Advice re Saturday campus visit & "vibe"

<p>I am planning a trip to North Carolina in September to see several schools with DD (a prospective journalism major.) My question pertains to visiting a school on a Saturday, as opposed to a weekday. Can one accurately assess the "vibe" of a school on a Saturday? Our options are to visit Elon on a Friday morning, and hussle over to Chapel Hill to see UNC on a Friday afternoon, or to see Elon Friday and UNC Saturday. Advice please!</p>

<p>You can get a good sense of the social vibe if there is a home football game that day, but I'm not sure about otherwise.</p>

<p>I don't think it's easy to get a vibe during just a visit anyway, in particular in the summer. I would do what works out for your schedule.</p>

<p>I don't think you'd get any sense of the normal 'student vibe' on a Saturday and possibly not so much on a Friday either. If you're there on a Saturday MORNING then don't be surprised if it looks like a bit of a ghost town since many students will sleep through the morning.</p>

<p>I don't know about UNC but some campuses tend to be emptier on weekends due to students who go home on the weekends as well.</p>

<p>It's still fine to visit - just make sure you don't have an expectation that you'll get a sense of the vibe it'll be like during the normal mid-week day. A lot of, probably most, people visit during a time when the normal vibe isn't happening - summer, weekends, spring break, winter break, because that's when their kids are off school and have the time to visit. You'll still get to check out the facilities, the area around the school (which you should pay some attention to since the student will be living in that area for 4 years or so), ask questions, etc.</p>

<p>UNC students don't go home on WE's. But, the summer is very quiet.</p>

<p>GTalum -- We're planning our trip for SEPTEMBER! ;)</p>

<p>ucsd<em>ucla</em>dad -- I think you're right that many/most visits aren't during peak "vibe" time. Makes it very had to compare with those that are! I wonder how many students have ruled out a school that would actually have been perfect for them, just because of the timing/weather/etc. of their visit.... But most people still seem to think that making these visits is a good idea, yes?</p>

<p>I specifically looked for schools that were still vibrant on Saturdays; i.e., not commuter campuses. Lest it is particularly early (note that early means <1:00), I don't see why a Saturday visit would be all that bad.</p>

<p>Saturdays are fine if most of the students don't go home. But a lot of them will be in bed in the mornings at any rate.</p>

<p>Laminate - Somewhere on CC is a thread along the lines of 'silliest reason your kid rejected a college for' that you might find interesting and amusing. You're right - things like the feel of the visit due to the day of the week, the time of year (campus vacation or not, summer, etc.), weather, some event going on, the particular student tour guide, etc. can affect the student's decisions whether it makes sense or not. </p>

<p>There are differing opinions on the campus visit question. I happen to think it's very useful for any campus being seriously considered. Just the look and feel can make a difference and the area around the campus can make a difference as well. Pay attention to where the kid will live also - all 4 years on-campus or some years off campus and if so where? living all 4 years on-campus isn't necessarily better than a mix (and a lot of students want to move off campus after 2-3 years) but the environment, cost, etc. just off-campus becomes even more relevant when living off-campus but even if living on campus all the time, they'll likely spend some time just off campus.</p>

<p>Saturday at UNC should be fine in September. Sorry, missed the September part. I know S doesn't get up until after noon.</p>

<p>We only visited one campus on a Saturday - late morning. It was pretty quiet even at noon.</p>

<p>Highly recommend visiting any college campus on a weekday while classes are in session.You can experience the campus in full action, the bustling cafeteria, student center, the action on campus while classes are changing, even sit in on a class if approved etc.You will be able to stop students and talk to them and ask questions.Tons of useful info is found that way.A Saturday visit is not that great of an indicator of the vibe on campus.Most students sleep in or many do leave campus for weekends..We had found that to be pretty much the norm this past year as we visited many campuses with our D.And a summer visit is absolutely not that great at all.We did that too and found we had to revisit the school in the fall for the campus was a ghost town during the summer, sometimes even creepy because very few students can be found and the dorms are empty etc...Good Luck</p>

<p>caseymom -- I think you've really hit the nail on the head. The one Saturday visit we made last year turned a "high maybe" into a "definite no" and looking back I think the Saturday vibe may have played a big part. (The terrible tour guide didn't do the school any favors, either!) Thanks for the input.</p>

<p>Elon on Friday and UNC on Saturday should be fine. Check on whats going on at the schools that weekend and go to any lectures or events if you can. Both are great schools.</p>

<p>Not to discourage you in any way, but have you looked into the OOS requirements for UNC. Many people make the mistake of looking at average GPA / SAT for UNC and don't understand that UNC is 80% in state by law. So by the time you add in athletes, internationals, and other recruited OOS students it leaves little room for very talented OOS students...</p>

<p>I'm a college student so I'll just add to the consensus that going before 1 for a college tour on a Friday or Saturday will probably not give the right 'vibe' of a school (at least my school). It's definitely important to see what the people seem like-do you think you could be one of these students next year, etc, etc? </p>

<p>Also, incidentally, many of the tour guides will likely be unhappy they are stuck with a Saturday morning shift so that may be another factor.</p>

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I specifically looked for schools that were still vibrant on Saturdays; i.e., not commuter campuses. Lest it is particularly early (note that early means <1:00), I don't see why a Saturday visit would be all that bad.

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<p>It depends on the layout of the campus, but if the dorms are in one area then there aren't going to be many people hanging around in other parts of campus. People are also much more likely to be off-campus on weekends, even if they haven't gone home. If you're looking around at classrooms, lecture halls and libraries, you probably won't find a whole lot of people.</p>

<p>We visited Lafayette on a rainy Sunday evening. I was sure that it was a mistake and that S would be turned off by the quiet campus (he had just rejected his top choice school during accepted student days because of perceived isolation). The mistake was mine: the library was a major hub of activity. Even in the rain, students were active. So sometimes going at the odd time works in the school's favor.</p>

<p>ncmentor -- I know, I know! UNC's OOS admit rate is something like a horribly daunting 19%. But if D persists in wanting to study journalism undergrad., UNC really has to be on the list.... </p>

<p>Two posters have now indicated that FRIDAY visits are less than optimal -- REALLY!?!? So for the best chance at a really great visit, we need to schedule Mon. thru Thurs.?! (I'm beginning to feel like I've fallen down the rabbit hole....!) Have others found Friday visits to be...underwhelming?</p>

<p>lotsofquests -- thanks for the glimmer of sanity! ;)</p>

<p>We visited a college in the midwest a couple of months ago on a Saturday a.m. because it was the only time we could get a tour. We went back Sunday a.m. to talk to a coach and it really was so dead. We'll go back for a looksee only if our son wants to....didn't like the climate.</p>