ASW Advice and Traveling!

(Where, When and What Did You Think)

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ASW Advice and Traveling!

Postby LawCurious » Fri May 14, 2010 12:00 pm

Hi all,

I am applying this fall and with my stats (3.8x, high 170s) am targeting the T14 and hopefully the T6. I've been out of school for two years working a job I'm pretty happy with, but want to leave my job late this year / early next and take some time to live abroad and travel before school starts. I'll definitely be in the US and my job through app season this fall, but as soon as that's over I will start planning my 4-10 months of living abroad. I'd like to leave before April, but there's one thing I haven't figured out.

The one thing I haven't gotten squared away with my plan to disappear for a while is Accepted Students Weekends and the March/April decision timeframe. If I'm overseas it'll be potentially budget-busting to come back to the US for 3-4 weeks while going to ASWs since flights are expensive. At the same time, unless I get into YLS and rejected from everywhere else (that's a joke), I'll probably want to attend at least the ASWs for my top choices.

My questions:

1. What weeks are ASWs normally? Do the top schools concentrate them? Is there logic to help me figure out when they will be so I can start planning now for various acceptance scenarios?

2. How important / useful have you found them in the past in terms of making decisions?

3. Are there alternatives to ASW to help you make a tough decision (if I am lucky enough to have multiple good options)?

4. Any other advice? Anybody else done what I want to do?


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Re: ASW Advice and Traveling!

Postby MusicNutMeggie » Tue May 25, 2010 12:39 pm

If you want to travel without compromising your chances to look at schools, I have two words for you: APPLY EARLY.

If you apply early enough in September/October, with your stats you'll probably be a "likely admit" at some of the T14, meaning you'll hear back from them nice and early, somewhere from November to January (if you do ED, definitely November). That'll be lovely, since you can visit some schools while you're still in the US.

Most schools start reviewing Regular Decision apps in December, so if you're one of the first apps they read, you'll hear back from most schools well before you leave on your trip. The exception is when you're a borderline candidate; if you're an easy admit or an easy rejection, you'll hear back pretty promptly, except at Cornell, because Cornell is just ridiculous. If you're truly borderline, you often won't hear back until very late in the cycle anyway (April or even early May) because you'll have been held or waitlisted.

Most ASWs/ASDs seem to fall in March and the first two weeks of April; I had UCLA and USC back-to-back on the same weekend, and GULC, Cornell, and NU all right up against each other (though I didn't go to all of them). Some schools also have multiple dates, including diverse admit days, and others have local receptions around the world, so even if you're abroad, you might be able to meet up with a dean or some faculty and alumni.

As to how valuable ASDs and ASWs are...I think it's a mixed bag. I really enjoyed going to the schools and getting wooed by admissions deans and overly enthusiastic students, but the whole process only served to muddle my thinking. I usually went into ASWs with more negativity about the schools, then left feeling like I was an idiot for not seeing how wonderful the schools were...every time, and at each school. I felt like I got a better idea of the schools by visiting on my own, arranging a tour, and sitting in on a class. One potential benefit of ASWs is meeting the faculty, and the seminars on financial aid, housing, etc. are also helpful, but you can get that info from the admissions office.

Hope that helps, and good luck on your cycle and with your travels!

Edited: in rearranging sentences earlier, I forgot to say "and the first two weeks of April"-- whoops!
Last edited by MusicNutMeggie on Tue May 25, 2010 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: ASW Advice and Traveling!

Postby Kretzy » Tue May 25, 2010 12:48 pm

A good deal of the T14 had ASWs between April 3 and April 19 this year: NYU, Columbia, Berkeley, Chicago, Stanford, and UVA (that I know of).

I would be surprised if you weren't able to knock off most of your visits during a 2 week period, particularly if you apply really early (Sept) and get early acceptances.

Good luck!

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