@drewsmom17 if you include some schools you are visiting you will get some nice recommendations near each school from thepeeps
D20 has a swim meet in Richmond so we are doing URichmond, UVA, College of William and Mary in VA and then Georgetown, GWU, Catholic U, and American in DC. This would be for S19 (really just Catholic and GWU for engineering) and D20 who is undecided right now but leaning toward international business or relations.
I agree…if you have to do two in one day don’t do it very often.
Explore the area around to see where the students would hang out.
We’re doing Rutgers, Temple, and Barnard in one trip, Smith and possibly Brandeis in another.
TRIPLE CHECK WHEN THEY HAVE TOURS BEFORE PLANNING. Some of them only do specific trips on certain days, etc. Some major or department specific tours may only be once a week.
Check out the area around the school more in depth for sure. Since it’s summer, you may be able to spend a little more time than usual. Check store hours, try out the transit available, try driving to the nearest grocery store, mall, etc.
We often did two in a day. No problems. In the summer with less going on, it is even more doable, IMO. Some might not prefer it but we found it was the best use of our time and $.
Since you are going in summer, be aware of the shortcomings in doing so and judge accordingly. The students on campus could be high school kids or others that aren’t the real students during the academic year. Landscaping might be a little more tired in the summer heat.
Regardless of the time of year, we always had a cooler in the back of the car full of cold drinks and snacks. Traveling in the summer heat, those cold drinks will keep you refreshed.
We always tried to have a meal close by campus at some spot friendly to the student budget like some Thai or a Pho joint. Then some ice cream or a local pastry shop. It was a good way to scope out amenities near campus.
Let us know what colleges you are visiting and folks here can give you some more specific tips.
Thanks! Here’s our list so far but DS keeps revising his list. He is looking at CS/gaming/AI. High stats (35 ACT, 3.9/AP classes), 2 solid EC. Only adding because I know the schools are competitve! No awards or extra outstanding activities. Will need some type of aid because we’ll have 2 in at same time. We will be visiting family in SC, VA and PA along the way.
Most of these are the only tour that day and include an overnight stay to see the area. Most tours have been scheduled through school website.
U of Del
Syracuse-drive through on Sat after RPI
RIT -side trip to Niagara on Sunday before tour on Monday
U if I/Urbana-drive through, he does not feel worthy of touring and saying he wants CS
He wanted to see Stony Brook but I just couldn’t fit that drive in with their schedule.
Good tip on umbrella! I need to remember to pack that. I am happy for any recommendations for things to do and see. He is a big fan of burgers and has been checking best places.
Syracuse - Dinosaur BBQ.
I dont know if your dates are set yet but if you can hit RPI on one of their summer open house days, I would highly recommend it. We thought it was fabulous.
At Lehigh you can schedule an admissions interview in the summer as well.
My suggestion…drive to your next destination in the late afternoon…check into your hotel or wherever you are staying…and then get a good nights sleep before doing your tour(s) in that location.
Don’t drive in the mornings for a tour the same day…get there the night before. That way…you won’t feel rushed in the morning.
From our experience, visiting art schools in summer (between spring semester and summer school) isn’t the best b/c there may not be much student art to inspect. Student art (from classes) gives a good sense of level of talent and approaches.
In general, any dead time when school isn’t in session doesn’t reveal the vibe on campus, the interactions in coffee houses, classrooms, dorms, and other spaces.
This said, you have to make do with the opportunities you have. If you hope to have your student meet with faculty, try to arrange in advance. Otherwise, make admissions office your first destination, for printed information, tours, advice about what to see and how to see it, and to “check in” (leave a marker – your name, address, email).
I have a different opinion on this. My daughter had great stats ( national merit, tons of AP credit and outstanding grades). She was mentally exhausted after three college visits. I tried to be her secretary to jot down ideas but she would shut down. Each kiddo is different. If you are needing merit or need-based financial aid, I recommend you doing lots of research in advance. Do a drive through to schools that are a reach-financially and focus your efforts on schools that will give the aid you need.
Your “across the Midwest” trip is very limited- you are skipping several excellent flagships. The cornfields of Illinois are not likely to impress and Ohio is only one of many states in the Midwest. Counting just the northern tier of the Midwest MN, WI, MI options you are omitting some of the top and nicest campuses for his interest in CS. Go west young man…
Thanks for all of the advice!! I really appreciate hearing from others because DS’s search is much more involved than his sisters! He has been researching like crazy and I’m passing along info to him. He loves the research and we have had several discussions.
I do worry that he won’t get the whole picture without seeing it during the school year. If needed, we’ll fly out during the year to any final options. For the most part, we will drive in the day before the visit. Lehigh is an exception because my brother lives in Philly.
