How important to visit before applying

<p>How important is it to visit before applying? My son is interested but unless he gets merit or scholarship money, the chances of him attending are very slim.. We would not be able to afford 40,000 a year.. So do we just apply and then have him visit if he gets accepted, or should I book a plane ticket and fly from the midwest in October and visit such colleges as Dartmouth, Bowdoin, Middlebury, Amherst, Wesleyan, Tufts and Hamilton, so see where he has a good vibe? All in all in will cost us over $1000 to do this, and seriously, he will have to attend the best school he can get into with the best financial aid package, as long as he doesnt feel a negative vibe. So my thought is to wait until we get offers first and then travel next Spring. He scored a 2250 on his SAT and is awaiting his ACT but I expect a 35 on his ACT (given his practice tests). He is an IB diploma candidate, and I expect him to earn the diploma.</p>

<p>Please give me your thoughts....Thanks so much.. We would have to consider other colleges as well, such as Vanderbilt, St. Olaf, Wash U, Rice, Bucknell, Muhlenberg, Lafayette, and he is probably going to be pre dental.. He might even consider Duke and Stanford, as well as Colorado College, and Denver U.</p>

<p>THis is a ton of travel to have to consider in one's senior year, and I am just wondering if its best to apply and then see where the offers fall first... Money is quite tight and to fly two people out east for a week of visits will be around $1000 (my best guess).</p>

<p>No, you do not need to visit before applying! Dartmouth does not account for demonstrated interest in making its admissions decisions.</p>

<p>Also, you should know that Dartmouth is: 1) need blind -- that is, it does not consider financial need when evaluating candidates; and 2) committed to meeting all financial need.</p>

<p>If your family cannot afford Dartmouth, the financial aid office will make it affordable. </p>

<p>Apply!</p>

<p>Dartmouth doesn't give merit money. You could always wait to see where your son gets accepted with adequate fin aid and visit then. That's what we did for the east coast schools to which my D was accepted. Worked out fine although at a cost far in excess of $1000 as we are from Calif and spent a week. :(</p>

<p>I agree -- a visit now is not necessary. However, if Dartmouth is one of your son's top choices come next spring, he should definitely visit before committing to attend since the school's small size and rural location are not for everyone. </p>

<p>
[quote]
If your family cannot afford Dartmouth, the financial aid office will make it affordable.

[/quote]

If your family income is less than $75,000 per year, the school will provide free tuition and no loans, which is one of the best deals around. However, be aware that if your income is higher, the financial aid package will definitely include loans and work-study, in addition to grants/scholarships.</p>

<p>I think it's always a good idea for one to visit if he's interested in a school, as that way, he'll have a more accurate impression of Dartmouth as well as the town and the other schools in the northeast. (Has he thought about shortening his college list a little bit? It would indeed turn out to be kind of expensive if the family visits all of these schools that you've listed.) </p>

<p>But, like everyone said, visiting is not absolutely necessary of course - I didn't visit most of the schools to which I've applied, but the lack of visit did not impact my chance of admissions in any significant way. By May 1st however, when I had to decide where to enroll, I naturally leaned towards the schools I've visited because I had a stronger impression of them.</p>

<p>If visiting is not possible, there is always the admitted student weekends. They're hosted at every school in the spring and accepted students are invited to attend to get an idea of the atmosphere of the college when classes are in session. If your family is low-income by any chance, once admitted at a college your son will be invited to visit during its admitted student weekend, usually with the full travel fees reimbursed by the school. </p>

<p>As for financial aid, same as others said: Dartmouth only offers need based financial aid and no merit scholarships, but its financial aid package, for me at least, was extremely generous. Generally, families earning less than $200,000 a year would not have to pay the $40,000 full tuition at Dartmouth.</p>

<p>Hope that helped.</p>

<p>Thank you for your advice, all of you!</p>

<p>D was admitted and only spent 3 hours for an unofficial visit. I don't think admissions ever knew she was on campus. She did meet with the regional admissions person at her school though.</p>

<p>As for fin aid, check out Dartmouth</a> Cost Estimator
Keep in mind that Dartmouth changed its no loan policy. Starting in 2011 those with more than $75k income can expect some loan.</p>

<p>I didn't visit before i applied. In some cases, visiting schools I'd gotten into, I realized I'd wasted an application fee because i would never be happy at a place. In Dartmouth's case I went to the accepted student's weekend and decided I was going to Dartmouth in about a minute and a half. If a ton of your son's top choices are nearby it could be worth it, but otherwise, local admissions info sessions should be enough until serious decision time.</p>

<p>If I remember correctly, when I met with a regional admissions representative at my school, he told me that demonstrated interest and contacts with Dartmouth didn't factor into the admissions decision. So keep in mind that whether or not you visit, it will not affect your chances of getting in. </p>

<p>It sounds like you just need to decide how much you're willing to spend on college applications. Just keep in mind that on top of the $50-$70 application fee, there's also the $9 or $10 for ACT's or SAT's per college (after the first four colleges) and $16 per college for the CSS financial aid profile. It adds up. :-(</p>

<p>One other factor to consider: your sons chances of admission at Dartmouth (and at other early decision schools) are likely to be better if he applies early decision. Normally, that means he's obliged to go if admitted, but Dartmouth will provide a financial aid estimate with the decision, and the one legitimate reason to turn down early admission is that the financial aid package is inadequate.</p>

<p>Since you can only apply early to one school, it's tough to choose one unless you know enough to be sure you really want to go there. The good news is that if you're admitted, you're saved all the worry and multiple applications that most HS seniors go through. The bad news is that early decision admittees sometimes feel buyers' regret, wondering about the roads not taken.</p>