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2nd college visit completed

March 24th, 2013 at 03:52 pm

Our daughter is a junior in high school and in the process of exploring her college options. She is looking to go for mechanical engineering. Our first college visit was in November at Rochester Institute of Technology. That was and is her first choice. She loved the campus, the people, and the program. That's a good thing but it also makes subsequent visits tough as everything gets compared to RIT.

Anyway, we just got back from a trip to Univ. of Virginia. Nice campus, very impressive engineering program, well-equipped labs doing high end work, but the overall feel and experience just didn't do it for her (or us for that matter). We all agreed that it wouldn't be the right fit. In fact, we didn't even bother staying for a campus tour. Went and hiked a bit on the Appalachian Trail instead while we were in the neighborhood. By no means a wasted trip as she got to see another school, got some great advice on the whole college application process, and it is just as important to learn what you don't want as it is to learn what you do want.

We don't have anything else set up yet but Rensselaer Polytech, Univ. of MD, and Rutgers are among other schools on her list.

7 Responses to “2nd college visit completed”

  1. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    Though she thinks she wants to major in mech eng, it's very premature to fully commit to a single direction in college as a high school junior!! I started in electrical, but within the first year at Ohio State, changed to civil engr and stuck there ever since. So make sure you look at if the school(s) require a freshman to declare a major or if it is allowed in the sophomore or later years.

  2. guppy Says:

    If her college is anything like mine, you don't need to specify a specific engineering major until the end of sophomore year. I went to Stevens Institute in Hoboken, NJ and was general engineering for my whole first year of school. I decided on civil engineering later on in my sophomore year.

  3. baselle Says:

    "...it also makes subsequent visits tough as everything gets compared to RIT."

    The pitfall is the possibility that she won't be accepted to RIT. Always a danger if your first choice is emotionally your only choice.

  4. mjrube94 Says:

    I love that you classify this as "general stuff - not money related. Some of those schools are pricey!! I'm sweating already and DD is only in 8th grade. Good luck with the search!

  5. rob62521 Says:

    Sounds like an exciting trip.

  6. moneybags Says:

    It's not a bad thing to have a benchmark. We found it helpful to make notes after a visit about what we liked & didn't like about the school. It can become like house shopping, after looking at 10 houses, you can't remember specifics. I'm sure you know that she needs to have a "safety school" that she likes too (not just safety for admittance, but financially too).

  7. disneysteve Says:

    mjrube94 - I thought about classifying this as financial but since that wasn't the focus of the post, I went with more general. You're absolutely right, though. I just posted on the forum about the cost of some of these schools. UVA is over $54,000 next year! And that's for a state school, not some elite private school.

    moneybags - She definitely knows that she needs a couple of safety schools. She'll also be looking at Rowan and Rutgers here in NJ which are both good schools and also considerably cheaper since we are state residents. More in the 30K range.

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