Convince my parents to visit schools

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: May 2003 Archive: Convince my parents to visit schools
By Studiousvegetar (Studiousvegetar) on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 09:26 pm: Edit

Hey Everyone, My parents don't believe in "loooking at colleges." They claim it's a waste of time/money/energy. They think every campus is the same. I am a current junior and will be applying in the fall. Do you guys/girls have any tips on convincing my parents to let me go see some schools? I don't want to apply w/o seeing the schools first.

By Peach (Peach) on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 10:45 pm: Edit

Are you looking at schools that are far away? They're probably worried about the cost if you have to fly. If they're driving trips, it will be cheaper.

Do you have a short list of the schools you're most interested in? Do as much research as you can before visiting so that when you visit, it's to get a yes/no as to whether it's the right school for you. If you visit, it will help your app because you can better write about why you want to go there. Pick 1-3 schools max to visit if they're still hesitant, and if it's possible, offer to pick up part of the cost. Be sure to visit your #1 choice first.

Try to get ideas of what a visit will cost (you can find cheap airfares and hotels on or Show your parents you've done your homework and that you're serious, and they will hopefully relent.

If not, see if any of your friends are interested in the same schools and see if you can go with them for a visit.

By Jenniferelaine (Jenniferelaine) on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 12:00 am: Edit

I'm playing devil's advocate here and trying to see this from your parents' point of view, at least for the moment. If you have schools that are within driving distance, or schools that someone else is interested in going and seeing, see if you can either drive by yourself or go with your friends. Another thing you can do is talk to people in your area who go to the schools you think you might be interested in, since they aren't adcoms they'll be honest.

Otherwise, if the schools are on an oppisite coast or just in another state, comprimise. Ask your parents that if you apply to your top choices and are accepted if they will be willing to visit the schools you are accepted to. Point out that the overwhelming most singular aspect of any college that will say "yay" or "nay" to you will be those first few seconds when you step onto the campus (trust me, it's true). A brochure can give you stats and figures, but it simply CANNOT give you a feel for the campus or meet the people for you. Making a decision without a campus visit, at least without a visit to your say, top 3 choices, would be an utterly blind and unwise choice.

Grr..I started ranting again..

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 12:24 am: Edit

I think visiting schools is important. while many schools have great web sites, and may have videos or cds to add detail, there is nothing like stepping on campus to pick up the "vibe"
However money is a concern for many- these are my recommendations
During local family vacations suggest visiting different types of schools to get a feel for the dynamic on campus-
Urban university, rural LAC, ...
gather as much information as you can on the school in which you are interested, narrow your choices down to perhaps 3 or 5 schools that you are really interested in visiting.
If money is still a problem, you might think about how difficult it will be to find money for travel expenses once you are admitted to any of these schools.
Coming home once or twice a year at least, is still looked forward to by most students, but if it is a burden to visit a school that you are really interested in, it may be a burden at the holidays.
My daughter is attending a school that is a 3 or 4 hours drive on a good traffic day. She comes home fall break- thanksgiving- and winter break. It is close enough for the family to all go down at the beginning of school together and see her off, which is also a nice transtion for her younger sister.
It is nice not to have the hassle of airport delays and scheduling not to mention the cost.
Contrast that with her cousin who is across the country, and can only afford to come home on winter break( and that is because the dorms are closed for a month)
Rest of time she has to stay on campus- and the closest airport is 60 miles away.
Her cousin did not visit any schools before she applied, and if she had she might have had a broader range of schools to chose from. She only was admitted to her safety, and I think, by not being able to speak from personal experience why she felt a particular college was right for her, it limited her choices

By Lefty (Lefty) on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 02:37 pm: Edit

I am the parent of a daughter the same age as you. It is my opinion that campus visits are a must. I would encourage your parents to consider the following points- 1) All college campuses are NOT the same. The size of the campus, the buildings, the residence halls, you and your parents need to look these over and ask lots of questions. 2) Would your parents buy a car sight unseen without looking it over or taking it for a test drive? A campus visit is a "test drive". It may feel right to you or it might feel totally wrong to you. The only way to find out for sure is to spend time on the campus, talk to people and get a feel for it. Good luck and I hope you are able to visit your top 2 or 3 schools.

By Lurker (Lurker) on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 02:56 pm: Edit

I am a parent of a graduating senior, and actually visiting colleges before you apply is absolutely one of the most important things you can do. You get such a more realistic picture and the "feel" of a college campus if you're actually there. Visiting a college is a very different experience than just reading about it.

I also think that some colleges, especially the more selective ones, look for students who actually show interest in attending that college. (Some applications even asked if and when the applicant ever visited the campus.) Students who take the time and effort to visit a college before applying are clearly showing more interest in attending.

Good luck with your parents. Sure, college visits take time and have related expenses, but they're really worth it.

By Sondogg (Sondogg) on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 03:34 pm: Edit

ummmmmmmm, i dont think visiting is important at all...visit after you get in, why spend 200 dollars on a plane ticket to a place you will never have a chance at going. Trust me, wait till you get in, take your time applying and then visit and check it out.

By Anotherdad (Anotherdad) on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 03:53 pm: Edit

Visits can be useful. Even if you cannot take long trips to check out schools, there is benefit in visiting schools in your immediate region. Arrange to visit 3 to 4 schools within 2 hours of your home, with the specific intention of selecting several of them as safeties. (You will need 3 safeties that you will be happy with, and why not make them close?) Ask questions, learn, and observe and it will help the general college selection process. With local experience you might be able to better select more distant schools to visit. More likely, apply without visiting (which is often the only practical alternative for most kids) then preplan a trip in April next year to visit where you have been accepted.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 04:07 pm: Edit

Sondogg, I disagree completely. Visiting helps can help frame greatly not only where you apply but what types of schools you apply to in the first place.

Of course, you should take realistic assessments and not visit "a place where you will never have a chance of going."

We had major questions answered, both positively and negatively on our three years of visits. We still have two more one-school visits to squeeze in and it's been a valuable experience.

By Hopkinslax (Hopkinslax) on Saturday, May 31, 2003 - 01:00 pm: Edit

Supposively if you visit a campus a lot you have a better chance of getting into the school.
One girl with only a modest GPA visited Columbia 17 times and easily got in

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