@wis75 lol we live in NE state and have been making this drive since he was 4. I want him to go east!!! We will probably make him apply to UNL as a safety but he does not see his interest area in their program or career taking place here. He has MN and WI on his list and we’ll get to those during family visits to St. Paul and Chicago later. We visited MI State, his former fav, but he’s not sure about it anymore and doesn’t think U of MI will be a financial fit.
OOS for Wisconsin…$50,000 a year.
OOS for Minnesota 40,000 a year.
Michigan is $62,000 but do you qualify for need based aid? They don’t guarantee to meet full need for all OOS students, but are moving closer to that! Maybe it would work financially if you qualify for need based aid.
I wouldn’t ED anywhere without visiting while school is in session, but summer tours are fine (with comfy shoes.) At most schools, there will be some students on campus (doing research, heloping with csmps, giving tours!) so you may get lucky and get a little more of their time than you might during the school year. Schedule tours and interviews in advance!
At most schools, the admissions department will have a list of good local eateries. One that was recommended on a summer tour is now a regular stop of ours on northbound trips. And I totally agree that it’s less stressful if you stay the night before wherever you are touring in the morning. Much less stressful!
Many LACs and small universities will fell pretty quiet and hard to differentiate during the summer -especially because they will be very quiet with no extracurricular activities there or maybe summer camp programs - so just pay attention
You are going to plan and plan and drive/fly and at some point you will arrive at a campus where you will say WOW and you kid will say “I dont even need to get out of the car here” Do not freak out and start saying I took all this time out and … - no kid have ever changed his or her mind in the situation.
I suggest " I hear you but we are here anyway - let’s grab a quick lunch and get out of here and move on (maybe they want to explore more after lunch but this is highly unlikely) and then enjoy the next place.
Don’t say WE are looking at blah blah blah college - your child is going and your just a driver/guide - I dont know if you said those things I just remind everyone
Disagree, swampdraggin. I wasn’t just a driver. My opinion mattered, as did where I was willing to spend my money. I was also a person who had been to college, so I could look at campuses and give an opinion on if something was too far from civilization, how busy the area was or wasn’t. At one school I asked how the students got to the school if they didn’t have a car, i.e., where the hell is the airport! And no one could really tell me. “Well, some people go to XXX but no one really goes to ZZZ (the state capital!)”
My kids would never, ever, refuse to get out of the car if I’d driven several hours to get somewhere! Because I wasn’t just the driver, I was/am a person and I was entitled to get out and go to the bathroom.
For those of you going to southern tours, plan to go on tours early in the day. It’s HOT. No matter where you are, it is HOT. Every school we looked at was HOT.
We are going to Virginia Tech and Tennessee in July. And then hopefully we are done. My son currently has a very short “apply” list, so I’m hoping he will like both of these.
Take breaks to relax, especially in the heat of the day. Chill out in an air conditioned student dining hall or snack bar or student center, and observe the students and professors hanging out there.
Start skipping the parts you don’t like. We started blowing off information sessions, which we found obvious and boring, instead just taking the tours and hanging out in student spaces, as described above.
If your child will be entering senior year, schedule any recommended interviews in advance- do it now.
Do not overbook, so you are not rushing from college to college. Enjoy talking and laughing together as a family.
College tours can be a lot of fun together as a family. Enjoy!
Two-a-days are totally fine if the schools are in the same geography. Especially for a first look and especially in the summer time. Taking two days to see Ga Tech/Emory or BC/Tufts would be a waste of time. Taking four days to see Haverford, Nova, St. Joes and Penn would be ridiculous.
Once you get the schools narrowed down a bit, one-a-days while school is in session make more sense. When the students are around, the best thing to do is eat in the cafeteria and chat up your table mates.
My kids always had to get out of the car and do some looking, but then it was totally OK to bail early if me or the kid was not feeling it. Feel free to ditch the info session if you’re not feeling it. Feel free to just show up and tag along on a tour even if you could get an assigned spot through the website. We did this all the time without question. Feel free to dispense with the tour completely and just do a drive by/walkabout. If you do these things, you can cover a lot of schools and also not burn the kid out.
Do your long driving between geographies in the late afternoon/evening. Don’t leave yourself a meaningful drive or tight time schedule for morning appointments.
Do some fun stuff as much as you can. Try to find the best pizza, BBQ, tacos, ice cream, etc. in whatever towns you are in. Do some fun tourist/locals stuff in the towns you are visiting – concert, ballgame, whatever.
Make sure the iphones are loaded up with music that both you and the kid can tolerate.