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School Visits... [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2007, 17:21
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I've heard a number of differing opinions on the subject of school visits. Some have said that it is almost mandatory to visit campuses, sit in on classes, meet with current students, etc. PRIOR to submitting applications. Others have said it's not necessary to visit schools in order to be admitted.

With that comes a few questions...

1) For those schools that are "Interview by Invitation ONLY", is it necessary or will it significantly improve your chances of admittance to visit these schools prior to or during the application process (September/October)?

2) For those schools that are NOT "Interview by Invitation ONLY", is it necessary or will it significantly improve your chances of admittance to visit these schools prior to or during the application process (September/October)?

It's obvious that by visiting schools you have a better feeling of whether the next two years of your life would be best spent at a particular school, but FOR ADMITTANCE PURPOSES ONLY, how do schools feel about those students who do not voluntarily visit schools prior to or during the app process?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I would guess it can't hurt to show the school some love by displaying interest through a voluntary visit, but is IT that big of an advantage in terms of an acceptance?

Thanks...
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Re: School Visits... [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2007, 17:53
Visiting schools helps you understand classes, professors and students; therefore, you can effectively use it for your essays. It's quite necessary in either, particularly when you live in the US and you'll have no problem when attending some class. While in some remote areas and countries, schools would sympathize with your burden, meeting alumni and adcom is also encouraged when you are able to. I think it increases your chance a little bit, but not much!

ufgrad wrote:
I've heard a number of differing opinions on the subject of school visits. Some have said that it is almost mandatory to visit campuses, sit in on classes, meet with current students, etc. PRIOR to submitting applications. Others have said it's not necessary to visit schools in order to be admitted.

With that comes a few questions...

1) For those schools that are "Interview by Invitation ONLY", is it necessary or will it significantly improve your chances of admittance to visit these schools prior to or during the application process (September/October)?

2) For those schools that are NOT "Interview by Invitation ONLY", is it necessary or will it significantly improve your chances of admittance to visit these schools prior to or during the application process (September/October)?

It's obvious that by visiting schools you have a better feeling of whether the next two years of your life would be best spent at a particular school, but FOR ADMITTANCE PURPOSES ONLY, how do schools feel about those students who do not voluntarily visit schools prior to or during the app process?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I would guess it can't hurt to show the school some love by displaying interest through a voluntary visit, but is IT that big of an advantage in terms of an acceptance?

Thanks...
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Re: School Visits... [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2007, 06:35
ufgrad wrote:
I've heard a number of differing opinions on the subject of school visits. Some have said that it is almost mandatory to visit campuses, sit in on classes, meet with current students, etc. PRIOR to submitting applications. Others have said it's not necessary to visit schools in order to be admitted.

With that comes a few questions...

1) For those schools that are "Interview by Invitation ONLY", is it necessary or will it significantly improve your chances of admittance to visit these schools prior to or during the application process (September/October)?

2) For those schools that are NOT "Interview by Invitation ONLY", is it necessary or will it significantly improve your chances of admittance to visit these schools prior to or during the application process (September/October)?

It's obvious that by visiting schools you have a better feeling of whether the next two years of your life would be best spent at a particular school, but FOR ADMITTANCE PURPOSES ONLY, how do schools feel about those students who do not voluntarily visit schools prior to or during the app process?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I would guess it can't hurt to show the school some love by displaying interest through a voluntary visit, but is IT that big of an advantage in terms of an acceptance?

Thanks...


I would imagine it depends somewhat on the school... but in general, there are many other equally good reasons for visiting...

1. You may decide to withdraw your application... This will free up dozens of hours for you to work on some other schools application. Apps are a lot of work and not wasting 50 hours on one you end up not caring for is a good thing. Don't underestimate the value of that!

2. You will get a ton of useful info for your essays. Much much better than anything you could find online. This one is really big.... you'll come back with more to write than you can fit - very different than trying to find something to say just by browsing the webpages. Regurgitating the marketing materials back isn't much of a solution.

3. It lends a lot of credence to the phrase "I want to attend X" ... if you've never ever been to a campus, it sounds a little dis-ingenuous to say you want to go. If you visit, you can say you want to go because of your visit. It also gives you something tangible to talk about in your interviews.

4. If you are waitlisted, you'll be able to write a good love letter to the school.... I mean, after all, now you'd really have to convince them to take you... hard to do if you've never been.

5. You meet students, you can call them for advice (sometimes), or at the very least you can mention them by name "When John BungleBrains (09) brought me to his course ...."

So... in my view... if you can afford to visit, visit.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2007, 13:58
When reviewing applications, does the admissions committee have a list of those who visited the school and those who haven't?
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2007, 14:29
Further to Rhyme's post, if you're local to a particular school you should definitely visit. For example, if I were adcom at Kellogg and saw you live in Chicago and there's no mention of a visit on your essays or record of you visiting my campus I'd wonder why.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2007, 15:07
rusk521 wrote:
When reviewing applications, does the admissions committee have a list of those who visited the school and those who haven't?


Probably varies by school...
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2007, 15:52
rusk521 wrote:
When reviewing applications, does the admissions committee have a list of those who visited the school and those who haven't?


