Tour guides and Overnight hosts have major impact on students college choices

<p>My D just did an overnight at a college that is offering her a full scholarship. The first day was fantastic the welcoming and applaud they gave these students was amazing and I thought the school had actually become in the running with some of the Ivies that D has applied to. Until she did the overnight. Her host took her back to the Dorm room after dinner(6:00 PM) with a friend(hosts). Where my D listened the reasons her host wished she would have chosen another school. At 11:30 PM her host finally invited her out. D had the scholarship interview in the morning so declined and the host left with her friend(D would have loved to gone out after dinner). The host roommate came in about an hour later with her boyfriend and proceeded to "hookup and such" for the next hour on the bed in front of my d. Needless to say my D was extremely uncomfortable being 17 and shy she did not know how to handle the situation and by the next morning the school had fallen significantly in her eyes. As a parent I was very disappointed with the situation itself. And seeing as it is a great school disappointed that my daughter went from thinking it was great at 5:00 pm to "not really for her" at 8:00 AM the next morning ... It just goes to show how much the hosts, tour guides etc. influence the feel for the school the kids come out with.</p>

<p>The hosts behavior could have happened at any school. It is not a reflection on the school, but more of an eyeopener to life on campus.</p>

<p>She could have been doing an overnight at Yale, where my friend's son is a drug dealer. Does that make Yale a bad choice?</p>

<p>A drinking situation happened at a school my D visited, and it really put her off that school for a few days. Everything else was perfect, and after some introspection, she is a happy 3rd year student at that same school.</p>

<p>How awkward for your daughter-and unfortunate for the school. This is why we did not encourage our S to do overnights. We felt the additional information he would receive would invariably be unrepresentative of what his experience would be like. </p>

<p>You may want to mention your daughter's unfortunate experience to the admissions office. They should know who is representing them. You might also encourage her to talk to some other current or former students who may be able to give her alternative perspectives.</p>

<p>Overnights can be positive or negative. In hindsight, we wish that S had done the overnight at the college he chose. Then he would have found out that the internet speed in the dorms was far too slow (he was going in as a comp. sci. major) and he would have discovered then that there really wasn't much to do on campus. He ended up transferring to another college where he did do an overnight which he did not enjoy. He is extremely happy there now and knows that the overnight was not typical.</p>

<p>D did overnights at 3 schools which cemented her 1st choice decision and flipped her 2nd and 3rd choice schools.</p>

<p>I would only let my kid do overnights if she knew the host. There's a story in the Gatekeepers by Jacques Steinberg about an amazing top student that Wesleyan's admissions office was courting, who had a bizarre overnight experience.</p>

Her host took her back to the Dorm room after dinner(6:00 PM) with a friend(hosts). Where my D listened the reasons her host wished she would have chosen another school.

Unfortunate choice of host, but there may have been something in this also......</p>

<p>Agree, overnights can make or break the opinion of the school. My S did overnights at the 2 schools he would consider attending after acceptance. One really turned him off by the condition of the dorms and the "personalities" of the dorm inhabitants. (Too nerdy even for my serious nerd.) Second school sealed the deal on the overnight because his host abandoned him, and S took off on his own exploring the dorms and talking to students. Neither were ideal overnight situations, but he certainly didn't let that bother him. He took care of himself and found the school that suits him still, 3 years in.</p>

<p>I'm so sorry your D has that experience. I don't care what age you are--it's embarrassing to have people making out in front of you.</p>

<p>My son had a similar experience, sans the host making out with his girlfriend. But my son didn't have anything in common with his host for accepted students weekend, and he was anxious about whether he was making the right choice. It turns out that he did--he loves his school and has found lots of like-minded friends. </p>

<p>Tour guides and hosts can have a huge impact, but a bad experience with one person doesn't mean that that particular school is a bad fit. It would make things easier if that were the case, but my son would have missed out on a terrific match for him if he'd decided against his current school based on that experience. </p>

<p>Now there are definitely other negative things that overnights can highlight, as kitty56 pointed out.</p>

<p>Most kids in college do study or do whatever until 11pm, then they go out. Don't upset with me for saying this: most kids that would host for over night may not always be the main stream kids. My daughter was very turn off at one school's over night - too nerdy and no fun. Her friends already in college said to her, "You can't judge a school by those kids. Would you host over nights?" </p>

<p>If a school wants to use over night to recruit potential students, they should do a better job of screening those volunteers.</p>

<p>My son has hosted. He said he wanted to give an accurate portrayal of a Thursday night and it was the kids in his dorm hanging out and talking about stuff. Others may like something else.</p>

<p>My son ended up not attending his #1 school after the overnight. There was a lot more to the decision--a lot more--but spending the night in a room with a guy and his girlfriend was probably not the best thing.</p>

