Why I WON'T Be Going to COW/Bad Experience

I thought I should say this because some people may benefit from my experience if they’re unsure about going to COW. I would like to start this by saying that if you go to school at COW or have committed, i’m really glad it worked out for you, personally, this is why I didn’t pick it. Originally, COW was my #1, I loved the IS program, and the small liberal arts college feel seemed like a perfect fit. I decided to visit to get a better feel for the campus. Once arriving (after two connecting flights from Cali) I was taken to the campus, and I realized that there really was no way to get around Ohio unless you took a car to school since there’s no mode of transportation through like train, bushounds only go out around 3 times a day at odd times, and Ubers/Taxi’s to Columbus or Cleaveland exceed 100$ just one way. Once arriving I was taken back by how big and pretty the campus seemed. I was introduced to my host, and then taken to a library since I had to wait for her to get off work at 8:30. One of her friends walked me over and he straight up told me, “If you have any other options don’t come here, the work is too much for the school’s ranking, and there’s nothing to do but drink on the weekends”. This scared me a bit, but I wanted to see how my experience would play out. I ended up waiting until 9 for my host, and while at the library I found out that I had missed all the activities for visiting students because no one had informed me of the schedule, I was also not given my food passes until very late, and I did not want to walk alone on campus in the dark since I didn’t know it, so I ended up skipping out on food. Once my host picked me up, she took me to her room, said she was tired and was going to take a shower and go to bed. A girl on the visitinh students trip said she’d take me to the last event since i’d missed out on everything. Once it ended, she led me back to the dorms and left. I walked in to the open room, and my host was asleep so I went to bed as well. When I woke up she was gone for work and she only texted me saying where I needed to be, and to ask her if she had any questions. I ended up having to run around the campus, lugging my suitcase around looking for the building where everyone was meeting since I was never given a map, or any guidance as far as to the event. I ended up arriving late, was unable to sign up for most of the things I wanted to do since no one helped me and as stated before, I arrived late since no one helped me. I thought since I was alone, and it was obvious, the administrators or the students woulr try to talk to me and be friendly, but that was not the case, I tried initiating conversations but those fizzled out too. The class I did attend however was very interesting, but the students didn’t seem very engaged. In the end, I regretted the visit because it was not welcoming compared to other college visit days i’d attended. If you live somewhere that’s very urban, the ruralness of COW may not be the best fit. I will now be attending a small liberal arts college in California. I wish you all good luck on your college decisions.

I’m sorry you had a disappointing visit, but every experience has a great deal to do with what you make of it and especially with how well you prepare for the visit. Maybe it did totally suck as you suggested and that’s a shame. It sounds more though like you needed to advocate a bit more for yourself both before and during your visit. It’s not my intention to make light of your experience, but if you are coming from some place as far away as California, I’d think you’d have made 100% sure that you had every base covered including schedules, contact information, maps, etc. before you got on the plane to Ohio. And once you got to campus if you still didn’t have what you needed, or your host wasn’t helpful, all you needed to do is speak up and ask the admissions office to accommodate you. Instead you ended up missing events and meals and then blaming it on other things like not having a map or that “it wasn’t obvious to administrators or students” that you were alone so they didn’t care to help you. In those situations you have to raise your hand and advocate for yourself, not expect people to automatically know how you feel and come running to you. If you spoke up, I’m absolutely certain you would have gotten the help you wanted. Every college owes that to students who travel from far away and spend a lot of money doing it. It’s not in the interest of Wooster or any school to have a potential student go away with a terrible experience. On the flip side, the student has to make the most of that opportunity as well. It’s probably hard when you are traveling alone, and maybe you tried your best, I don’t know. I do know that hundreds of other kids from all over the world came to the same admitted student events at Wooster over the past few weeks. They got there on time and enjoyed all the activities – including my daughter who came from 9 hours away by car. Again, I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy your visit too because Wooster really is a wonderful school with terrific people. If you were dissatisfied with your visit, I’d recommend that you contact Wooster directly instead of just venting online. They would want to know about it so other students won’t have a similar experience to yours. Regardless, it sounds like you found a better fit for you that’s a lot closer to home. And that’s a good thing. Best of luck to you.

