Colleges your child crossed off the list after visiting, schools that moved up on the list. Why?

Yes, I did hear about that! We visited CMU and Pitt earlier this year, and my D fell in love with PGH. She’s hoping for Pitt at the moment. I encouraged her to consider CMU because of their push for gender balance, but she was concerned it would be too much of a meat grinder atmosphere. I don’t know how accurate that perception is, though. I’m hoping that across the board her being female gives her a slight boost with her intended major being CS.

FreshCoastal, CMU and Pitt are both in Oakland, which is a nice neighborhood for students, with lots of bars and restaurants. Pittsburgh is a great town, and it has really experienced a renaissance over the past couple decades.


I’m giggling and going off topic, but D22 has committed to Pitt and is glad there are a slew of nerdy husband prospects “next door.”


Tumagmom, your daughter will be able to find plenty of nerdy husband prospects at Pitt too (though I think the CMU grads will enjoy higher starting salaries).

Let’s get back to the topic of the thread please…


I really wish we had the opportunity to visit Pittsburgh. My daughter likes a campus with a good amount going on around it (doesn’t have to be a city campus but does need to be near stuff she can walk to or pretty easily reach via public transportation). We are from California so Pittsburgh is hard to connect with, both logistically and conceptually.

Does anyone have any recent up or down in-person visit experiences with University of Vermont? It’s on my daughter’s list but we won’t be able to visit it either. The reason it’s there is because she likes the environmental/social justice vibe, it’s her ideal size, walking distance from lots of activities/live music, etc., beautiful with 4 seasons. She is a political science/humanities/psych/communications kind of kid. And it seems to have some similar attributes to UWisconsin and UOregon, also on her list.

I had drinks/dinner in Burlington on Wednesday, and drove past UVM on the way in/out. My father is a UVM grad (transferred from Cornell after a coach pissed him off his Freshman year).

The town and the school looked great. There were several newer buildings on the East side of campus. There were a lot of people out in the town, and the homes and businesses looked better than they had in the past. Sure, it was 68 and sunny… this is the picture I sent a friend as I had a (n incredibly good) beer down by the water; sunset behind the hills in NY.


We just visited UVM a couple weeks ago. Campus is very nice, not gorgeous, but really nice. Mountains surrounding it are gorgeous. Burlington is a very cute town (technically a city but seems much more like a town). Church St area is a lot of fun with restaurants, bars and some high end stores. There is a large homeless population in and around Church St (which is about a 1/2 mile from campus). Lake is beautiful and there is a beach a couple miles away that the kids hang out at. There are 4 seasons in VT but most of the time they are in school it will be cold. Definitely had a big environmental/social justice vibe to it.

Son crossed it off just because it’s not a fit for him. Kids were very nice but just too liberal, earthy crunchy granola for him. He’s not conservative, but just more of a sporty, frat boy type. Loves to ski so really wanted to love it but just didn’t. Would have been perfect for my D20.


We are visiting UVM early next week from Maryland so I will let you know. My son has it on his list for the same reasons your daughter does, and has the same major in mind.

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Live campus tours back at Berkeley! Incredible fall day, campus looked great, Quidditch game being played on the lawn :joy: Granola, nerdier vibe. Nice tour guide, but I think she gave too-rosy description of housing and dining situation. My D22 would be happy here, but it is perhaps too close to home. Lots of kids from her high school attend, and clearly top-notch school. Stays on the list, but likely not the top choice.


