Thanks for linking this post. Reading it sparked a tangential question - is it uncommon for accepted applicants to ask for a current student / faculty point of contact (particularly at T14)? I feel like it'd be a great way to learn more about the school, since I am unable to visit schools in person as freely as others.
Fwiw, I've personally either emailed students that seem to have similar interests/backgrounds or asked to be put in touch with them.
Also, a lot of schools have student ambassadors with their info posted somewhere on their site that you can reach out to. They're basically the tour guide folks I think.
Allllso, if there's a certain faulty member you're interested in talking to, you can just shoot them an email saying you're a prospective student curious about x, y, z. I think whether or not they reply/how they reply can say a lot about what kind of faculty the school has.
Spivey & crew might have better advice but that's what I've been doing and it's definitely been helping me narrow things down.