The Brady Bunch Kids

The Brady Bunch Kids

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Campus visit to Auburn University

Yesterday (7/30/13) our family, minus Jordyn, took Jarom and Joey to view Auburn University. We left our house at 4:45am to ensure we had plenty of time to make our 8:30am information session and campus tour and surprisingly everyone was in the car and ready to go on time! We arrived on campus with over an hour to spare, so we drove around for a bit to allow the boys to get a feel of the size of the campus and this allowed them to see most of the buildings and what businesses surrounded the campus.

The information session and campus tour was the typical college tour where the staff and students from the college gave facts and stats on why the kids should attend their college as well as the basic application and scholarship process for their university. I think we chose the perfect time to go and see the campus, although it was the end of summer session AND finals week, which limited which buildings we could go into and tour, the registration process starts on August 1st.

After our session and tour we had about 2 hours to kill before our housing tours and while I had already been told the engineering buildings were not holding info sessions or tours a sweet gal in the admissions office called to see if anyone was available to give us some basic information. We completely lucked out as the Assistant Dean offered to meet with us, I think we had an upper hand having two students in one family interested in engineering. Shortly after we arrived, two other potential students meet up with us in the conference room, which I believe helped Jarom and Joey open up a little bit more to ask questions. The boys really enjoyed meeting with him, mainly because he was up front and honest, he would love for them to come to Auburn, BUT he would rather see them pursue an engineering degree anywhere (if that makes sense). He gave Jarom tons of advice including other smaller schools in Alabama to consider for Aerospace as well as some additional Grad schools to consider, which we had never considered for his degree. He strongly emphasized for all the boys (all 4 of them he met with) to really evaluate their minors (most of them had minors that didn't work with their majors), to focus on gaining additional skill sets that would make them stand out from other students, co-oops, research, internships (he wasn't the biggest fan of them, but said if their schedules only allowed for this to pursue it as it was better than not having anything), and most of all enjoy their college experiences!

While we still had about an hour to kill after meeting with the Assistant Dean of Engineering we debated on grabbing a quick bite at Chipotle across the street from the Engineering building (yep this was a huge selling feature for the boys!) or finding something else to do to kill time. Everyone responded with I don't care or I can wait for lunch, so we started walking back towards the other side of the campus as Joey wanted to view the Math and Science building. We didn't realize it at the time, but once we arrived by the student center I informed them I was going to grab a seat in the outside seating and wait for them, turns out everyone but Joey was more interested in having a seat than viewing the building. Within 5 minutes Eric and Joey returned, turns out the building was right there so I guess we could have taken those last few steps! But Joey wasn't able to even enter the building as it was locked. So now with an hour still to kill, some were a bit annoyed and stated we should have just eaten...but how were we to know we'd run into this situation! Easy fix, Jarom wanted to meet with someone in registration to ask and clarify a few questions on applying, scholarships, and their registration process, so off we went back to the admissions office.

I am soooooo glad we did this, we met with Jarom's adviser as Joey's gal had just had a baby 2 days ago and based on our family situation, Jarom's adviser would most likely be Joeys adviser until she returned.  We found out that Joey would be accepted in the first round of registration so if he applies on August 1st he will have his acceptance letter by October AND should qualify for a full tuition scholarship for ALL 4 YEARS! Jarom could possibly receive his acceptance letter at the same time, but his GPA and ACT scores are lower than Joey's, BUT with their application process they have 4 short answer questions to allow the potential students explain and sell themselves. She also recommended that Jarom take the ACT again and focus on improving his scores to give him and extra 'boost' for early acceptance (this would actually benefit both boys if they live together as they would need to apply for housing on the same day) and she gave several recommendations of classes the boys may want to focus on during their senior year to possibly rule out a few general classes. I also got confirmation (I had previously spoke with the residency department) that we may be able to enroll Jarom as a in-state resident, BONUS, two kids at one college, only 2+ hours away, and both with in-state tuition (although the boys have to figure out how to pay for their own college).

We finished this meeting just in time for the housing tour to start, sadly this was the worst part of our tour, but I might be a bit bias as I am anti-dorms. But this gave the boys an idea of 3 out of the 4 dorms available and what they will get for their money...a LOT of money. I also reminded them that Auburn has a mandatory food plan, so if they chose to live on campus (paying $2600 to $4800 a semester) they would also have to add a $1000 food plan, EACH! If they live off campus (more for your buck and less of your buck) they would still have to participate in the mandatory food plan, however it would only be $300 a semester. While I am against their mandatory food plan, $300 a semester makes more sense to me for those quick bites between classes or long study days than $1000 on top of their already outrageous housing costs.

Overall, our trip was well worth it, it gave the boys some answers and re-assured them it was worth applying to Auburn. So count down 1 day till the boys fill out their first college applications!!!

The kids checking out part of the campus from the parking deck after arriving

Too cool for Auburn??? This is slightly killing Eric (and maybe even Joey) as they are University of Alabama fans (Auburn's rival)

It took every ounce of effort not to post this picture on Facebook with the caption...Only 2 National Championships??? HA
 Eric took quite a few more pictures which I will have to upload at another time.

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