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College Tours In Summer?????????

mel5140mel5140 174 replies71 postsRegistered User Junior Member
edited May 2005 in Parents Forum
i hate to say this, but our family hasn't had time to do any college tours yet. we are planning on it this summer. does anyone know if most schools can be visited and have tours all summer long?? i know most students are gone but there are always (hopefully) kids in summer classes. i would have lked to go during the year but one thing led to another (husband very busy with his job, i taught for PR in Math SAT, our D has had a crazy yr. with PSAT, old SAT, new SAT, SAT II, AP Chem, and now finals. we go from one kid's event to the next. also i have a sister in med. school in caribbean i help with fin. aid papers, books, etc. so we have had a nutsy year. i know my excuses rot, but we literally haven't had a second. anybody else not yet visited schools???
edited May 2005
42 replies
Post edited by mel5140 on
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Replies to: College Tours In Summer?????????

  • quiltguruquiltguru 1424 replies52 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    We did get to see some schools over spring break, but are planning to do most of our college visits in August. Students will not be around much then, but admissions offices do have information sessions and student-led tours. Many schools also conduct on-site interviews over the summer months. Also, it seems that individual faculty members might even have more time to meet with a prospective student than they might during the academic year. Check each college's websites for dates and times of info sessions and tours and for instructions on how to arrange interviews.
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  • bookiemombookiemom 1882 replies32 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I wouldn't feel so bad about making college visits in the summer. Most colleges have summer sessions and aren't so deserted. In fact, it can be a lot easier to see things and get around and park when it isn't so crowded.
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  • dcmom3dcmom3 211 replies6 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Mel, I wouldn;t feel bad about doing tours in summers. As quiltguru says, you might be able to meet with faculty and actually get more quality info. Then if your student really likes a school, she can go back for an open house in the fall, an accepted student open house in the spring or an overnight in the dorms with a student (which I highly recommend before you send in that deposit to dream school.) ALmost all colleges have summer admissions sessions/tours.
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  • driverdriver 4010 replies138 posts- Senior Member
    We did a lot of summer tours, you do what you can do. It's a lot better than not seeing them at all.
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 26657 replies174 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    even for schools that are closed, you can ususally find a student or someone around. We drove up to a closed-for-summer, small NE LAC on a Sunday, and encountered the Dean of Library Services. Wonderful person -- she gave us a 15 min info session, pointed out bldgs to check out during a self-tour, and even recommended a couple of cafes in town.
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  • speckledeggspeckledegg 329 replies37 postsRegistered User Member
    Summer tours, why not. We toured several schools in late August. While the campuses were quiet as the academic year had not started yet, there was excitement in the air. Campuses were being readied, and buildings/grounds projects were on overtime to rfinish before the students arrived. There were tons of other prospectives touring and interviewing everywhere we went. I think it was motivating for my son. He entered senior year excited about the schools he had seen and inspired to do well academically.
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  • carolyncarolyn 7242 replies193 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    We did several college visits last summer. They were fine, not quite as helpful as visiting when you have a chance to sit in on classes, etc, but good enough to see what the campus and surrounding areas were like, talk to someone in admissions, and take a tour. It was a good way to cross off some schools right away for various reasons, and my daughter understood that if she liked a school enough to apply, she could do a more indepth visit either during the year or after she was accepted. We found most of the tours we went on were full of people so lots of people visit during the summer. It's way too hard to schedule visits to far away schools during the school year!

    All schools will list what their summer visit schedule is on their admissions web page. We didn't find any that weren't giving tours, but some had reduced tour times and days (i.e., only during the week or only in the mornings). A little research should help you plan your trip well.
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  • runnersmomrunnersmom 2160 replies36 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Actually, both my Ss visited and fell in love with their colleges during the summer. In one case S went back and visited during the school year, spending the night and attending classes and in the other case S never got back. They are both exceedingly happy with their choices.
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  • gandertgandert 56 replies5 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Are school admissions people focused on programs for Accepted Students entering in the fall during the summer months? What experience have any of you had with a conflict with these programs and a summer visit?
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  • coldcomfortcoldcomfort 177 replies14 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Fiinding this thread was a big relief for me! We haven't done any college visits yet, just too busy, so summer is now our only option. I feel a lot better reading the posts here and knowing that a summer visit is not without merit and hopefully it will serve to create a very short list for fall revists.
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  • beachybeachy 427 replies1 postsRegistered User Member
    we did quite a bit of our visiting for 2 kids during the summers - try to go weekdays mid-June thru late July (not over holiday weekend, though) - when summer school is in session. We found admissions people a bit more relaxed - not scheduled quite as tightly. Parking is much easier, and food places not as crowded. Also found it a bit easier to visit with people in the academic areas our kids were interested in. Profs and dept. chairs we saw were usually very gracious and had plenty of time for tours and questions.

    gandert - it seemed like the admission depts. had pretty much handed the incoming fall frosh over to the enrollment people and their various academic depts. by mid-summer - the admissions dept. had 'moved on', so to speak, to looking toward the next year's group of interested kids.

