We got into a mini-debate with a BSer back in April about how important it is (or not) for an applicant (specifically an international one) to visit schools before applying. This person was specifically objecting to our claim that it can help an international applicant. You can see this person’s comments here.
Now that we’re actually at a point where the advice to visit the schools can be acted upon, we’re going to come back to this argument. You could’ve visited the schools during the summer, but most of them don’t have any students around then (Columbia being a primary exception). That means, no classes in session. That means, no class visits, and not much chance to interact with the core constituent on campus. You get more bang for your buck out of a campus visit in the October/November timeframe. So we’ll mention it again now, when you could potentially put this advice to use.
Here’s a direct quote from Dee Leopold, Admissions Director at Harvard Business School, on this very topic:
Just to make sure you didn’t miss that:
Visiting campus has absolutely no impact on how your application is reviewed. It may have a gigantic impact on how enthusiastic you are about US – that’s where the value-added comes into play.
We don’t even have to do any interpretation or reading between the lines here. She comes out and states that it can add value.
And while this next quote isn’t from a bschool adcom, it is from an adcom – in this case, from the admissions team at an American college. In this long Washington Post article written by a parent of high school students who’d just recently gone through the process of submitting applications, an actual admissions committee is observed in real-time, with a play-by-play description of how decisions are made on candidates. Here’s the critical comment:
At this point, she is a “ghost,” an applicant who has not visited or made any contact except through the application itself.
Applying to bschool is wholly inconvenient. There’s all kinds of things that you’d rather not be bothered with along the way. No, the schools don’t REQUIRE you to visit. But could it help? YES.
Or would you rather be a ghost?
We will leave you with this thought: Why do all the schools emphasize campus visits so much if they don’t matter?