College tour fatigue is beginning to set in. We got to Seton Hall University almost an hour before the information session was scheduled to start. At this point, enrollment numbers, acceptance and admission rates, student-faculty ratios, mean SAT scores, campus housing, security, and activity information is beginning to all blur together. We’ve both been taking notes and, hopefully, that will help us keep it reasonably straight when we get home.
Our first impression of SHU wasn’t very favorable, but we warmed to it as the information session wrapped up and we got out on our tour. Seeing students around, seeing evidence of how students live on campus, visiting the student centers at the various schools have helped give us a feel for what they would be like. As we have gone from one tour to another, the “feel” of a school has become more important than the raw facts and figures. Not too much of a surprise, since we were told this would be the case, but there’s really no substitute for experiencing it yourself.
Time was tight getting to our next stop, Princeton University, and the traffic and construction on US Route 1 didn’t help matters any. From the start we found Princeton less accessible than the other schools we had visited. Signs. Signs are good. Not having signs, or not having enough of them, or not having them in the right places is, on the other hand, not so good. Still, we got to the information session (at Nassau Hall, as depicted in the photo, above) only about ten minutes late.
From the moment we drove onto campus to setting foot in Nassau Hall and the information session we got a sense that this was a very different place than any of the schools we had visited so far. Tradition seemed to blanket the place much more so than Georgetown, for example, which has roots as far back as 1634 but claims 1789 as its founding. While we didn’t take the tour, we did walk around campus a bit and got a very different vibe than the other campuses we visited. There is no question the students are among the best and brightest, and I have no doubt the education they receive will also be among the very best. But, as it has become clearer to us, “feel” is important and being in a place that seems as intense and as steeped in tradition as Princeton isn’t what our daughter is looking for. Worth the visit, though.
Tomorrow, we take Manhattan.