Are visiting schools a waste?

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: March 2003 Archive: Are visiting schools a waste?
By Studiousvegetar (Studiousvegetar) on Saturday, March 22, 2003 - 09:22 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 Pisces (Pisces) on Saturday, March 22, 2003 - 09:34 pm: Edit

Definitely Definitely visit. You may discover that you absolutely cant stand the people, the food, the dorms, something you couldnt see in their viewbook. Seriously, food might not sound important- but when you're spending four years there, you want to be able to eat. I also found out from experience that the atmosphere some schools advertise can be completely opposite from what it really is. I decided to apply before visiting some schools and I regreted even that. With some schools, I was just like what was i thinking?

By Tenisghs (Tenisghs) on Saturday, March 22, 2003 - 11:44 pm: Edit

Oh god, visiting schools is important! I was able to weed out several schools just on the first visit when I realized it was the wrong environment for me. I also want my parents to know the campus surroundings. (They have more experience.)

I've visited Northwestern twice, and my parents LOVE the area.

By Medusa2003 (Medusa2003) on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 12:18 am: Edit

It is important that you visit to get a sense of how you fit into the environment both socially and academically. If cost is an issue you might want to wait until after you have been accepted and received your financial aid awards. But don't make a final decision without visiting.

By Tim (Tim) on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 02:29 am: Edit

Apply, then visit. Why waste time visiting schools you might not even get into?


By Thedad (Thedad) on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 10:28 am: Edit

Visiting schools isn't a "waste" if they help you in deciding where you want to go. Visits may clarify priorities for you, including the inclusion of elements you hadn't even considered before. You may find that condition X isn't the absolute necessity you thought it was and that, contrary to your initial assumption, condition Y is actually a pretty nice thing to have.

There are so many subjective factors that are important to the college experience: is the campus friendly or do the students seem to be cliquey? Where's the balance between academics, extracurriculars, and social life? How do you like the physical environment and does the surrounding city/town/rural area feel comfortable to you?

We've visited colleges the last two Spring Breaks and it's been very helpful for us, both student and parents.

It's not as if you rate schools by measuring how good the quality of the knowledge is being poured into a skull by how good of a mechanic professor, though I recognize this strange view of education is more widespread than one would think.

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