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Rochester Admissions: What is wrong with these people?

NOVA2024NOVA2024 40 replies4 threads Junior Member
edited May 1 in University of Rochester
My child is very interesting in a school with strong science and strong music . Junior with SATs of 1540. SAT II math and physics both 800, etc. Solid GPA, courses and extracurriculars, especially in music. At what is widely considered to be the top public STEM magnet in the US. He also does a lot of extracurriculars and is always busy. So, we were excited to see that U Rochester had interviews and tours available over Memorial Day weekend. He signed up for a full slate of activities on Memorial Day, and contacted a professor in his area of interest to schedule a meeting.

Once everything was confirmed by email, I waited a week and booked non-refundable airline tickets for him and a parent. Two weeks later, Rochester sent him a brief email saying they had decided to shut down over Memorial Day and were cancelling on him. They sent this email to my kid, who was traveling over spring break, and did not cc not me. So, it was a week before I found out.

I called Rochester admissions, spoke to an actual adult admissions director (not a kid/ intern), and explained the situation, including the fact we had paid of airline tickets after a confirmation from the school. I asked if they could give us info to do a self guided tour, if there might be a student on campus who could meet with us, if there was an alum in the area, my kid could interview with, etc. And was told, basically, *shrug* sorry, not sorry. And that the campus would be closed and buildings locked for the holiday. And if security found us walking around, we would be removed for trespassing.

The admissions person I talked to said she would see if anyone would be around, and call me back if they were. Otherwise, don’t bother coming. That was a week ago, and I haven’t heard back. Honestly, given that we are coming from some distance, my kid is a strong, serious applicant, and this was their screw up, I would expect them to arrange something. Or at least apologize.

So, now I have expensive tickets to Rochester, and apparently can’t even explore the campus with my kid.

Has anyone run into something like this? We have found every other college we visited easy to work with, helpful and accommodating. Rochester could not have been ruder or less interested. They said it was my fault for scheduling over Memorial Day— BUT I WAS ABLE to register on their website for a full day of tour, interview, financial aid session, etc.

My kid will clearly not apply to Rochester given that this is how they treat applicants.
edited May 1
8 replies
Post edited by skieurope on
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Replies to: Rochester Admissions: What is wrong with these people?

  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29603 replies58 threads Senior Member
    Call the presidents office. This is ridiculous, rude and intolerable.

    The only reason I’m not Dissing the school is because admissions is one department that students don’t need to deal with, once admitted. A lot of sorry admissions practices and departments, sadly
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  • EllieMomEllieMom 1872 replies11 threads Senior Member
    edited May 1
    That's a huge mistake on the part of Rochester's admissions! I agree with @cptofthehouse. Call the president's office. They should know what happened...and fix it! Heck, I'd offer up an undergrad friend of my daughter's to take him around informally but that won't provide him with the opportunity to interact with faculty and get the kind of tour that he deserves. :(
    edited May 1
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  • collegemom9collegemom9 801 replies30 threads Member
    edited May 1
    I'm sorry this happened but I cannot imagine any college giving tours Memorial Day weekend and I also think you need to know that your student is the one who will be getting correspondence from schools. You won't be copied. I'm sorry your son waited a week before letting you know but thats on him, unfortunately.If it's any comfort at all you really wouldn't want to visit a school that doesn't have anyone at it. It's not going to give your child a true reflection of what the school is like.
    edited May 1
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  • CreeklandCreekland 5761 replies89 threads Senior Member
    If the non-refundable tickets happen to be on Southwest, they do offer full credit for changing flights even though you don't get your money back. You have a year to use the new flight.

    Otherwise, that's really annoying. If you are still interested in the school, it's possible/probable that my med school lad will still be in the area (pending my mom's condition though - end stage cancer) and he could show you around. He did his undergrad there too and loves the school. Send me a pm if you want me to put you in touch with him.

    If you aren't interested in the school any longer (understandable), then renting a car and heading to Niagara Falls could still make a nice trip for "consolation."
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  • shuffle1shuffle1 115 replies1 threads Junior Member
    "They sent this email to my kid, who was traveling over spring break, and did not cc not me. So, it was a week before I found out."
    Sure, they sent it to the email of the candidate student that they had on file. That's just standard protocol for admissions offices. It's really unfortunate he wasn't checking emails at the time and that exacerbated the issue.
    In terms of travel options, from Nova/TJ, you're about a 6:30 drive; it's a straight shot once you're past Bethesda.
    "Have we hit this with other schools?" Oh, Absolutely. When going around with kids in their junior year around Easter break we were able to register for these incredibly welcoming programs at multiple schools - that turned out to be the accepted students days and only open to those students. Happened at multiple campuses where they admissions site listed every event.
    Admissions sites tend to err on the side of being open, rather than closed. If there's a reason for them to be closed (like it's during finals and all the tour guides are unavailable) that gets added later. And you have to check back with them to make sure they really are open and available that day.
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  • ColoradomamaColoradomama 2779 replies32 threads Senior Member
    Just travel to Rochester anyway, and don't sweat this, I see no reason you cannot wander around with a map and talk to grad students. There are always plenty of graduate students around and working over holidays at all research schools like Rochester. Note that Rochester commencement is May 17, so undergrads may be gone but
    you can talk to grad students, since you have a nonrefundable ticket, learn the area, see what your son thinks
    of upstate NY, go visit the Finger Lakes, go visit RIT, since you are close by, or even drive to Cornell University, about 1.5 hours south. Also you can see how far Eastman School of Music is from the main Rochester campus, and see
    what he thinks of the area.

    As another example, that seems less than nice too--
    I have heard of flute players getting their audition canceled at U Mass Amherst and other music schools with no notice after tickets were purchased too. In some ways, I think wandering around the campus area, chances are you will run into plenty of students at Rochester. who can inform you well about the school.

    Rochester IS a fantastic school for many fields. Even the latest physics Nobel Laureate did her PhD at Rochester in optics.
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  • ColoradomamaColoradomama 2779 replies32 threads Senior Member
    Note that Rochester's calendar has been decided at least a year in advance, like all universities,
    and all of them are closed for federal and state holidays, thats typical.
    https://www.rochester.edu/registrar/calendar.php

    We have driven through LACS on a Sunday in the summer when almost no one was around and
    still learned something though.
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  • LakemomLakemom 2943 replies68 threads Senior Member
    I agree with the above comments. While this is not a substitute for a tour, this video came out in 2012 when my son applied. I found it very inspiring. President Seligman is no longer there and the professor in the video has passed away but if u want a quick sense of the school. Here u go :)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiCbfSXoftI
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