Visiting U Mass, URI, UVM, UNH) - trip?

Hi - my daughter applied to a bunch of schools, including some she hadn’t visited. She’s lucky enough to have had a few acceptances and we are trying to plan the first visits to U Mass-Amherst, U of Vermont, U of Rhode Island, U of New Hampshire.

I’ve plotted it on a map but I was thinking it would be better to break the trip up into two visits rather than trying to jam everything into one? Was thinking one visit to U of Vermont since it’s furthest, then U Mass, URI, U of NH another time?

It will just be she and I - would love any suggestions/ feedback from those who might know!!

Btw, she loves U of Colorado I’m trying to give her options on the east coast that might approximate that outdoorsy-vibe and natural beauty (since we in NJ and I’d like her a bit closer than CO!). Have no idea if this will work! :slight_smile:

Thanks much for any thoughts!!

Jolynne: : I know what you mean about not wanting your daughter to go so far away, like Colorado. UNH is really pretty and there are many opportunities for outdoor activities, Including the beach which is about an hour away when the weather is good. I have never been to the University of Vermont although I’ve been told it’s beautiful as well. UMass Amherst is really huge, a different vibe than UNH… But lots of things going on all the time. It is beautiful out there in the Berkshires as well. I don’t think she could go wrong with any of those schools and I think there’s a lot to be said for being a car ride away as opposed to being across the country. I hope you can convince her! Good luck! My daughter was accepted at all of those schools, except for Vermont which we didn’t apply to. I heard that URI is fun and very close to a nice beach area, if she’s into that. However, I think that UNH and UVM would more closely resemble CO. Enjoy the trip together. My daughter and I did a whirlwind tour in October and it was incredibly fun… Great bonding!

The mountains are a lot smaller in the east compared to Colorado. However, you can see the mountains from the UVM campus, and it is an attractive school with an attractive campus in a great small city. It might not be a bad place to visit first as long as you can afford it. They at least used to have an optional orientation week where incoming freshmen have the option of going hiking in the mountains of Vermont (I have not looked at this for a while). I am pretty sure that there are quite a few skiers there also.

U.Mass Amherst and UNH also have very attractive campuses. I cannot remember whether you can actually see any mountains from the campus. I do not know URI at all.

One thing to think about is whether to visit two universities on each trip rather than one on trip 1 and 3 on trip 2. If you are driving between UVM and New Jersey, U.Mass Amherst is not very far out of your way.

FWIW, I went to school in Boulder back in the late 80’s and loved it. While I was never particularly homesick for the east coast, it did eventually get old being in the position of not being able to go home as often, mostly due to cost. I would agree that UVM is probably closest to Boulder in terms of being in a cool town, mountains, access to skiing, etc.

I’ve never been to UNH campus, but New Hampshire is gorgeous and offers the same access to the slopes, outdoorsy activities, etc., but I’m not sure about whether the surrounding area offers as much as Burlington in the way of shops, restaurants, and so forth. Amherst is also such a cool place with lots going on, and the Berkshires are beautiful. URI has a pretty campus not far from the beach in Narraganset. I would describe the area as suburban.

My DS was also accepted to URI and UMass, and is currently weighing them amongst a few options, including your state flagship, Rutgers. Definitely read up on campus life at URI. My sense is that many people move off campus after sophomore year to live near the beach. Sounds very cool but necessitates a car so important to know. That said, when I was at CU, most people move off campus as well. It’s just more walkable in Boulder than at URI.

Of all 4, UMass is the strongest academically, but I don’t think you can go wrong. Congrats to your D on all her good choices!

I think two trips would work best - UMass/UVM and then URI/UNH. The only one I haven’t visited is URI, but I’ve heard the campus is very pretty. S and I loved UNH. It’s the prettiest campus of them all, imo. Plus the students were just so friendly, and there’s so much school spirit it’s just infectious. The town of Durham is very nice as well. Great location, easy to get to the ocean and mountains. Great size, not too big, not too small. Amtrak station on campus so very convenient to get there by train. D and I liked UMass more than we expected (typically not crazy about large schools). While it’s big, it’s a very contained campus. Again, all the students we met there were great, very friendly and down to earth. Seem to love their school. The area around there is pretty, and you’ve got lots of other colleges nearby. UVM was our least favorite (our kids felt the same) but the school gets a lot of love, so we’re clearly in the minority.

Good idea to break the trip up if nothing else for the fatigue factor!

All of the schools you mentioned are great options. The beach is minutes away at UNH not an hour as previously mentioned. The Whites are available, Boston is an hour away and ME is accessible too.

UVM Burlington is a bigger city. Great vibe.

URI has the ocean and UMASS Amherst has the Berkshires.

You can’t go wrong with any of these choices.

I’ve been to three of those schools. Not URI. If she’s looking for outdoorsy vibe, she is going to love UVM. IMO, it’s the most attractive of those schools. Certainly, Burlington is a wonderful town on the shores of a gorgeous lake. Tons of kids are into winter sports and hiking, and I believe there’s a ferry across the lake which makes it realistic to go to Montreal.

