Visiting colleges??

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by klmno, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    The time has come to visit colleges with E, believe it or not. We went thru one campus in the area where we were living and there are 2 near the place we live now- these are part of the Plan B just in case Plan A (his ideal dream) doesn't pan out right off the batt. Instead of just driving thru the campus and looking around, I'd like for him to meet a dean of students or someone so he can get the experience of talking to them about his goals in life. The problem is that I can't take off work for this before HS classes start and I will get federal holidays off this fall but I'm thinking no one will be at the college offices those days. Then, if I take 1 day off to go to the "ideal Plan A college", I'd have to work that around a federal holiday or weekend, too, because we'd really need a couple of days at least for the trip and college tour. I was wondering how other parents have worked this out- if you've been in the bad spot of not being able to tour a campus before the senior year starts. I don't think they'll be any problem taking a day or 2 off in the fall but right now just isn't feasible.
  2. Methuselah

    Methuselah New Member

    Hi Klmno. Our district allows the students three personal days to visit colleges; it is an excused absence. They can use the days anytime during the year. Does your school offer this? If they do, you could work the visits to fit your schedule.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Uhmmm...maybe. I'd hate for him to miss classes tho because he'll only be taking 4 classes at a time but they are longer periods and they cover a lot more each class and he needs the time in class- maybe I could see if they'll be doing much the couple of days before Thanksgiving and check with the colleges to see if someone will be there on those days. I just can't see too many days where college personnel will be available but HS isn't doing anything during Fall.
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    k, you'd be surprised. A LOT of HS's build in college visit time. I took nearly a week (not all at once) to do that, and they were just starting to offer the days at that point.

    Also, check the HS's calendar. because they have all kinds of weird days off (Columbus Day comes to mind) that you will, too - but colleges don't...
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That's what I'm hoping for because I really can't see any other opportunity without E missing much-needed class time. He's bright but not a genius and he needs all the class time they can give him with this upcoming school year.
  6. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I'm so glad you posted this - I'm delighted that difficult child is keeping his eyes on the goal! Weeburt is going thru this process right now - in fact, he and husband just left this morning to go visit 3 colleges out east.

    I would look at the HS calendar for those goofy half days and see if you can schedule a visit around those. They're wasted days anyway, at least in our school.

    Check the admissions website for each college - they all have info about visiting. Some schools want you to make an appointment or sign up for a particular time, others just offer tours at X time on ABC days. I think most of the schools Wee has been to/is going to offered visits on weekends as well as week days. Some schools also offer shadow days and/or weekend events for potential incoming freshman. A lot of the private schools also tour the country as a group - Wee went and talked to ... Brown, somebody, somebody, and somebody (LOL, I can't remember diddly anymore - but I think all Ivy League) locally - they came as a group and had similar requirements re: GPA/SAT/ACT as well as similar tuition (ouch). For financial aid/grants/scholarships/etc, I do have to say some schools offer really exceptional aid as compared to others.

    He's been to 3 schools so far - the visits included info about admission requirements, degrees offered, costs, dorms, meal plans, etc., etc., special bits of info each school is proud of, and then tours of the campus. I think the tours were done by current students, and that admission staff were available for questions (husband is doing the college traveling with- Wee - I get to do it with Diva in 3 years, LOL).