Some schools definitely indicate this information right on your application. I know that Darden shows a date of visit, as well as if you sat in on classes. When I called in to ask if my recommendations had been received, the woman I spoke with actually read a list of application elements saying "let's see, transcript received, rec 1 received, rec 2 not received, no visit" etc. I think several schools have this type of system.

Other schools ask you to describe a visit in your essays, and if you haven't visited, then why not. I know Berkeley has this particular question. I didn't apply to NYU, but I seem to recall that they had a question like this.

I know that Wharton asks people that visit to log into a terminal set up specifically for the purpose of recording their visit. I guess Wharton is too big to do it any other way.

So, it depends on the school, but many of them do put weight on a visit; the importance of visits also varies.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2007, 11:06
I recently started planning campus/class visits, and realized that almost all schools begin the class-visit programs from October. Doesn't it make more sense to visit a class before you apply to the school? Then why do the schools start the class visit program after the R1 deadline?
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2007, 11:13
Yes, that really sucks. I had the same issue last year.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2007, 12:09
mNeo wrote:
I recently started planning campus/class visits, and realized that almost all schools begin the class-visit programs from October. Doesn't it make more sense to visit a class before you apply to the school? Then why do the schools start the class visit program after the R1 deadline?


Visiting the campus and meeting students/adcom will give enough fodder to attack the Essays!
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2007, 12:32
Great tips here!

One thing if they schools haven't set up official class visits before R1's are due: You can always call the admissions office and ask for student and alumnus ambassadors who might be willing to show you around and give you an informal visit. I think those are much more useful than the official ones, since you'll be fighting other applicants for time with the tour guide.

I plan on doing that for some of my visits, if I can get in contact with some of the students and alumni.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2007, 12:43
so who wants to be my tour guide at the gsb this fall? rhyme? GMATcram?
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2007, 13:03
dabots wrote:
so who wants to be my tour guide at the gsb this fall? rhyme? GMATcram?


I'll be happy to do it...
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2007, 14:49
One more questions. On meeting with adcoms, what would that type of meeting be? Would you be telling them about yourself? Would you just be asking about application strategies? What would you talk to the Adcom about?
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2007, 17:47
Hey, I thought you already found a GSB guy to help you with a class visit. If not, drop me a line.
dabots wrote:
so who wants to be my tour guide at the gsb this fall? rhyme? GMATcram?
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 [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2007, 12:20
mNeo wrote:
I recently started planning campus/class visits, and realized that almost all schools begin the class-visit programs from October. Doesn't it make more sense to visit a class before you apply to the school? Then why do the schools start the class visit program after the R1 deadline?


It is always a good idea to visit a scool but please keep following points in mind while visiting a school.

I have failed to understand that how in the world by visiting a school one or two times and by meeting a very small sample of students on a certain visit, one can make a decision about the whole class, which is usually comprised of 400 to 900 students at all ultra-elite schools? It is simply not possible.

I will give you guys my own personal example. While visiting a certain ultra-elite school, known for its finance reputation, I was little upset for not being able to meet a single student who was involved in social impact/social entrepreneurship type activities – the area where I am interested to be involved while at B-school. Let me make it clear that I actually contacted five students at that school prior to my visit and requested them to meet me. Unfortunately, all five students were not able to see me due to classes, meetings, projects etc (although I admit that I did not give them enough notice). All other students that I met during my visit (probably 7) were also not of my ‘type”. I felt little dejected and started thinking that this school is not a good fit for me. The very next day I started getting mails from the students at Net Impact club at that school in which they offered to help me with my questions/concerns via email/phone. They also referred me to some other students who are actually involved in real life microfinance projects. Making long story short, I ended up making a very strong relationship with at least seven students at the very same school (I have not even started there yet) with whom I share my goals and future aspirations.

Similarly, while visiting a school that is particularly known for its soft skills, I ended up getting involved (little bit) with its finance/PE club as one of my close fiends is heading the club. Although finance is not my cup of tea but had it been my dream area, (for the sake of argument), I could have joined that “soft” school, simply focus on the finance club and develop a strong network of 40 to 45 bright finance students without worrying about rest of 450 “soft” students.

The point I am trying to make that ultra-elite as well as elite schools (to some extent) schools have a luxury of choosing among applicants and craft a diverse class. It is hard to believe that you cannot find 15 to 20 guys of your “type” with whom you can share personal values, ethical beliefs, professional goals, and extracurricular activities. And if you cannot find them in 500 students, chances are that an admission consultant helped you “spinning” your story to get you into a business school and in reality you are not a team person or your social skills suck.

I challenge that if you visit an ultra-elite or an elite school three or four times, almost every time you will develop a slightly different perception about the caliber of students, their interests, intellectual quality etc at the very same school. I believe that we should have more trust in our personalities to be able to find like minded folks in any ultra-elite or an elite school. The real point of differentiation should be the city, weather, facilities, geographical brand equity (if someone is interested in that aspect), and school’s ability to land job in your desired area (especially if your dream job is relatively unique) as all of these factors are beyond our control.
  [#permalink] 11 Jul 2007, 12:20
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