Day Visit

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Roadking, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. Roadking

    Roadking Member

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    My son has a day visit scheduled this week, which he is anxiously looking forward to. Does anyone have any experience with a day visit at West Point? What can he expect? How should he dress? Was it a positive experience? Would it be proper to "tip" his cadet chaperone with a small gift card ($25)? Or is that innapropriate? He has an opportunity to speak with an admissions officer at the end of the day, is it wise to do this? Thanks.
     
  2. Ken2012

    Ken2012 Prospective

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    I enjoyed my day visit. It is quite an experience.

    This is how my day went, just to get an idea. My father and I arrived at the Admissions briefing, where an Admissions officer gives a briefing and answers any questions. At some point, cadets (Always a Plebe, I think) will come and pick up a candidate, who will shadow his/her cadet for the day. My cadet showed me his barracks, the library, the gym, the cadet store. I also attended one of his classes. After much of the day, I went to lunch with him and was able to sit with some of his classmates. I then returned to Admissions and that was the day. My father's day consisted of following a cadet around West Point, getting a tour of the whole place.

    In my opinion it is definitely a positive experience, as I had the chance to see such a wonderful place. No reading or pictures can really capture how it is.

    I was told by Admissions to wear khaki's and a polo. It is rather cold up here in January so I would suggest warm clothing. Comfortable walking shoes are also important, especially for the parents!

    In my opinion a gift card is a thoughtful gift, but if I'm correct about the chaperone being a Plebe, then he/she most likely wouldn't have a chance to use it for sometime. A highly recommended gift here on the forums is some kind of dessert. Brownies or anything of the like is what I've seen here.

    If you have a chance, I don't see why not speaking with an Admissions officer. I was told I really didn't need one since I was a Junior at the time, but I did ask a few questions.
     
  3. debcst

    debcst Member

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    Great questions- anticipate a wonderful visit! We did this about a year ago. Here's how it worked for us:

    -we traveled the previous day as admissions asked us to report at 8 a.m. We allowed lots of extra time in the a.m. which was good as parking was difficult and rather far. Wear comfortable walking shoes!

    -my son wore khakis, dress shoes and a collared shirt (and a warm jacket!). I've seen the advice on here "never wear a letter jacket" but my son did and it was cool because a cadet from our hometown approached him and introduced himself.

    -after arriving at admissions there was a lot of waiting around with rather nervous families. Then there were several briefings- very interesting and worthwhile, one from a captain who works in admissions and is a grad, telling his WP and Army story, another briefing from a current cadet (a cow, I believe). During this time the escorts arrived and students left with them, one by one. Then there were a couple of parent-oriented briefings, also good information. Then a tour led by a cadet, through classroom buildings, mess hall and library. This lasted about an hour and there was a lot of interesting Q & A with the very impressive cadet. This was probably my favorite part. Then parents had some free time before cadets were available- I got lunch in Grant Hall and spoke with some other visiting parents.

    -cadet host: my son had a great experience with his, they really hit it off. I believe the cadets volunteer for this task so the ones who do it want to be doing it. They are all plebes so it's a window into plebe year. My son's cadet was prior service and had attended USMAPS, so my son was interested to hear about those experiences. They attended a class, chatted with the professor for a bit, visited the barracks (which is off limits unless on a day or overnight visit), and ate lunch.

    -gift for host: we gave a gift card to a local restaurant that delivers. The cadet was very surprised and pleased- led me to believe that it is not typical, but not inappropriate in any way. I have also heard that home baked goods are appreciated!

    -admissions meeting: do this! It's a great way to get some candid feedback on your application. It was reassuring for my son.

    In summary, WP really makes this a great, worthwhile experience. We visited again in the summer when our son attended SLS but it was more informative to be there with the academic year in session. Both visits were awesome but I think we learned more about what WP is really like during the day visit.

    Have a great time and come back here and tell us about it!
     
  4. djjon22

    djjon22 Member

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    I loved my visit. I had an overnight and a day visit. Both were amazing. Anything the cadet did, i did as well. I would visit every week if i were able to. Truly the best way to experience west point. especially visiting now during the grey period. At this time you really have a chance to see some of the more boring parts of a cadets life aside from all the great fun things.
    I would not give a gift card or any present to the plebes. To me it would seem very awkward and pointless.
     
  5. Roadking

    Roadking Member

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    Thanks for the info, it really helps to know what to expect. Jr. is really pumped for the visit and mom and I are looking forward to it. We are just so proud of him that it is hard to put into words...I'm sure it is a common feeling on this forum.
     

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