretty easy IMO. We were on a mission and did have the schedules mapped out with military precision :) but still had fun. Great dinner most nights with the occasional night of takeout and a movie in the hotel room. Great tunes and conversations while driving. Good memories.

  • amom2girlsamom2girls Registered User Posts: 447 Member
    2 tours a day would not have worked for us, but my daughter was researching schools with specific BFA programs in dance. For each general tour she also emailed the dance department with a request to meet with the head of the department, receive a tour of the facilities and either participate in or watch a dance class. That coupled with the general school tour meant a pretty full day. My guess would be that anyone looking at specific programs might need more time on a campus. My daughter wanted that information before she went through the application/audition process and we accomplished that for all but 2 programs.
  • threebeansthreebeans Registered User Posts: 667 Member
    We are shopping merit money so we are only touring publics with reciprocity within a 4 hour radius of Wisconsin over the summer and once she gets accepted with enough merit we will tour futher out. That worked for DS and he ended up 1200 miles away! Hope DD stays a little closer.
  • cinn124cinn124 Registered User Posts: 70 Junior Member
    In approximately one month we'll be visiting UMich, NC State, FIU & UTampa in that order. After the Tampa visit we'll stay in Florida for another 4 days to wind down and relax.
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