UMass doesn’t have an outdoorsy feel and is, I’m sorry to say, pretty uninspiring as a campus. Amherst is nice though. UNH is lovely, but the town is so small as to be insignificant. I wouldn’t say it’s outdoorsy in the way that UVM is, but it’s easy to get to outdoorsy stuff. FWIW, the gym at UNH with its outdoor heated swimming pool is the best I’ve ever seen.

We travelled from UVM to UNH and it took about three hours. Not insignificant, but a lovely drive. Perhaps not so lovely until there are leaves on trees. URI, UMass and UNH would work as a trip, but you will have UVM as the outlier. Son and I visited UVM in the afternoon and UVM the next morning.

We tend to be pretty fast with campus visits. If it were me, I’d do UVM in the afternoon, head to UNH for the night. See UNH in the morning, UMass mid day, and URI in the afternoon. It could be a very quick trip if you want it to be. I’m one of detractors of the two schools a day rule. We saw three schools a day more than once, worked fine for us. Or, you could do URI in the afternoon, drive to U Mass for the night and do UMass and UNH, then drive to UVM that night. Do UVM in the morning and drive home.

I definitely don’t think you need two separate trips and that three days is perfectly fine to see all these schools.

I would do a UVM and UMA trip. Fly to Hartford and go north. Next trip fly to providence. Go visit uri. Then take the trip to Durham and visit Portsmouth while you’re their too. Fly back from Boston.

If you are going for campus aesthetics I agree with the posters above. UVM and Burlington are a nice combo. UNH is a really nice traditional campus. UMA has beautiful parts and the most quintessential college town. It also has some 70s era buildings but they are in a building boom so that is changing. Of course they have advantages. the best sports, academics and number one usnwr dining options. It’s the biggest but not huge like osu umich asu etc.

URI has a great, self contained campus but is a bit more isolated from a major city or town like UNH. It’s a little closer to the beaches than UNH. And yes a lot of students live in summer beach homes during the school year. Transportation doesn’t seem to be an issue. Campus is nice and they have two world class programs. Marine and ocean sciences as well as pharmacy school are as good as they get. Nursing school is fantastic too.

Oh my - thank you all so much for the detailed, thoughtful replies! I greatly appreciate it!

I’m in Southern NJ and will be driving - will think (now) about the option of fitting these into a single trip (hadn’t initially planned on that) and is really encouraging to hear the positive reports about all of these schools!

When my daughter and I visited Colorado, we made it a ‘mom & me’ week-long trip that involved multiple hiking outings, a concert at Red Rocks, and other fun.

To give her a chance to love these east coast schools I’m trying to give enough space for fun & seeing the local vibe. She’s not a huge fan of the pre-packaged campus tour & presentation - we’ve been through so many they all sound alike (and, to be frank, for whatever reason the colleges often do not put the most dynamic/engaging admissions staff on stage to pitch the school!). So she’ll need a holistic feel of the campus & surrounding area for a chance at falling in love (or even like!).

That doesn’t foreclose a single trip, but just means I’ll need to plan carefully. Again, thanks so much!

A last question for those who are in-the-know on these schools - my older son favors Colorado for my daughter because it is economically booming. He points out that she could have many job opportunities after graduation there and would have a lot of local connections.

Does the economic ‘boom’ in the geographic area around a school make a significant difference? For instance, he points out that Vermont has (seemingly) mainly tourism (not her career interest - she wants to be a lawyer [as of now]) and she’d have to work harder for the connections, etc. Thanks much for any thoughts!!

With the possible exception of UVM, I would consider all of these to be in the “Greater Boston” area, or at least the “Greater Greater Boston” area, which is doing just fine. I don’t really agree with your son’s logic though, even more so if she’s planning on going to law school.

I have one URI grad, one URI junior, and a freshman at UNH (we are from NH). I recently took my youngest (D21) to visit Amherst College, and we took some time to drive around the town and the UMass campus.

I have not been to Burlington in a while, but it’s a really nice city, and close to Canada, if that holds any allure for your D.

I read through this thread and found it pretty accurate for URI and UNH, which I would describe as “the same but different”. URI seemed a lot more diverse (NH being NH and all, although both are around 50% OOS). The Narragansett beach house thing is definitely real. My son lived in a dorm the first year and has been in Narragansett the last two. It does require a car unless you want to use RIPTA (the bus). Both are very pretty campuses, similar but in different settings.

Honestly, I thought the UMass campus was ugly (or maybe just overwhelming), but AFAIK it’s a very well regarded school and fairly competitive to get into.

To the extent that the physical characteristics and location of a campus matter, these four are fairly distinct from each other, which will probably help her in ranking them.

Thank you so much for that additional insight!! I’m planning out trips right now (knowing that they might be canceled if there is snow - I’m not a bad weather driving fan!).

Much appreciated!