Open houses assist seniors in making college decisions

April 27, 2009 — by Karthik Sreedhara and Girish Swaminath

As soon as college acceptances came out in March, many students started to notice an absence of seniors. Many missed class and spent spring break at colleges in order to make a final decision as to what college they would attend—a decision would forever impact their future.

Senior Sara Gambord was one of those seniors who spent their entire spring break visiting possible college options and especially spent a lot of time at Hossra University, where she will be heading next fall.

“I met with the head of the department [for my major] at my prospective school and took a tour of the facilities,” said Gambord. “I also shadowed a student and attended several classes.”

Gambord noticed several differences and similarities between high school and college class structures and professors.

“Classes usually are a lot more student-based and definitely more interactive than in high school,” said Gambord. “This open house really helped me figure out that college professors are not very organized but know all their material and speak whatever comes to their mind.”

However, not all students found these on-campus sessions helpful. Senior Lisa Chang spent her break at the University of Pennsylvania. Because she had been admitted via early decision, she was bound to go there, but she still looked forward to learning a lot more about her college in person. She felt that her “Preview Day” meeting was not very useful at all.

“There was a very busy schedule from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, but I was unable to meet very many faculty members and other students,” said Chang. “One thing after another was set up during ‘Preview Day’ and they’re mostly a couple boring, uninformative videos on college life.”

Chang felt that she learned more about the University of Pennsylvania through its website and college reviews than going to the campus in person. She believed that even if she had to make a decision, she would have not gained any additional knowledge to help her make a choice.

“The whole thing was just super hectic,” said Chang. “Because I wasn’t able to meet many people, I felt that I didn’t learn too much more about [the University of Pennsylvania].”

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