I am sorry to learn of your visit experience. However, I agree with @Tomfc1 that you could have contacted the admissions office to find out where you were supposed to go in the interim while waiting for your host. I noticed during our visit that many of the students seemed pretty busy. It is not too difficult to imagine since many of these admitted student events occur, unfortunately, at the same time when everyone is preparing for exams and/or final papers. My DS’s host told him that he had to study, so my son met some other people in the dorm and went to the gym and other activities with them. The College of Wooster sent a questionnaire after the visit to evaluate how it went. I hope that you received and completed the questionnaire to let them know of your experience so that they can correct any mistakes in the future. The College of Wooster is a great institution, but it is not for everyone. Good luck to you in your chosen college and your future.

@Tomfc1 I think you are being much to hard on the OP. The host and the school clearly could have done more to make sure the visit was a success. While the OP could have done things as well, I think most of it was not his/her fault.

@Wisteria100, as I said, I wasn’t making light of the student’s experience or trying to be hard on her. As I have told my kids forever, no one is going to advocate for you but you. Could Wooster have done more? Sure. But how could anyone help her if she sat back waiting for people to “notice she was alone” first and then expect them to automatically come running to help her? All she needed to do is ask. It’s not hard and there are tons of nice kids at Wooster willing to help. If she did have such a terrible experience, she needs to talk directly to the organizers at Wooster so they can correct it–not simply post her complaints online. I really do wish her well and am glad she found her right fit school.

@Tomfc1 @momsthebest Hello, thank you for your commentary, I wanted to clarify that as a first gen student who had never visited a college before I thought that waiting for my host was normal, and that the way things were proceding were how all colleges visits were. Before coming I also did a lot of research as far as to the event and the campus itself, so I thought I was prepared, the activities were not on the website so I didn’t know that I would be missing out on that, and I was unaware that food vouchers even existed until I was handed them late. By the time I found out about the activities, it was also too late for me to talk to someone, and by the next day, I asked for my packet, but once again, since I hadn’t known about it before I missed out on things I would have liked to partake in. I do agree that I could have spoken up while at the school, but I kept telling myself that maybe I just had to change my attitude because that’s how I thought college trips were supposed to play out. Also, the only reason I posted on here was because I did called the school the day after my visit and completed the questionnaire as well so I could tell them about my experience. I was told that they would talk to the dean of admissions and he would get back to me to discuss the incident but I never received word back at all which is what dissapointed me the most about the school. Also as a last thing to comment on, I didn’t attend the admitted students day (even though I had already been accepted) but attended the earliee event called the Winter Visit day, so maybe that played a part in it too since there were less people than im assuming the admitted students day. I’m sure it’s a great place, and I really did try to make the best of it, then again I just wanted to share my personal experience and why I personally wouldn’t be attending.

Oops and one last little thing, I mentioned the part about being alone and no one noticing, but just to clarify, I did try to engage with the staff and the kids there, but the staff seemed more comfortable and interested talking to students who had parents acompanying them (don’t get me wrong though the staff was very polite), but I felt like no one really took the effort to engage back with me, which is what made me feel more alone during my visit.

When my kid attended her current college (not CoW) accepted students weekend, her host greeted her and basically wasn’t seen again - that’s how it goes a lot of the time, apparently - they’re asked to provide floor space in their room and that’s about it. She did, however, receive emails ahead of time with a schedule of things to do and places to be, and did them. She called me a little lonely at one point, but got past it. She just finished her second year and loves her school.

What school did you choose, @rose528 ? The accepted student visit was better?

Thank you Rose for your review.
COW has been on our radar because of their pipe band. My son plays the pipes.
My concern (also coming from CA) was transportation there, and how to get around town and you answered
those for me. My son will not be a first generation, but I can tell you he wouldn’t have intruded on others
experiences because his host flaked out. there should have been a multilevel managing of the kids coming from all over for the visit. Making sure kids are being taken care of, and getting there questions answered.

As a parent I wouldn’t feel good about your experience.

Most kids at CoW will walk to coffee, shops, restaurants. Some kids will bring cars (and often find themselves giving rides). Lyft is $55-60 to the airport (per car, so up to 4 can share), but the college runs airport shuttles at breaks.

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I think you got a really accurate picture of the College of Wooster. Middle of nowhere, not much to do and kids just drink on the weekends because it is pretty boring compared to things back home. There is a lot they can do about this because plenty of school are in the middle of nowhere and fun. This one is not which is why my son transferred.