    It's an exciting but nerve-wracking time. ;)
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Where I live they penalize students (and teachers) who are absent prior or immediately following a holiday. Double check at the high school before making plans. DDD
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, slsh! I will DDD- E remains on parole so we won't be doing anything against those requirements unless it's me refusing to take off work to meet with them- sorry but I'm not losing another job to meet their convenience- and E and I both are putting our focus on my job, his school requirements, and our family relationship (which is why PO isn't ranking in the top 3 this time).
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Way To Go, klmno. DDD
  10. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    We visited a lot of schools with difficult child and easy child. Check the "admissions" page on the school websites. In my experience, schools have a variety of visit option and tour offerings every day (but Sunday) during the week at various times. They know most parents(and kids) work and they take it into account when setting the schedules. They also offer full day "admission open houses" and specialty events - for certain majors, or HS seniors, or HS junior or accepted students as well. Get in touch with your son's admission counselor - they are usually very willing to help and can also schedule private tours if the days and times offered don't work. Again- IME - admissions events are often offered in conjunction with school holidays and vacation times - they know that HS students don't want to miss school. The admissions counselor can also schedule or put you in touch with instructors/advisers from your son's area of study. You can also make appointments with financial aid, or health services, or residence life or the commuter liaison etc - really any department and extracurricular you wish. In difficult child's case - we met with the head of his desired major's department for about 1/2 hour before his tour and the football coach for about an hour after his tour. Last summer thru February - I toured 7 or 8 colleges with easy child and most schools were really great about assigning tour guides from our area or in the same major (or same interests) as easy child so that they connected. Once your son has been accepted - encourage him to attend an "overnight experience" if his school offers it. Usually it's held during the last quarter of his senior year and it's a great way for him to experience his new school from a student's perspective. It really made a difference for my son.

    It's also a good idea to be in touch with "your" admissions counselor (they are usually assigned by zip code/geographic region) because they are incredibly helpful and can make the difference if your son is on the cusp of being accepted. Most admissions counselors make frequent visits to their geographic region - so go to local college fairs, check to see if they have a visit scheduled at your HS etc. Of course, once you are on their radar - you may hear from them A LOT - but that's par for the course. The phone calls from the schools will stop in April or so! IME - they are young, motivated and FRIENDLY and a great resource. I am still in touch with easy child's ad counselor as I try to get him ready for his first day in a MONTH> YIKES.

    If your son will take the SAT or ACT - have the scores sent directly to his colleges of choice. The price is included for 6(I think?) scores sent in the exam fee AND getting the score will alert the school that he is interested in them. Often schools will send free college applications to kids they know are interested. Usually state schools won't waive the application fees - but private schools will in an effort to attract more qualified applicants. A lot of times they will also allow a shorter application and "no new essay" as part of the reward for having test scores sent directly to them.

  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    You guys are great- I am probably just thinking into the near future and worrying about it because I just started the new job and am bombarded with getting that paperwork and E's school district stuff in order and trying to figure out how on earth we can work this college stuff in, too. But the whole reason we are living where we're living is so he can get what he needs his senior year to go to a 4-year college. Shewww.... one step at a time, right? LOL!
  12. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    E should probably have an idea of what schools he wants to apply to pretty soon after school starts. I had Wee sit down with the info he got from schools in the mail, as well as do some research online. He had some pretty funny criteria (not a religion-affiliated school, not in hot climates, must offer computer programming/engineering degrees, must offer Japanese, must not tout itself as a "liberal arts" school), but he came up with- 6 that are in my humble opinion a good cross section of schools - 3 state schools, 3 private, 1 Ivy, 1 mega brainiac school. Wee's got his way of doing things, and didn't even want to apply unless he'd seen the school; hence, the trips this month. But I think a lot of kids apply and *then* visit - I know some families who didn't visit until after their kid had been accepted and *then* they made the decision on where to go.

    It's really important that E keeps track (note - I'm saying that *E* needs to keep track) of deadlines. For Wee's reach school, assuming he likes it when he visits, the early acceptance deadline for scheduling an interview is Oct 20, and then there are a boatload more deadlines thru Feb 15. Regular acceptance is a little later for some of the stuff. You also need to make sure that E's gotten his best ACT/SAT scores sent off, and also check to see if the schools require SAT II tests.

    Our HS is seriously motivated to not only guide the kids on getting into schools, but also getting the max amt of scholarships possible. I would check with- E's HS guidance counselor to make sure you're all on the same page. Our HS has held various mtgs on everything from applying to highly selective schools to what to do if you're not a 4.0 GPA student to pounding into all of our heads the importance of following directions on applications and paying attention to deadlines. The daily announcements, which are posted online for us parents to read since the kids never seem to listen, have scholarship opportunities throughout the year. Did you know the Chicago Tall club offers a scholarship???? Who'd have thunk it, but since Wee is 6'5", he'll be applying. ;) Lots of opportunities out there, it's just a matter of getting hooked into the information.

