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Evanthe

No advice really needed, I guess - just venting/frustrated

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I won't say which school this was, but we just spent allllll day on a college visit.  It's a big name school here and they spent a lot of time telling us how selective the program we're interested in is...like out of 1000 applicants, they only take 160.  This tour was exhausting.  It lasted over 3 hours.  The campus was massive.  The lady was practically running backwards during the entire tour.  No meeting with an admissions advisor at the end.  There was so much emphasis on social stuff that it was ridiculous.  Every picture of the campus showed the students in some kind of party environment.  (Lol)

We absolutely hated the school.  Ugh.  I know there's no advice, just venting.  We spent our ENTIRE day doing this, I had to have a babysitter, my preschooler was hysterical looking for me all day and none of us liked the school.  Oh well.  Disappointed, I guess.  

So, we are to the point where we only like ONE college.  *sigh*

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17 minutes ago, Evanthe said:

I won't say which school this was, but we just spent allllll day on a college visit.  It's a big name school here and they spent a lot of time telling us how selective the program we're interested in is...like out of 1000 applicants, they only take 160.  This tour was exhausting.  It lasted over 3 hours.  The campus was massive.  The lady was practically running backwards during the entire tour.  No meeting with an admissions advisor at the end.  There was so much emphasis on social stuff that it was ridiculous.  Every picture of the campus showed the students in some kind of party environment.  (Lol)

We absolutely hated the school.  Ugh.  I know there's no advice, just venting.  We spent our ENTIRE day doing this, I had to have a babysitter, my preschooler was hysterical looking for me all day and none of us liked the school.  Oh well.  Disappointed, I guess.  

So, we are to the point where we only like ONE college.  *sigh*

Yes, college visits can be exhausting and making time for them isn’t easy!  I am have done about 10 between both of my kids and I can’t say that I am looking forward to doing any more.

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27 minutes ago, Evanthe said:

I won't say which school this was, but we just spent allllll day on a college visit.  It's a big name school here and they spent a lot of time telling us how selective the program we're interested in is...like out of 1000 applicants, they only take 160.  This tour was exhausting.  It lasted over 3 hours.  The campus was massive.  The lady was practically running backwards during the entire tour.  No meeting with an admissions advisor at the end.  There was so much emphasis on social stuff that it was ridiculous.  Every picture of the campus showed the students in some kind of party environment.  (Lol)

We absolutely hated the school.  Ugh.  I know there's no advice, just venting.  We spent our ENTIRE day doing this, I had to have a babysitter, my preschooler was hysterical looking for me all day and none of us liked the school.  Oh well.  Disappointed, I guess.  

So, we are to the point where we only like ONE college.  *sigh*

It's exhausting isn't it. My youngest daughter completely hated the whole college visit process! But it's very clarifying and can save you a lot of time in the long run.

With one of my older kids we visited a college like seemed that way to us (I will name it - it was UC Boulder). The campus was gorgeous, but the entire tour was focused on their facilities and their social scene and not academics. We didn't consider it a complete waste of time because she just crossed it right off of her list. But it did make it clear that not every school has the same priorities we do. 

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I also think some impressions of schools are tainted by a good/bad tour guide.

We left one tour guide to join up with another group. 

Sone schools we visited numerous times and 1-2 we cut the tour short knowing we had no interest.

It is an exhausting process.

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OP your time was well spent.  You learned what you needed to know and more. 

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1 hour ago, Mom0012 said:

Yes, college visits can be exhausting and making time for them isn’t easy!  I am have done about 10 between both of my kids and I can’t say that I am looking forward to doing any more.

 

Oh, my goodness!  I can't imagine doing 10 of these!!  Our friends have a daughter the same age as our oldest and they are visiting/applying to 12 colleges.  How do they have the energy to do this??  My dh is passed out on the couch from just this one...

59 minutes ago, kirag714 said:

The campus was gorgeous, but the entire tour was focused on their facilities and their social scene and not academics. 

 

That's what this school was like.  Every thing the tour emphasized was their social activities.  We're scratching this place off our list.  It is so huge.  My kids would not do well there.  It's clear to me that we need to focus on small colleges. 

27 minutes ago, gingersmom said:

I also think some impressions of schools are tainted by a good/bad tour guide.

We left one tour guide to join up with another group. 

Sone schools we visited numerous times and 1-2 we cut the tour short knowing we had no interest.

It is an exhausting process.

 

Lol.  We passed the parking garage at one point and were quietly joking that we could just sneak out of the group and go back to the car...  This is a really popular school.  I tried to get a tour of it last year and all the tours filled up.  I applied for this tour like in October (?) and it was full for months. 

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8 minutes ago, Lanny said:

OP your time was well spent.  You learned what you needed to know and more. 

 

Well, it probably saved me the $75 application fee this summer!  And now I know my kids are not going to do well in a big college environment.  We need to focus on small colleges.  My oldest dd fell in love with a small college that we toured last fall.  It's a cute/tiny college, really low student:teacher ratio and you can walk the entire campus.  So much more laid back than this place was.  She takes the SAT in May and if we're happy with her score, we're just going to apply as soon as they're taking applications (I guess, July?).    

Edited to add: It seemed like SWB mentioned in the WTM something about homeschoolers doing better in small colleges, anyway.

Edited by Evanthe
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My ds learned early in the process he wanted small and laid back, too. It actually made the process more laid back ( I was nail biting about financial aid, but knew he’d easily get in to the places he liked best.)

