LA county colleges

Who out there is considering colleges in LA county? Seems that the county is the most closed-up county in the country. Does that affect your student choosing a school there? Our D is considering LMU but we called and said we can’t even walk on the campus right now. They will let us know if that changes but were honest and said they do not see it changing before May 1.

I’ve looked up other schools in the county (USC, UCLA, Cal Tech, etc) and they highly recommend not coming to campus. No one is giving tours. Even for campuses that are not gated like LMU, they don’t want prospective students visiting.

Will not being able to visit these campuses in person take these schools off of your lists? Will you lean on virtual events and think that’s enough to make a decision? Anyone live in LA county and have any opinions on whether things could open up before May 1?

What criteria does your student have that can only be determined in a visit, and how important are those criteria?

Los Angeles County had a very high number of cases this winter, possibly due to both indoor family gatherings and a more contagious strain of the virus B.1.426.

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She really needs to get on campus to understand the surrounding area and see if she can picture herself there. We’ve only been to LA once and it was just for one day to visit a friend north of the city and then to Disneyland. I know people say they do it all of the time but no way we are sending our kids across the country for school if they haven’t been able to visit. Visiting schools was the only way S19 felt like he could really understand a campus and many times it seemed different than a virtual tour once we were there.

I also have to wonder if these schools won’t be open in the fall even though LMU’s president did come out and say last week that’s the plan

College plans are all contingent on how under control COVID-19 is.

Vaccine general availability is supposed to be late spring or summer, but that is uncertain and not under control of colleges. And if a new strain that is as contagious and serious but different enough to reduce vaccine effectiveness becomes prevalent, then everyone will be waiting for boosters for the new strain.

Well that’s part of my point. Will students choose these schools if they cannot visit? Or are concerned about California next fall regarding Covid? Is it affecting their college decisions?

Yes. Many students are local, or at least in-state (even at LMU, 54% are in-state, despite it being a private school). Many are not particularly picky about things that can only be determined by a visit (this probably especially true at the public universities, especially the CSUs, most of which serve mainly local commuters).

California public universities are less worried about students who need to visit than about lower SES students whose parents may be facing greater financial difficulty and who themselves may have more difficulties with K-12 distance learning (e.g. worse or no computer and high speed internet). The out-of-state and international (cash cow) applicants to UCs probably apply for prestige reasons rather than visit-based reasons. The high prestige privates (Stanford, Caltech, the Claremonts, USC) will not have trouble getting prestige-seeking applicants. The other privates probably serve mainly local or regional students, and/or those from their affiliated religious communities.

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Hm I don’t think that’s completely true. I know a number of people avoiding the Claremonts because they haven’t had kids on campus at all this year and families are afraid that could continue into fall. One can certainly eliminate colleges that haven’t had in-person class if they have other schools on their list where kids have been in class.

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Colleges in LA county are fully remote by a county health department order. I recall HMC wanted to bring students back last fall (it even secured a block of apartment buildings nearby for the purpose of dedensification), but the plan had to be cancelled at the last miniute because it couldn’t get an exemption. It may turn out to be a blessing as COVID cases shot up later in the county.

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Right. I’m just wondering how this is affecting college decisions. I’m looking for people whose kids have applied to these schools and asking how this is affecting their decision about enrolling. If they can’t see them, are they falling down on the list?

I’m obviously not one of those people. However, I have to believe that there aren’t too many people planning to visit campuses not within driving distances this spring. Am I wrong?

Around me people have been traveling (including flying) to see college campuses since fall, especially the ones that are having in-person tours. I expect there will be many many people traveling on president’s day and spring break to visit colleges (both juniors and seniors).

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Interesting… It surprises me that they wouldn’t even wait until their RD acceptances to visit.

I agree. We are planning to fly to see schools in Feb. At least one of the schools we are seeing has info sessions and tours for admitted students. So D will be comparing schools she can see against schools she cannot.

I think many will have some acceptances in hand, and of course juniors are just starting their searches. I was just talking with one of my friends whose kid applied to UCLA…they won’t have the decision before spring break but are still planning to visit then. I didn’t ask why?!

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Is this a regional thing, because COVID cases have dropped more significantly in the Midwest?

If D waits for RD acceptances, she could have too many schools to visit in April so that’s why we are seeing some in Feb. her option in LA (LMU) is not optimistic that they will allow anyone to even walk on their campus before May 1. I guess I just don’t understand how walking on a campus outside where students aren’t even on campus is a risk to LMU but they county doesn’t want visitors so that is the rule right now.

LA county schools aren’t the only ones in this situation. Some NESCACs aren’t allowing visits on campus at all but, in their cases, it’s because they made a bubble with their students and don’t want to risk them getting sick.

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No. I don’t think so. I have friends across the country planning college visits for Feb and definitely for March during spring break.

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If the students aren’t on campus and buildings are locked, what do you hope to see? Other than USC, which is gated, you should be able to walk on campus, I presume.

LMU is gated too. D would want to see the campus. See how it’s situated and what’s around it. Just get the feel of being there. CA is kind of a mystery to us having only been to LA once and I feel like, if she got to visit and walk on campus, there would be a gut reaction either positively or negatively.

And that’s the crux of my question. How do you compare schools you can visit to schools you cannot?

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