We visited UVM today. Secretly I was hoping my son wouldn’t like it because it is an 8 hour drive, and our state flagship is UMD, which has a very good Government/Political Science department, however he loved it. He loved the vibe of the liberal, inclusive, social justice, environmentally friendly, really everything. The students did seem very friendly, and our tour guide said “hi” to several people along the tour. They showed us one dorm, on central campus, which is the newest dorm and looked nice. I know the other dorms are not as nice.
The city/town of Burlington is beautiful, we had several good meals there and it was bustling, even on a cold, rainy day like today.
There are A LOT of homeless people. While most were just milling around not bothering people, we did witness one belligerent one cross the street to challenge someone to a fight after the person apparently took a picture of him (I did not see that part of it occur, we came upon the scene right afterwards). While the person probably should not have taken a picture of him, it was a little scary to watch. It was really close to a fight. I don’t know if the photographer was a student or not, he looked young but I don’t know.
Overall our impression was favorable and if he ends up here, that’s OK. I think the education will be good, the skiing will be great, the vibe and friendships will be great, but it will be cold!!!
I hope that helps!


@Wjs1107 We visited UVM last winter. Beautiful state, beautiful town. Campus is nice, but not take-your-breath-away gorgeous. The campus was surprisingly (for us) urban, with lots of pavement and not so many places to just throw a frisbee around. My DS was looking for something more natural, where you can walk off campus onto a hiking trail, and while we were sure UVM was perfect before we visited, it just didn’t hit home with him. He cares little for cities or cafes or music etc., is much happier on top of a mountain. All of that nature is close to UVM, but not on top of it. Great school, though, students we know there seem to love it.


We visited University of Colorado a few weeks ago. It’s our state flagship and my alma mater. S had been reluctant to visit because CU is a top choice of kids from his high school and he wants to forge a new social identity. I was hopeful that S would fall in love with the expansive campus and the Tuscan style architecture as I did many moons ago. Plus, the School of Engineering is well-regarded and it is an affordable safety for S.

On the day we visited, campus was not as busy as usual since some classes are still being offered remotely or in a hybrid format. I led S on a self-tour of my favorite buildings: Hellems A&S, Duane Physics, Norlin Library. We bought lunch at the University Memorial Center (UMC) and ate outside by the fountain. It was a beautiful Autumn day! Lots of happy students studying in groups, soaking up the sun, and biking/longboarding through campus. S commented favorably about all of the campus green spaces.

Our SEAS tour was student-led and I could tell right away that S was not impressed. Although he liked the open, collaborative layout of the engineering lobby there was, in his words, no “wow factor” pulling him towards CU. Also, he saw some people from his high school so my argument about CU being big enough to get lost in lost all credibility in his eyes. CU is officially off the list and we are still searching for an affordable safety to love.


thank you both @RockySoil and @Scrapgirl3 for your updated UVM reviews! I have good feelings about it for my daughter. She really wants to have cafes and music right nearby and is happy to go visit the hiking trails. She cares a lot about social justice, she would want to write for the school newspaper and participate in theater and music opportunities at the school.
As for a large number of homeless people, we live 10 mins from San Francisco and 30 from Berkeley so we are, sadly, accustomed to seeing homeless people and we have acquired the street smarts + empathy we need to be ok with it. I hope Burlington is taking the problem seriously because it seems like a terrible place to be without a home in the winter.

If your son is looking for a more nature-oriented school, you might look at Reed College and Lewis and Clark, both in Portland, OR. I was recently on Reed’s campus and actually did wander off onto a little trail that’s right on campus. And I understand that L&C is in a very pretty, wooded location.

thanks again!


Sorry about the run-in with kids from high school. Maybe look at Oregon State? — it is one of the WUE schools now, which might make it affordable.

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It’s free application for Colorado schools for the next couple of days (Oct19-21). Is he dead set against CU? If so, I’d guess CSU is also out of the question? CSU’s mech eng is considered to be a strong program (their maker space is really impressive), and Ft. Collins has its own charm. Is he just against seeing people from high school?


Thank you for the suggestion about Oregon State. It’s on the list now! Bonus that it’s a WUE school. Utah is too conservative for him, @Wormwad.

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Yes and he also wants a different “vibe” from Colorado (whatever that means). We’ve visited CSU many times, but may need to take a formal engineering tour.


My kid says the same thing. Wants to try a new state.

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