    I have to say, compared to applying to college 30+ years ago when I made my choices out of a big book of colleges (no pictures, LOL), the internet is a *real* blessing when it comes to researching this stuff.
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I wonder if other places have tall Maybe I could convince Jamie. Oh who am I kidding? Do they have one for fat women?
  14. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Call the colleges or go to the websites and look for tours for incoming freshman. I'm pretty sure a few times a year any college he looks at will have select Saturdays set aside where kids can look at the school, meet and talk to the dean, etc. It's an all-day thing. You may get the most out of doing that. We could never go to anything during the week, we always went on Saturdays. Each school has a few of those. You can probably register for them right now. Sometimes they wave the application fee if you fill it out during your visit.

    (Wee is 6'5?....holy cow!)
  15. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Janet - you'd be amazed at all the scholarships that are offered - our elementary school district has one, our village has one, every possible ethnic organization has them, future (insert profession) organizations have them - there are gazillions out there. It's nuts. Most of them are small, at least in comparison to some of the tuitions out there, but they add up. Our HS class of 2012 got over $14 million in scholarships - not bad for a class of 400.

    UAN - yep, we grow 'em big in the slsh household, LOL. At 5'8", I'm now officially the runt of the family. Diva was over the moon when she hit 5'9". I hope she stops growing soon. I do not like being "short." :rofl:
  16. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I was just starting this with Piglet. I wanted to have her do a couple of 'unofficial' visits this year so she could get an idea about what college campuses are like, etc. Of course, the colleges that she'd probably like the most require an overnight trip and a missed day of school if she wants to do the admission tour. Guess we'll just meet with the coach and wander around on our own. I really wish the Admission Offices would have tours available on weekends!
  17. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I checked one website today for a nearby college and saw they do have several Sat. events for prospective students. I was doing that during lunch at work with E calling about a PO issue so I didn't have much time. I'm going to see if they have something similar at the colleges that are further away but not too far from each other and schedule that trip first if they do. Then, I can schedule something with the local colleges around the "long-distance" scheduled events.

    The issue with the PO- the "old" PO sent E's file to the wrong district (go figure) so this district wouldn't meet with us until they got the file, meaning they waited until after I started this new job. So I refused to take off work for them and then they informed me of what I already knew- they had to do a home visit anyway to make sure we really live in this jurisdiction and that E really is here. So I guess E stodd in the driveway about an hour in 90 degree weather while they called a million times driving around saying they couldn't find the house. LOL! Sorry but as much as some of these people have put me thru- I really have no mercy for them anymore. Heck- they get paid to do this, I don't. I sat at work and saved my job and vacation time!

    E wanted me to mention to you ladies (I think he feels he knows most of you by now) that he spent Sun. morning chasing alpacas out of the backyard back into their penned area. They are the landlord's. Does that count as community service or volunteer work for college? LOL! Really, I'm wondering if I can't help him with some sort of collage or brief about his service to a local vet in the past, donating to save tigers that are endangered, this kind of "rescuing" and keeping various animals safe over the years. Shouldn't that count for something? We aren't close enough for him to do any volunteer work here and the landlord has a whole soap opera of a life so nothing is going to pan out there in the near future. (As a reminder, his dream is to be a vet and he wants to get an undergrad Bach of Science majoring in biology.
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Get him hooked up with Jamie. If nothing else they can "explore the rivers around the VA coastline and expand his knowledge about fish." Also spending time with an Animal Control officer can count for something.
  19. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Give him my cell # DJ. E feels a littel awkward meeeting someone in this situation but I've told him I've met you and told him I seriously doubt Jamie will be like "the average cop" E has met.