College Visit Don’ts
Mar10

College Visit Don’ts

— Visiting college is such an important step, and it is time consuming and expensive. No pressure, right?

It’s o.k. — visiting colleges also can create some of your best travel memories ever. Just be sure not to fall into any of these potholes on your journey! Avoid these common mistakes when you visit campus! Starting with how you manage your time.

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College Visits and the Decision Making Process of Teens
Mar18

College Visits and the Decision Making Process of Teens

College Visit – College Smidget! You may be shocked to learn that for some students visiting a lot of colleges is not a top priority during the college selection process. In fact, going on a traditional campus tour and sitting in an hour-long information session is just not that important–at least, that’s what three University Honor Students at Virginia Tech conveyed to me at recent dinner event. There I was, sitting with a small group of really bright, ambitious, college students excited to learn about what led them to choose to study at Virginia Tech. Their stories were all different and each one surprised me: Student #1 attended the graduation ceremony for one of his friends and decided Tech was where he wanted to go to school. Done deal. He applied, was offered admission and he accepted. No reason to come back until freshman orientation. Student #2 came to visit a friend already enrolled at the university. They two of them spent the weekend hiking in the gorgeous New River Valley, known for its natural beauty. He never set foot on campus but left Blacksburg knowing this was where he wanted to enroll. Student #3 applied to Tech at 10 PM, just 2 hours before the midnight application deadline, was later accepted, and came up for Hokie Focus in April (to his credit, thinking that perhaps he should at least see campus before accepting the offer of admission). However, it was not the beautiful campus that inspired him to accept the offer right then and there, it was meeting the head of the University Honors program. The student left a deposit and accepted the offer of admission before leaving campus. So, what does all this mean?   That what “everyone” tells you to do–begin college visits in your junior year…visit before you apply…that the visit is the  most important part of college selection process–is wrong? No, of course not.  It simply means that each student has to find his or her fit his or her way. Each of these three students enjoyed a visit experience that gave them comfort and insight about the future they considered. Alternatives are nice. From attending an event, such as graduation, to visiting the region as a tourist, to participating in a program on campus, there are many ways to discover which school is the right one.  What’s right for you? Virginia Tech will offer an expanded information and campus tour schedule to accommodate the increase in campus visitors during the peak visit periods when high school students are typically on spring break, March 31 – April 13, 2012. Registration is required. Hokie Focus,...

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Smart College Visit on Move-in & Dorm Rooms
Aug22

Smart College Visit on Move-in & Dorm Rooms

  It's move-in time and if you're planning to visit a college and go on a campus tour, you may want to push back your visit date by a couple of days. We covered this topic earlier in our post: 3 Reasons Not to Visit a College Campus on Move-In Day. For those who are moving-in, here's our collection of helpful posts for managing your time and space:  5 Move-in Mistakes That Rob You of Space Take Control of Move-In Day with DesignYourDorm What NOT to Bring to College 10 Things You Won't Want to Forget to Take to College College Visits and the Myth of the Model Dorm Room Freshmen: Should I Bring My Car to Campus? Do you have any move-in or dorm design tips to share? Post them as a comment here or on our SmartCollegeVisit page on...

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On the Go in Pennsylvania with Goby Travel App
May22

On the Go in Pennsylvania with Goby Travel App

  Checking out the dorms. Meeting with college reps. Touring the campus. Maybe even attending a mixer or other social hour for prospective students. There’s so much to do and see when you’re visiting a college or university. But in the frenzy of squeezing it all in, it can be easy to forget to schedule in some down-time for you and your college student in-the-making. What’s more, while it’s important to check out a prospective college, it’s just as important to get a feel for the local community and nearby attractions. After all, your child will be spending four years here, so doesn’t it make sense to investigate what else the community offers in the way of off-campus culture, recreation and leisure time activities? Thanks to the new travel search engine Goby © you can do just that. Simply type in your destination or use Goby’s interactive map and then choose from its menu of things to do, like “family fun”, “entertainment and nightlife”, “arts and culture” and “sightseeing and tours." Better yet, download Goby’s © fun feed for your iPhone before you hit the road. That’s just what we did on a recent trip to Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, home to Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. Situated just off Interstate 80, this college town in the Central Susquehanna River Valley is an easy two to three-hour drive from New York City, Philadelphia or Baltimore.  Aficionados of that quintessential American ritual  — the agricultural fair — will likely have heard of the Bloomsburg State Fair.  Held each year in late September this is the largest fair in Pennsylvania so, if you’re planning your visit during fair week, you’d be wise to book your hotel reservations well in advance. But, in addition to the fair, there’s plenty of other family fun in the area: Downtown Bloomsburg boasts an assortment of restaurants, small retailers and fast-food joints. Our favorites? The Bloomsburg Diner on East Main Street, for its breakfast omelets and burgers. For die-hard New Yorkers like me, there’s even a decent bagel shop — Bloomin’ Bagels on East Main Street. If it’s local community theater you love, then check out Bloomsburg’s Theater Ensemble.  Since 1978 this non-profit has offered live theater and arts education for kids and their families. A short drive away in Centre Hall, PA, is Penn’s Cave and Wildlife Park . For less than $25 per person you can take a one-hour guided tour by motorboat through America’s only all-water limestone cavern and marvel at the stalactites, stalagmites and other wonders of this natural landmark. So the next time you’re headed out on yet another college visit road trip, check...

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College Visits: Find Out If Class Size Matters
Feb28

College Visits: Find Out If Class Size Matters

  How large are the classes? Class size matters. “What’s the average class size?” is one of the most common questions a parent or student will ask when visiting a college campus. If you  attend a  small school, then it’s a good guess that the classes will be small. Likewise, a larger school typically means larger classes, but don’t be surprised if your guide’s answer to your question goes something like this: “The larger classes tend to be freshman or sophomore-year general science or survey classes, but the class size gets smaller as you narrow the focus of your major.” Now that you know the standard answer to the question about class size, make arrangements to visit both a lower- and upper-level class while on your campus tour, preferably in one of the majors you’re considering. It’s best to contact the school at least two weeks in advance to schedule classroom visits. Don’t expect to show up on campus and be able to walk into any class. Be sure to visit both large and small schools so you can get an idea of which is best for you. If you find that you prefer small classes, but a larger school offers the program you really want to study, then just keep in mind that if you take a seat in the front row of a class taught in an auditorium, all of your focus will be on the professor, not how many people are sitting behind you. While class size can definitely make a difference, it does not need to be an absolute disqualifier for a university that you want to attend above all others. An occasional large class can be managed if everything else about the school is a good fit for you. Related Reading Dos and Don’ts on a College Visit Top 10 Questions for the Undecided Major Honors Programs: Get an Ivy-League Education at a Public School...

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Business Tops the List of Undergraduate Degrees Awarded
Jan30

Business Tops the List of Undergraduate Degrees Awarded

Business Tops the List of Undergraduate Degrees Awarded Still trying to decide what to major in when you go to college?  Of the 1,563,000 bachelor's degrees conferred in 2007–08, the greatest number of degrees (335,000) were awarded in the field of business.  Curious about majors? Consider asking these questions while on your campus visit: What's the most popular major or degree program? How often do students change their major here? What percent of students graduate in four years? For more college visit tips and questions to ask both students and faculty, explore the College Visit section of this site. SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2010) Digest of Education Statistics, 2009 (NCES 2010-013),Chapter 3....

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