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How important is it to take a tour of Stanford?

ibBalleribBaller Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
edited June 2010 in Stanford University
I'll be applying in the fall and I would like to know how important it would be to travel/visit Stanford over the summer, especially because it's a long drive.
Post edited by ibBaller on

Replies to: How important is it to take a tour of Stanford?

  • jwxiejwxie Registered User Posts: 1,479 Senior Member
    Going there will not increase your chance of getting admitted into Standford.

    But there are two positive outcomes of visiting Standford:

    (1) You get to see the school yourself (and maybe with your family, too)
    Standard is one of the best university in the States, and the world. If you do get admitted, congratulation.
    Very often admitted students who have never been to Standford might feel regret or upset afterward because they they find themselves uncomfortable being in the school: the weather, the location, the people, the state, the architecture, the pressure, or even just how the disappointing the dormitory is.

    To provide an insight, a good example would be Cornell University. Ithaca is not a happy place for people who like city life, although the Cornell community is always chilling. Ithaca is also very cold. Compare to Cornell, Columbia is its opposite, which is located in the heart of Manhattan. But Columbia is an urban campus. You would not like it if you want to get Harry Potter action. In this case you will love Cornell.

    Visit it. You get to see the facilities. You might also be able to walk into a lecture, and stay there for a minute or two? Go talk to some students there if you are bold :)

    (2) Maybe useful in your application
    I never applied to Standford, and I don't know how the application works. But if there is ever an admission essay asks "why do you want to study @ Standford". Heck! You just visit it. You can develop your essay with a more lively and personal account. It can be helpful.

    Again, #1 is really the meaning of going to a tour.
  • ShazamiShazami Registered User Posts: 189 Junior Member
    The tour is not important at all, unless you want to learn a bunch of fun facts and trivia. honestly, visiting campus only impacted one sentence in my entire application. then again, visiting made me realize how much more I wanted to go there.
  • XinxinXinxin Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    I thought the tour wasn't a deal maker or breaker. Some people say when they visit, they just 'know' it's the right place. But meh. You can't really experience the climate from one visit. The campus, the dorms, and stuff like that you can see on the website. You can, I suppose, get a feel of what the students are like, but there aren't as many students on campus during summer.

    It's a really nice campus, so you won't be making a terrible mistake by visiting.
  • NJDSNJDS Registered User Posts: 1,323 Senior Member
    if you are on campus for an extended amount of time, it can help you get a real sense of the university.
    for just a visit, id say it just helps you "put a face to the name" so to speak.
    it definitely is not a bad thing to visit in any way, but it will not help in admissions. (unless you walk into Dean Shaw on campus and happen to really really really impress him and tell him that you are applying =])
  • darlingdarling Registered User Posts: 364 Member
    jwxie: I don't really want to nitpick but it's "Stanford." It's just a pet peeve of mine when people spell it wrong.

    And if you are somewhat in the area I would for sure visit. It really helps when you are deciding on colleges because each college has a different atmosphere.
  • MirrorImageMirrorImage Registered User Posts: 254 Junior Member
    I'll be visiting this summer. At the end of July actually. I think that it's going to be cool getting to see the campus in person. However, I don't think it's necessary to go visit. Especially since I haven't been accepted/applied. But since I'm going to be in California for vacation, I might as well take advantage of the oppurtunity.
  • Dad2Dad2 Registered User Posts: 532 Member
    July can be blisteringly hot (beware). Stanford certainly doesn't care whether you visit, but if you have the time and resources, it is always advisable to see schools which might be high on your list.
  • LunakoiLunakoi Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    If you decide not to go you can always take the video tour at the Stanford website. Of course it's not the same as an actual visit, but you get a fair idea of what it's like. I didn't tour any out of state schools until after I was accepted and had to make a decision.
  • thburningiraffethburningiraffe Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    It's definitely a good experience to have, if you have the time and availability, because it helps you assess the vibe of the campus and such. It can also give you the chance to talk to students on campus and see things from their perspectives. If not, you can opt for online tours (video or photo) and "see" the campus that way.
  • zenkoanzenkoan Registered User Posts: 1,118 Senior Member
    The average July *maximum* temperature in Palo Alto is 78 degrees Fahrenheit. It usually ranges from the 50's at night to the low 70's during the day during July. It's wonderful.
  • squidgerwinkssquidgerwinks Registered User Posts: 59 Junior Member
    True story from the 2014 Admit Weekend. A mother tells us that her daughter was accepted at Brown and they thought that was that. Then they decided, since she had also been accepted at Stanford, to attend Admit Week. It was last minute and more to take a vacation more than see the school.

    Her (and daughter's) feelings midway through the visit? She said "Brown doesn't begin to compare with this" (Stanford) and her daughter will be heading to Palo Alto in September.

    Admit Week is NOT the general tour thet give every day. If you are accepted, attend AW and experience collegiate shock & awe for yourself.
  • ShazamiShazami Registered User Posts: 189 Junior Member
    Why would anyone ever consider Brown over Stanford?
  • zenkoanzenkoan Registered User Posts: 1,118 Senior Member
    squidgerwinks, during Admit Weekend I saw at least a dozen kids hit the "I accept" button for Stanford during the first day, and lots of them were also Harvard cross-admits who hadn't even visited there yet (Harvard's admit days came up right after Stanford's). It was an amazing four days.

    Shazami, I think some people find Brown's lack of required core curriculum appealing. (What I always wonder is how some people apply to both Brown and Columbia, which is pretty much the complete opposite of Brown in that regard.) It is hard to imagine preferring it to Stanford, though, unless your family is on the East Coast and you want to stay nearer to them.
  • pbrpbr Registered User Posts: 1,018 Senior Member
    OP: I believe it is very important to visit every college you seriously consider attending. A summer visit to Stanford, however, will not present you with a meaningful picture of Stanford. The regular student body will be absent, replaced by summer programs and corporate retreats. If you can, visit in the fall, when the entire everyday experience will surround you. If you restrict your visit to the summer, or the marketing event that is "Admit Weekend," you won't gain meaningful data.

    My younger son had an innate interest in Stanford (as he attended a Stanford feeder high school outside of California). He spent several days there his senior year with a student who had been a friend of his in high school. He had the whole experience there: classes, a pig roast/luau/frat party, cute girls, etc. At the end, much to my disappointment, he had no interest in attending. His view? "It feels like a country club where people attend classes."

    His preference? Columbia. Although he spent less time there, he was there also when the student body was out in full force. He was able to compare Stanford apples to Columbia apples, and liked the Columbia version MUCH better. (He applied ED, and chose not to attend the "Admit Weekend" at Columbia because he wanted to spend that weekend with his high school pals.) I don't believe he would have been able to gain a real sense of either Stanford or Columbia if he visited them in the summer. I also don't believe he would have gained a real sense of either if his only visits were during Admit Weekends.
  • zenkoanzenkoan Registered User Posts: 1,118 Senior Member
    pbr, some students don't have the option to visit colleges during the regular terms, and visiting during the summer or Admit Weekend is far more elucidating than website visits. And though cynics may characterize college admit weekends as "marketing events", I see them more as concerted efforts of colleges to showcase all that they have to offer. Stanford does an especially good job of it, with countless opportunities to explore academics and research, meet with faculty, find out about student groups of all kinds, see the arts in action, check out facilities, and just hang with current students.

    I've been to several country clubs, and have to say their memberships were neither as diverse nor as intelligent as Club Stanford's. They do have beautiful grounds and a big golf course in common, though. ; )
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