Tagged: campus visit

Fly Me To The Moon

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Fly me to the moon
Or to the college of my choice  (Let me play among the stars)
Let me see what term is like  (Let me see what spring is like)
Have them hear my voice  (On Jupiter and Mars)

In other words, pay my fare  (hold my hand)
In other words, baby, recruit me  (kiss me)

fly me to the moon








Oh, Frank Sinatra, I hope that my readers had your voice in their head as they read/hummed along to the above lyrics.  Yes, I’ve changed the words around a bit, but you’d sing it best!

Today I want to let you, my dear readers, know about college fly-in programs.  Now, there are various ways to visit colleges without leaving the comforts of your own home.  You can, of course, explore a college’s website, but there are also a number of other very cool resources out there.  For instance, have you heard of YouVisit?  Through this site, you can go on virtual tours or enjoy virtual reality content of thousands of different college campuses and towns!  Definitely check it out, as it can be a really helpful tool in narrowing down your college list.

Once your list of potential schools starts approaching a realistic number, it makes a lot of sense to actually go and visit the campuses of those colleges and universities that you’re interested in applying to – see here for more about the benefits of a campus tour!  This is where college fly-in programs can prove to be a tremendous resource.  A college fly-in program is exactly what it sounds like – a college or university will pay your transportation and accommodation costs so that you can come and visit for a few days.

Some colleges and universities that have fly-in programs:

Amherst CollegeBarnard CollegeBates CollegeBowdoin CollegeBucknell UniversityCarleton CollegeColby CollegeColgate UniversityColorado CollegeConnecticut CollegeDartmouth CollegeDavidson CollegeFranklin & Marshall CollegeGrinnell CollegeHamilton CollegeHarvey Mudd CollegeHaverford CollegeHope CollegeJohns Hopkins UniversityKalamazoo CollegeLewis & ClarkMiddlebury CollegeOberlin CollegePitzer CollegePomona CollegeReed CollegeSmith CollegeSwarthmore CollegeTrinity CollegeTufts UniversityUniversity of RochesterWesleyan UniversityWhitman CollegeWilliams College

And good news – this list is by no means comprehensive.  If you’re curious to know about whether a college/university that you’re interested in has a fly-in program, simply google, “Name of college, fly-in program” and see what comes up!  Also, keep in mind that you must be selected to participate in a fly-in program, and different colleges have different selection criteria and different application deadlines.  In terms of selection, colleges may be looking to diversify their student body, to recruit first generation students, or to provide opportunities for students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.  The deadlines also vary greatly, so be sure to do your research and get your application in on time.  Taking part in a fly-in program is a great way to visit a college.

Opportunity awaits!



An Exercise In Emotional Management

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Reading the words “an exercise in emotional management”, a number of different scenarios may come to mind.  Perhaps it’s the bottom of the of the 9th, bases loaded, two outs, two strikes, your team down by three runs, and your star batter at the plate.  Maybe you’ve been following life on the bald eagle live cam and one of the little guys has just had his first successful flight.  Or perhaps what you immediately think of – and there’s no shame in this – is that scene from Titanic, the lifeboat being slowly lowered into the icy waves, that sad flute melody the icing on your emotional cake.  But no.  In this case, “an exercise in emotional management” refers to one mother’s description of visiting colleges with her daughter.

The Boston Globe recently published an article on the topic of campus visits, discussing the many reasons (both practical and irrational) that prospective students may, after a tour of the place, say “yes” or “no” to a potential college or university.  During my days of working in admissions, when I would interview prospective students, one of the questions I found myself asking over and over again was what their gut reaction had been when they first arrived on campus.  In some cases, their eyes would light up and they would describe to me how they could just picture themselves sitting in class or joining a club, falling right in-step with the current students, who were going happily about their respective days.  For others, the response was a bit less enthusiastic.  This was telling! Remember, campus visits and interviews are meant to be two-way streets – are we a good fit for each other, this student and this college?  I strongly believe that one’s gut feelings about a place are worth tuning into (even if, as was described in the article, that reaction seems mundane, e.g. red lights blinking – there isn’t an abundance of bananas in the cafeteria!  It’s one of the primary reasons why a campus tour can be so helpful in trying to decide where to apply.  After all, you can only glean so much information from a college’s website.


In thinking about campus visits, I’m reminded of Malcolm Gladwell’s 2005 book, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking.  As Donna Seaman wrote in her editorial review on amazon.com, the book “brilliantly illuminates an aspect of our mental lives that we utterly rely on yet rarely analyze, namely our ability to make snap decisions or quick judgments.”  These quick judgments are sometimes accurate and sometimes not, but they are always an important piece of information to consider when trying to make a decision, such as “Is this a good-fit school for me?”  As Gladwell himself wrote, “There are lots of situations…when our snap judgments and first impressions offer a much better means (than spending as much time as possible in deliberation) of making sense of the world.”  So book those campus visits, sign up for those tours, schedule those interviews, and start making sense of your undergraduate world.