Mildly interested HS junior-should she just tour or also interview?

<p>I'm taking my somewhat uninterested daughter on tours of 6 colleges in VA and PA next week (we're in New England). She is a HS Junior away at small boarding school that she loves, and I think she is more afraid of leaving her cocoon than she is truly ininterested in college visits, so I've planned to only tour schools and then, should she become interested in a particular school(s), we will revisit and she can interview then when she will be not only interested, but appear interesting to the interviewer. Has anyone tried this method? Any advice to the contrary is welcome!</p>

<p>I hope there is a prize for the longest run-on sentence on this site, because I have a good chance of winning!</p>

<p>We did that with a few colleges. I remember at one small PA school the interviewer seemed impressed that it was my D's second visit (she had visited for the first time in Feb of junior year, too early to interview). I think as long as time and finances permit, it is a good idea to get a sense of a school and then go back for the interview if your D really likes it. For schools farther away it probably isnt' practical to do two pre-admission visits, but if you live far from a given school off-campus interviews are often available anyway.</p>

<p>Yes, as I discovered during our junior year visiting colleges, they mostly don't consider them "real" interviews until there has been an application. So save those for when she's ready. </p>

<p>Meantime when you visit colleges just be sure you make official appointments for information sessions and tours, so her name goes on their mailing list and gets credit as an "interested student". If she wants to talk to an alumni or whoever during those visits they may call it an "interview" but remember these are completely informal so don't get misled.</p>

<p>Re Taramom's post,though, keep in mind that many interviews are in fact conducted before the app is filed, since summer after junior year is one of the times that kids have time to do the interviews but even P{art I of apps won't be in the pipeline yet.</p>

<p>Of course, always ask them to clarify. In our case for some reason colleges tended to throw the word around a lot, as in "would she like an interview with someone in the department who's available that day?", and we'd find that meant nothing more than a nice chat with whoever had nothing better to do.</p>

<p>Taramom suggested to "make official" all visits to schools, ie. information sessions, tours, etc. Would you all consider a visit to the booth at a local college fair, signing up for the mailing list, as "official" as well. Thanks</p>

<p>If you are at boarding school then presumably you have college counselors..what do they recommend. I should think your boarding school knows most of the colleges you will visit...what have they worked out for students???</p>

<p>I don't see how it can hurt to put your name on a "send me more info on your school" list at a college fair. It's kind of like dropping your card in the baskets at conventions. At least they know you were there but no way you can know if the college puts any value on that visit later if you end up applying. But in our case my D talked to a professor at one college booth who actually taught in the department she was interested in. They had a very friendly conversation and after she sent in her application he happened to be the one to interview her. I'm sure the fact that she left an initial positive impression probably helped in her acceptance.</p>

<p>As for my previous post, of course it doesn't always have to be a formal tour or anything, but even if you pop in to a school for a quick walk-around it's nice to at least stop by Admissions and sign their guest sheet to let them know you were there before you leave.</p>

<p>Regarding college fairs, I recently read (in Fiske's guide to getting into the right college) that the person you speak to at the college fair will most likely be the first one who reads you application. If this is true, then that initial contact would be a valuable one.</p>

<p>Thank you everyone for your excellent advice. Keep it coming!</p>

<p>I would keep her away from all officials until she was well preped on the particular school and could express genuine interest. No problem to sign sheets and such. </p>

<p>Maybe a good goal for the trip is to find out what you can do to help her get more excited about college.</p>

<p>zagat-If only A & F had college sweatshirts! Only kidding, but it would be "speaking her language"!</p>

<p>You know, given the intense competition for cool colleges, I bet you could sell them on the idea! Cropped, tight Harvard shirts in hot pink! My daughter would be sold!</p>

<p>zagat-don't forget the rips and tears...maybe even burn marks! My daughter wears either A & F or thrift shop items. I should never have thrown away my Blondie T-shirt.</p>

<p>Whatever you do, do not mention you know who Blondie is. Or Madonna! Do not even think of uttering a word about how this season's styles are exactly what they were in 1972! Forget the fact that you ever had ripped jeans, tank tops and a tiny bikini!!</p>

<p>I found that my daughter was not ready to interview at the first couple of schools we visited. She was just overwhelmed with the thought of college and had no idea, at that point, what she was looking for in a school. Unfortunately, some schools make it almost mandatory that you will do an interview if you visit but I think those interviews are more informational than evaluative in most cases - if a school insists on an interview with an adcom, ask if it will be evaluative and if so, you may want to pick another school to formally tour at this point. In any case, I think it's a good idea to start slowly with college visits until you narrow down what type of schools she likes. Then, as you say, you can return for another visit and interview. </p>

<p>I have found that my daughter can only truly focus on one college visit a day, with or without interviews. If you think this might be the case with your daughter, definitely avoid any interviews scheduled for the second school visit of the day!</p>

<p>Followup to my question of whether or not to interview.
We completed tours of six schools last week and did not interview at any of them. Happy to report that she loved all six and will likely interview, overnight, and apply to three of them.</p>

<p>It was a good idea NOT to interview during the first round. Now she knows what she is interested in and will have plenty of time to do her homework on each school before interviewing.
thanks to everyone who responded!</p>

<p>Good to hear that things went well Baseballmom. I hope you'll consider writing up a report of each school and posting it either here or on the parents board.</p>