VMI Overnight Open House

LongGreyLine Hopeful

10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Aug 18, 2008
Hey everyone,

I received my confirmation letter and tentative itinerary for VMI's open house for the 6-7 of February yesterday. I'm posting this to find out if any others will be going to this certain one. Also, I was wondering if anyone has previously gone to one of these and/or has any information that might be helpful. Thanks in advance.
I'll be there. Oh, wait... I'll be "here". :rolleyes:

1. Come with a lot of questions. It's okay to be the annoying guy who asks a ton of questions at an admissions open house. Seriously, if you're going to shell out the money to spend four years of your life here, you need to have as good of an idea of what you're gettin' yourself into as you can. There will be plenty of Q&A sessions with upperclassmen and you'll be spending the entire night in barracks with the rats.

2. Get to know the other prospective cadets if you can. Exchange email addresses and IM screen names so you can keep in contact. Share workout plans, motivate each other to keep your grades up, share Ratline horror stories you've heard. If you can, make tentative plans to attend the Summer Transition Program (STP) to continue building foundations for these bonds. The day will come when you will rely upon them.

3. Talk to as many cadets as you can to try to get the whole picture. The rats may or may not have broken out by then, so you may or may not get to see straining. Even if they have broken out, you'll certainly see the stark living conditions. The privileges of Fourth Classmen are few and far between. Ask the upperclass cadets who are showing you around about the differences between the classes and what it's like after rat year.

4. Dress inconspiculously. If you go to a military high school or if you're involved in any other cadet program, don't wear your uniform. Don't wear torn jeans down around your ankles (or for females, don't wear mini skirts and pumps). Don't worry about a coat and tie or a prom gown. I'd recommend business casual (khakis, button down/polo, etc.), especially if you have an admissions interview or if you know for sure that you're coming to VMI. Business casual will show that you take it seriously and that you see it as a professional atmosphere. Oh, and wear comfortable shoes.

5. Have fun, but don't make a fool of yourself. It doesn't have to all be business... if you're too uptight, you may not get a real feel for the school. However, the rats I stayed with as a prospective cadet became two of my closest friends. I still talk to two of my prospective cadets (from when I was a rat host) on a very regular basis. VMI is a very small school, comparatively. The impression you make may very well follow you for four years, and believe it or not, your reputation may linger even after graduation.

Let me know if you have any other questions! :smile:

Jackie M. Briski
VMI Class of 2009
My D went to one of these at VMI 2 years ago. I'm not sure what all happened while she was away from me (she was paired up with a cadet with similar interests - which, I might add, they found from my D's My Space or Facebook accounts, so make sure you are presenting the kind of profile you want them to see in Admissions). But they had some stuff for parents to do the first day & when we toured the departments, we did that with our kids. You pick one or two majors you are interested in & visit those departments. I also remember that my D said they had alot of presentations by ROTC leaders, et al. I don't know if all the departments offered this (or if VMI is still doing it), but the Chemistry Department offered a summer seminar that she went to - it was free, but you had to apply to it. It was an awesome experience to do one-on-one research with one of the professors for one week.
how do you sign up for one of the over nights?
Thank you to everyone who has commented on the thread so quickly, and with such great information. RahVaMil2009 I greatly appreciate the offer and will definitely be contacting you and Bruno with more questions as the time draws nearer to the open house and/or when I receive my letter back from this fine school. I was also shocked with how quickly the school was to message me back on which open house they had selected me for. My application arrived there on the 6th and after delving into the website more thoroughly I discovered this opportunity and jumped. For anyone interested in the open houses, I believe I filled out online form on the 14th and the next day the packet was sent out. So I felt I must give major props to whoever is working in this side of the admissions department. Again thank you to all and I look forward to meeting any and all of you that will be there. Feel free to message me when you find out that we will be at the same open house.
VMI Open House

Hey, I am going to the VMI Open House on September 13-14, and was wondering what you should bring, besides sleeping stuff. Also do we get chances to talk to the cadre or athletic coaches? Thanks, Cynthia
Pack lightly; it is what it is. Just a one night stay at barracks with a current rat. Please do not bring a suitcase or anything :p

And yes, you will have LOTS of time to talk to almost anybody you desire. Like most of my friends here, the Open House experience sealed the deal for us. So, it is a good idea to attend this excellent opportunity to see if it is the right college for you!