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Well, I wouldn't completely discount a large college if they have a really good Honors program or some other Learning Community that truly makes it a smaller environment for certain kids. For example, the University of Central Florida has the largest undergrad population (I think) of any US college, but their honors college provides very special opportunities. My DD didn't like their LEAD program, but it is another one of their programs that make the college seem much smaller than it would appear on paper. I know when we visited, the main campus was very intuitive, well-laid-out, and easy to navigate. I think you could get from one end to the other in 15 minutes at a leisurely walk. Our tour guide was horrible. In fact, I knew more than she did about more than 50% of the tour, but we all loved the school anyway. It certainly didn't feel like it had more students than the first college DD toured.

Speaking of that, my DD visited the state flagship university near us that has 25,000 students. The tour guide was great, but she hated the layout and the campus seemed too full of people. She next visited a smaller state university (undergrad 5500 students) in a small town and thought it was lovely. Then, she visited UCF (68,000 students spread over a few campuses), and it felt much less crowded than the much smaller state flagship university she visited first. Finally, she visited a university that has just under 10,000 students with a decent honors program to make it feel smaller. She loved that even though some (non-honors) classes had 30 kids in them, the professors knew who the kids were by name. Finally, she visited a state college with just over 3,000 students. It was very cozy and you certainly couldn't hide on that campus. She knew it was way too small for her.

After a second visit to the smaller state university, she realized it was "too small" for her even though she originally thought that was the biggest school she'd consider. Her final two options were the places with the good honors programs because that made them stand out with the best opportunities for her (plus, they had the best overall merit offers of the bunch - which was great for us). Ultimately, through five college visits, she found which ones she felt at home on - with their wildly different sizes.

I will say that I enjoyed all our visits even though they are sometimes exhausting. I think my next kid is going to go to the small state college, or at least start out there, so I probably won't be doing much touring for another few years. 

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2 hours ago, Evanthe said:

I won't say which school this was, but we just spent allllll day on a college visit.  It's a big name school here and they spent a lot of time telling us how selective the program we're interested in is...like out of 1000 applicants, they only take 160.  This tour was exhausting.  It lasted over 3 hours.  The campus was massive.  The lady was practically running backwards during the entire tour.  No meeting with an admissions advisor at the end.  There was so much emphasis on social stuff that it was ridiculous.  Every picture of the campus showed the students in some kind of party environment.  (Lol)

We absolutely hated the school.  Ugh.  I know there's no advice, just venting.  We spent our ENTIRE day doing this, I had to have a babysitter, my preschooler was hysterical looking for me all day and none of us liked the school.  Oh well.  Disappointed, I guess.  

So, we are to the point where we only like ONE college.  *sigh*

 

Hey, one is better than none, right?! That DOES sound exhausting! I only do the visit if we can set up a meeting with an adviser or meet someone in the department etc... I've done two so far (one with each kid, at different schools, ones they are pretty serious about--no way would I have energy for 12, LOL!). For one, it was an open house and they had you sign up for what you were interested in (meeting with adviser, applying--fee waived that day, going to financial aid info, doing a tour, etc...) They had 2 types of tours--a 1 hour walking tour or a 30 minute bus tour. We liked the bus tour! We also went to the building for the major and got a mini-tour there.

For the other, it was just a transfer student visit day, so we arranged separately for a meeting with someone in the department to talk very specifically about transfer issues. Anyway--that school offered a walking tour, and after an hour when they showed no signs of stopping soon, I asked the tour guides how much longer. They were going to go for another 30-45 minutes, so we cut out early to get lunch before the adviser meeting. DD and I were both already on information overload after an hour--we didn't need to do more! 

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Anyone else have the Gilligan's Island theme song stuck in their head now? (A 3-hour tour...a 3-hour tour!)

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16 hours ago, MerryAtHope said:

Anyone else have the Gilligan's Island theme song stuck in their head now? (A 3-hour tour...a 3-hour tour!)

 

Sister, I like the way you think!!! :wub:

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I actually really love college tours but have yet to have a child that shares this interest. And the third isn’t looking promising in that respect either 😂 Husband and I are headed to Boston this week for the marathon and I’m fighting the urge to tour schools there big time 😂😂😂 

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Sounds like our visit to UA in 2017.  It just went on and on... our whole family went, and the then 8yo was beyond worn out at the end of the tour.  Oldest DS loved the school (much more than UT-Austin).  DD hated it.

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8 hours ago, GoodGrief1 said:

I actually really love college tours but have yet to have a child that shares this interest. 

 

Me, too! And my kids. My oldest liked the whole process and gathering information, my youngest liked all the free food 🙃

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My dd and I toured five schools in five hours, and that was enough for us! haha  

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17 hours ago, LisaK in VA is in IT said:

Sounds like our visit to UA in 2017.  It just went on and on... our whole family went, and the then 8yo was beyond worn out at the end of the tour.  Oldest DS loved the school (much more than UT-Austin).  DD hated it.

 

Yeah, this was a Texas school, of course.  My 4 year-old would've been hysterical if I had brought him...

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On April 8, 2019 at 2:25 PM, Mom0012 said:

Yes, college visits can be exhausting and making time for them isn’t easy!  I am have done about 10 between both of my kids and I can’t say that I am looking forward to doing any more.

We sent grandpa to the local state school with our daughter!!  He enjoyed it.  My husband will take her to the out of state colleges she is considering, and I'll stay home with our son, win, win!

It doesn't sound fun to me, either...

Edited by ElizabethB
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23 hours ago, GoodGrief1 said:

I actually really love college tours but have yet to have a child that shares this interest. And the third isn’t looking promising in that respect either 😂 Husband and I are headed to Boston this week for the marathon and I’m fighting the urge to tour schools there big time 😂😂😂 

It sounds like you could have a new job...taking other people's kids on college tours and reporting back to parents!!

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