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Do informal school visits "count"?

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Do informal school visits "count"? [#permalink] New post 11 Aug 2012, 16:47
Hi guys

Do school visits that are not coordinated by the Admissions office "count"? I visited two schools while visiting some friends in Dec last year and talked to some of the students who were in the lounge etc., but was unable to talk/register with the Admissions office.

While I'll definitely write about the insights I gained from these visits in the essays, can I tick "yes" in the 'have you visited the campus' question in the Online App for these schools? Another motivation for me is that since I won't be able to dedicate a whole day for each school, I was planning to stop by 2-3 of them informally. While I know I won't be able to do class-visits/lunch-w-students for each one of them, I will be able to get a feel of the school and see my fit.

Thanks.
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Re: Do informal school visits "count"? [#permalink] New post 11 Aug 2012, 17:38
I would say yes. The question isn't "Have you attended a formal information session?" the question just asks if you have visited campus. If you visited schools and met students without a formal admissions committee session that should definitely count. You could even argue it should be worth more when you consider you took the time to arrange the visit and meet students on your own, without the structure of a formal session.
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Re: Do informal school visits "count"? [#permalink] New post 11 Aug 2012, 21:29
Thanks mappleby. Really I'm worried about the school turning around and saying - hey how do we know/verify you visited? Do they keep a track of students who contact Admissions and then, come and visit? I read in one of the Admissions Chat on GMATClub (Booth?) that they only ask this question in the online app for marketing and research purposes (yield of those visiting v/s those who never visited etc etc).

Can any other veterans chime in here? I certainly won't be able to visit more than 2-3 schools and this answer could really help me decide if I need to revisit the ones I've already 'unofficially' visited before. Thanks.
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Re: Do informal school visits "count"? [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2012, 14:31
Most schools state that they don't keep track of who does or does not visit their schools and that they don't use this information when considering your application. The only exception to this is where you have the opportunity to do a self-initiated interview. At those schools an official visit (scheduled interview and class visit) is highly recommended.

I do recommend you visit all schools you plan on applying to whether officially or unofficially. By doing a visit you should be able to better state your case as to why you are a good fit for the program.
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Re: Do informal school visits "count"? [#permalink] New post 14 Aug 2012, 07:56
Drop a name of someone you spoke with. If they truly doubt you, they can always reach out to that person. Informal is almost always more valuable than formal, as having frank discussions with students is probably the best way to really learn about a school.
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Re: Do informal school visits "count"?   [#permalink] 14 Aug 2012, 07:56
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