    Go and enjoy these visits with your kids - you'll be surprised at the number of people who are there with you!
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  • BlizzardBlizzard 101 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Another option: If your high school begins after Labor Day, you may be able to fit in a few visits at colleges that have already started back. Some colleges begin classes around Aug. 23rd. This question came up in another discussion and someone mentioned this was a good time to visit when the move-in/orientation rush was over and the campus was relaxed and enthusiastic at the start of the new academic year. Of course, for those who play a fall sport and already in practice, this may not be an option. We are also planning summer visits. I think finding the time for visits is a problem for most of us!
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  • thumper1thumper1 73758 replies3215 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    We went on seven college visits last summer and they were fine. No... the school isn't in session. But the info sessions and tours are the same regardless.
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  • momsdreammomsdream 1583 replies48 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    We visited some school during the spring, when they were still in session and some during the summer, when school was out of session. There was a marked difference difference in school atmosphere and a marked difference in my son's perceptions.

    The schools were visited while in session were buzzing with activity. Kids were out on the green, studying, playing frisbee, sunbathing, talking, dancing, drumming. My S would bounce through campus nodding his head in agreement and smiling.

    When we visited school during summer months (the majority of visits), he was turned off by the quiet and emptiness. He said it felt creepy....like kids were locked in their rooms with their faces pressed against the windows screaming for help (yes, dramatic, I know). But, that's what he felt.

    Note: Out of all of the schools we visited, he wanted to apply to ALL of schools we visited while school was session, and only 2 schools we visited in summer (out of 8).

    He's a very social kid, and a complimentary atmosphere was high on the list. If your child is similarly wired, try for the "in session" visits if you really think the school should be considered.
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  • SV2SV2 474 replies54 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I've just completed planning our summer college tour. Each college's website (except for one that doesn't have a schedule beyond May - does this reflect poorly on the institution as a whole?) has their summer information session and tour schedules posted as well as names of local accommodations. Click on the Visiting Campus-titled links. Some of the colleges list hotels/motels/inns with which they have special rate arrangements.I checked to make sure that in towns with limited accommodations we wouldn't be overlapping with student move-in days, and I printed out maps of each campus from the websites.
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  • sweetkidsmomsweetkidsmom 250 replies16 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    How much time should you allow for a campus visit? We want to see two or three schools in one town, go south about two hours to see one more, and then head east 8 hours to see another? If its your top choice(before you get there anyway) should you really try to spend some extra time on that one?
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  • momsdreammomsdream 1583 replies48 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    SKM, for a top choice, you might want to also allow time to spend in the surrounding town/city. Otherwise, you might spend from 2-2.5 hrs at one school. This would include the infos session and tour. For a top choice, I would plan to overnight and take in the community apart from the immediate campus.....especially at schools where kids move off of campus after sophomore yr.
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  • mikemacmikemac 10276 replies150 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think that its hard to gather as much info on a summer visit as you can when school is in session. Do students seem happy or overburdened? What do they think of their classes, their advisors, the area? What didn't they know when they applied they wish they knew? And so on... Introducing yourself to a few randomly chosen students and chatting for a few minutes, sitting in on a class or two, and just generally getting a feel for the ambiance is easier to do when the students are present because they determine the feel the school has.

    I guess I'm more in agreement with the sentiments in the other thread or two about LACs where people were pointing out that similarly-ranked schools could have entirely different cultures, and even led to an attempt to summarize various LACs in a sentence or two. All of this would be much harder to discern if you visit these LACs when the students are gone.
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  • momrathmomrath 5942 replies39 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    mel, It's a trade off. In the summer families have time for relaxed, focused visits, but they don't get the kids on campus. During the school year they get to see the school in action, but scheduling puts more stress on the family. I think the best combination is summer visits plus follow up overnights and intensives for the short listed schools.

    Having said that we felt quite satisfied ONLY visiting in the summer. Because we live overseas Summer was the only time that was available to us. We knew that follow up visits wouldn't be feasible so we researched carefully, visited a wide range of schools and tried to devote a full day to each one.

    The admissions departments are in full steam during the summer with tours, information sessions and interviews going on several times a day. Some have Saturday and even Sunday sessions. The bigger universities often have summer sessions and even the LACs are not completely dead during the summer. I think the most misleading factor is the weather: a glorious, leafy June day could be considered false advertising for a snowbelt school. :).
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  • beachybeachy 427 replies1 postsRegistered User Member
    By the time we got through the info session (about an hour), the campus tour (another 45 min-1 hr.), a visit to the academic dept. of choice and chat with a prof (lots of times this is something you have to arrange separately with each shool - sometimes admissions will handle arrangements for you - ask when you make each appt.) and maybe lunch and a quick drive through the areas of town immediately surrounding the campus, we had spent about 5+ hours at each school...not quite a full day, but really not enough time to hop in the car, get to the next campus and give that one your full attention, too.

    Also, if at all possible (I know this one is tough for people coming from overseas), try to limit the number of schools you see on one trip...maybe look at a handful in one part of the country on one trip, then see the ones closer to home on another round. Even though our kids were scribbling notes, making a 'pros/cons' list as we were leaving each campus and their memory was still fresh, by the time we saw 4 schools in 4 days, we had trouble remembering details of each one. Kind of like house-hunting - after you see so many, you can't remember which one had the great fireplace, which needs a new kitchen, which has the fabulous backyard, etc., etc....they all tend to run together!
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