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Articles / Applying to College / Will NOT Visiting Campus Hurt Early Decision Chances at Northwestern?

Oct. 8, 2011

Will NOT Visiting Campus Hurt Early Decision Chances at Northwestern?

Question: Would not visiting the Northwestern campus hurt my chances at ED? I live in New York.

Visiting a college campus … especially a distant one … can certainly be one way to show a candidate’s interest. But that doesn’t mean that a candidate who can’t visit isn’t interested. In fact, there’s really no better way to “demonstrate interest” than to apply via a binding Early Decision program. You’ve got to like a place if you’re swearing to enroll if admitted, right?


Northwestern’s Common Application supplement asks what "encouraged your interest.” The reply options are:

I visited Northwestern's campus in Evanston.

I met with a Northwestern representative during a local high school visit.

I attended an off-campus information session in my local area.

I met with a representative from Northwestern at a college fair.

Other

So, even if you couldn’t get to campus, you can show the admission committee what got you excited about their school. If you tick the “Other” box, you get a little space to explain your answer. If you don’t need that space, you could add a few words there about how you have “visited” in Cyberspace … or in your imagination.

So don't worry if you couldn't make it to Evanston, but do try to take advantage of any programs that might be offered in your area while you wait for your verdict in December. And good luck with it!

(posted 10/8/2011)

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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