Lydster: not her parents’ college search

the college tour

college searchAs I’ve noted, my daughter has been on the college search. My, but has this process changed in the past few decades. For one thing, they send a TON of emails, multiple messages per school.

Some of them extoll their particular schools and why my daughter would obviously fit in, hinting at financial incentives. But some involve how to engage in the process of applying for college generally. Most schools accept the Common Application, and some even prefer it.

Having gone on a few college tours this summer, it’s difficult not to judge the schools based on this important aspect. Some of them have way too many people in the group. It’s very difficult to hear what’s being said upfront when you’re in the back. That, unfortunately, was just one of the failings of my undergraduate alma mater’s tour.

Some of the tour guides have these portable mics and speakers that they were wearing. That was MUCH better except in one case, where there were actually too MANY guides in a relatively small space and the sound of one group bled into another cluster.

Some of the walks were mostly flat, although a few seemed to go up and downstairs a lot. My left knee became particularly sore on those treks. Generally speaking, travel is exhausting mentally and physically. I’m SO glad we went to NYC BEFORE the subways were flooded by the former hurricane, Ida!

The issues

Most of the colleges are SAT/ACT-optional. While some of these places initiated the policy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, others were proudly ahead of the curve.

Other than academics and social life, one of the most common questions by potential students were safety and security, especially getting from the nearby towns back to campus. One school, in particular, sounded quite impressive, even at 2 a.m.

I was truly surprised that one of the topics that came up often was laundry! At least three of the school folks mentioned the fact that the college offered free washing machines and dryers, though one has to provide detergent. Another complained that the students there had to cough up $1.50 per load.

It’s possible, I suppose, that my daughter will go to a college she has not visited in person, only virtually. But I’d be very surprised. As she noted, some schools were enhanced in her mind by seeing the physical location, while others suffered IRL.

Bright College Days – Tom Lehrer

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