<p>He accepted a school at which he did not do an overnight. That was probably a good thing, because that school no longer does overnights. I guess the good experiences did not outweigh the bad. It would have been unfortunate if he had been soured on the school just on the basis of an experience with some random student with no common interests, because he is enjoying himself, has been very successful and is getting a great education.</p>

<p>I will not encourage my daughter to do overnights.</p>

<p>After hearing stories from classmates about "HOW GREAT" their overnights were at various schools, how fun the parties were, how much they had to drink, etc., D took a pass on offers to overnight at her potential schools. She knew what she was getting into by attending a large public university, and quickly found people (via facebook before she got there, and also on her floor) in the honors dorm who share her entertainment and drinking preferences.</p>

<p>I think from your other postings that my son is a sophomore at the school where your D did her overnight visit. I can tell you that while I'm certainly not naive enough to think that a there isn't a fair amount of sexual activity going on at most college campuses, I don't think that the situation at the school your daughter visited is any different than at most schools. The student who hosted your daughter is not representative of most students at the school. My son did an overnight visit when he was a HS senior and had a much more positive experience. I definitely think that the admissions office would like to know what happened so that they don't let this student host any more prospective students.</p>

<p>I have never been a supporter of overnights.</p>

<p>I did one overnight, hated it, and went to the school anyway. That's a hard decision to make, and it requires going against your current emotional attachments to the school. That's not something teenagers are known for. The situation your daughter was in could have happened at almost any college in the US (exceptions: schools with parentals). The host thing is iffy. The host may be a great match or may not. During the accepted student weekends at my school almost every room has a prospie; hosts are told that their job is not to take care of the senior or even show the person around, though it's nice to do, but all they need to do is give the senior a place to sleep and make sure they get home sometime during the night. I have no idea who hosts during the rest of the year, but I'm assuming there's a mix of personalities. Also remember that a host may be 20 or 21 years old or older. I think it's sort of weird to have someone who's 17 and likely much less experienced in every way spend a night. There may be different dorm personalities on the campus, too, including a "party dorm," "nerdy dorm," or whatever else, and the student may never know the stereotype of the dorm they're staying in and may take it as the norm. Then there are issues of exam periods versus reading periods, spring versus winter, or just chance. What your host has done that day and has to do the next day can have a big impact. </p>

<p>Anyway, I think that you should strongly encourage your daughter to reconsider. Does she think the situation she ran into is unique to that school? It's certainly not. </p>

<p>Again, I did not have a good overnight experience. I was sitting in the corner of a crowded dorm room with this big guy next to me speaking very derogatively about gays. Being gay, I was not a fan. In fact, I didn't even feel physically comfortable the whole time, certainly not comfortable enough to say anything back (which I normally do very easily). I knew that there are homophobes on every campus, though, so I sucked it up and sent in my deposit anyway. I'm supremely happy at school and don't really know anyone who's homophobic, so it really was a freak occurrence.</p>

<p>Thank you for all your responses. I do not think that the situation is unusual for a college dorm and for roommates to bring their boyfriends in and engage in sexual activities. However, I did think it was inappropriate considering that they had a high school student there. I told my d that she should have picked up her sleeping bag and just left..however she felt so embarrassed that she did not feel like she could. I did discuss with her that it was unfortunate but she needed to look at what the school had to offer her and not base her opinion on a bad situation that could happen at any college. I certainly will not encourage anymore overnights in the future at any college as your host/hostess is just the luck of the draw and has such an influence on the students decision. That being said I loved the school! And the financial/scholarship package :)</p>

<p>Dte, sorry to hear what an uncomfortable situtation D experienced. How gross & awkward! It's not just teens who are impacted by the tour guides & hosts; I'm almost 50 and it's a factor in my opinion, as well. I brought D to two tours this week (just day trips) and the tour guides & admissions reps were all wonderful at one & horrible at the other. Like night and day. I also noticed at the school with the great guides that there were postings from admissions offering $30 to students who hosted prospects for overnights. Is that common? I think it's a great idea, and because the student is getting paid, the school could insist on a bit more attention being paid to the prospect.</p>

<p>Well, I'm a tour guide, and that's a little intimidating. What are tour guides doing so wrong? Rather, how can I improve/avoid all these terrible mistakes?</p>

<p>We have loved all of our tour guides. :)</p>

<p>DTE - yeew! I can't imagine how your daughter felt! At my old age I would have been embarrassed and uncomfortable so I can't imagine how she felt. </p>

<p>I, too, am not a fan of overnights, but they are part of a lot of scholarship programs and admitted student days. </p>

<p>DD also made her decision based on her impressions during those visits, and while she is very happy, who knows if she was wrong about other places because of the hosts she had. I, too, was surprised that the hosts weren't vetted in some way. Nobody was having sex with a bf so I guess we can't complain.</p>

<p>Back in the dark ages, at summer orientation for freshmen, one girl brought her boyfriend to the dorm room and her orientation roommate was sexiled. She crashed in my room and we decided to be roommates in the fall.</p>