Visiting colleges

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: March 2003 Archive: Visiting colleges
By Studiousvegetar (Studiousvegetar) on Saturday, March 22, 2003 - 10:07 pm: Edit

I live in MI and I want to go to UCLA or UC Berkeley. My parents think that visiting colleges, taking tours, meeting the dean, etc. is just a waste of time,money,energy, etc. They want me to apply purely on reputation. I really want to go look at these schools to see if I want to attend. Any thoughts? Thanks

By Anonmom (Anonmom) on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 10:20 am: Edit

Do your parents have a clear understanding about the contemporary competitive college admissions "scene"? If they have not read any college admission "how to" books, you should buy or borrow a couple for them to read, and ask them to get up to speed on the subject. These books will help you to put things into better perspective as well.

I would recommend the book "Winning the Heart of the College Admissions Dean" by Joyce Slayton Mitchell, as a good all-round "primer." In addition, I would recommend "College Admissions: A crash course for panicked parents" by Sally Rubenstone & Sidonia Dalby; and "The Fiske Guide to Getting into the Right College" by Edward B. Fiske. There are many more, but those are good ones to start with.

Further, you need to make sure that YOU understand how difficult it is for out-of-staters to get into the particular UC campuses you think you are most interested in. Do some careful research into this, so that you aren't setting your sights unrealistically high.

Good luck. It is very important for you and your parents to be "on the same page" about all of this.

By Shelinda (Shelinda) on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 02:57 pm: Edit

I definitely agree with Anonmom. You may find that despite the fact that they have a good reputation, no two colleges have the same "feel". By that I mean the social scene, the courses offered, even the accomodation. And, of course, the student body will be different at each place.

Taking all this into perspective, do you really want to spend 4 years at a place you've never visited?

Here's a (true) example for you: I had a friend who was desperate to go to a particular college. Well, she got in, and enrolled without visiting it. She has very bad claustrophobia. The only way to reach the bio labs from the dorms was via a long subway. She was back home within six weeks.

That is an extreme example, but it really happened. Don't risk something similar happening to you. Remember, no college is exactly the same on paper as it is in reality.

By Congocross (Congocross) on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 03:00 pm: Edit

Shelinda, perhaps you are talking about NYU? NYC may seem complicated at first, but after living there for an year or so it is much easier to naviaget.

By Congocross (Congocross) on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 03:01 pm: Edit


By Shelinda (Shelinda) on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 03:21 pm: Edit

Lol, I don't think my friend could've managed living there for a year. Six weeks had her shaking every time she went near the subways.

By Nyguy (Nyguy) on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 08:43 pm: Edit

lol i didnt visit anywhere with my parents. books and friends were enough. I want the first day i see the campus to be my first day of school. I think it will be more like a child in a candy shop that way. So far it seems like Cornell is very likely. O well, i look forward to seeing some guys from this forum at the school of my choice in the future

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