Tufts University

“I met a fellow Jumbo on a mountain in France!”

PROSPECTIVE STUDENT:
VDB 

Political Science

Currently a Poli Comm major at Emerson College

THE REVIEW:

First Impressions:
Location - 6

(See previous post.)

After actually arriving on campus, we were unsure which building housed the admissions office and it was unclear about how to enter the building once we actually found it (it turns out that you have to go over a giant pedestrian bridge). This sense of confusion was worsened when we were herded to a random green space in the center of campus and then told to “pick your tour guide”. We were uncertain of where we were being taken for this entire trek.

Lobby Appearance - 7

We really appreciated the open floor plan of the lobby. VDB filled out some information at the conveniently located desk while Jay-Z perused various forms of literature on the walls, as well as posters about famous people who had given lectures at Tufts.

Tour Guide:
Taylor, senior community health and American studies major from Maine. Fun fact: as a freshman, he once made the mistake of walking back from Boston all the way to Tufts (we were impressed: we can barely make it from Davis Square to campus).

Personality - 7
Taylor was friendly and outgoing. We learned a lot about his personal interests and he definitely did a great job of talking about all of his friends at Tufts. 

Appearance - 8
Taylor was wearing a bicycling shirt (one of the interests that he talked about a lot on the tour) and a nice pair of khaki shorts with sneakers. He looked like a typical Tufts student, and we got to see that he was able to follow his passion of cycling while at Tufts. On the hotness scale, Taylor received a 6.

Ability to answer questions - 9
The other people on the tour didn’t really ask a lot of questions until we started talking about study abroad. This is where Taylor really had a chance to shine. Not only did he give personal experiences relating to his study abroad program in the Alps over a summer (he even managed to come back the next summer for a real job there!), but he was able to discuss the other study abroad options available at Tufts. He also answered plenty of questions about general education requirements and housing.

Ability to relate - 5
At first we were really excited by the amount of personal information brought into the tour by Taylor. However, we would have liked to hear about a different interest than the Tufts cycling team. That being said, we did like knowing about the activities that his friends and roommates participate in on campus.

Tour:
Informative (1) vs Entertainment (10) - 4
We got a lot of useful information about Tufts, but Taylor also did a great job of bringing in some fun facts about the school and going to school in the Boston area. 

Quality/Quantity of free stuff - 5

We got a lot of literature. In addition to the standard information book, we received several brochures and the official admissions magazine: very classy.

Quality of literature provided - 7
The literature we got was pretty informative. It was sleek and well-designed, and provided all the information we needed without being too text-heavy.  

Length of tour (1=too short, 10=too long) - 6
The tour lasted for an appropriate amount of time, but due to outside factors (the heat, our lack of actual interest in Tufts, and the foreboding walk back to Davis Square), it felt a little long.

Quality of tour content - 9
We learned a lot about getting into the school, what to expect once you arrive on campus, and the social life. VDB realized that she would be a great fit for Tufts socially, but quickly realized that she is not a “try-er” like the typical Tufts student and would probably have to leave.

Miscellaneous:
Was there Dr. Pepper? 0 - We didn’t see it.

Was there a sitcom TV set in the library? 0 - We were going to give partial points because we learned that the preserved body of Jumbo the elephant (Tufts mascot and former member of the Barnum and Bailey circus) was kept in the library. Then we learned that the library had caught on fire (as did Jumbo). One of the professors collected the ashes and put them in a peanut butter jar, which is on display in the library. We also did not appreciate the fact that Jumbo’s tail fell off, as many students liked to pull on it for good luck. All in all, no library points for Tufts.

Font choice/use? 7 - Tufts’ fonts were simple and clean, and added to the classic image of the school.

Favorite tour member? The overwhelming amount of children leaning on their mothers on the tour. We don’t know why, but throughout the tour, we kept seeing children leaning on their mothers’ backs and shoulders for support. Was it really that hot out? Were they dehydrated? (We should have been given water in that case.) Remember, kids, Mom can’t follow you to college.

Meal Plan Breakdown:

There are several dining halls on campus. Tufts is apparently in the top ten schools in the country when it comes to food. All freshman must sign up for the premium plan, but after that, upperclassmen can choose from a variety of plans with differing amounts of meals and JumboCash, the campus debit plan.

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This statue of Jumbo was above the doors to the admissions office. We loved it.

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Some examples of famous people who’ve come to Tufts to lecture (including Madeleine Albright, Hillary Clinton, and Nancy Pelosi).

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The rooftop garden on the library.

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This was a statue we found in the library.

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Tufts has its very own bikeshare program (similar to Hubway). They have stations all around campus where you can rent a bike.

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We loved this girl’s outfit. (Friend of Rate My College Tour CK Sway came to the realization that she has the exact same face as VDB.)

OVERALL TUFTS EXPERIENCE - 7

If you want to know actual information about possibly attending Tufts, head over to Student Advisor to find out if this is the right school for you.

New England College of Optometry

“Have you shadowed an optometrist yet?”

PROSPECTIVE STUDENT:
Jay-Z

Looking at grad schools to study optometry.

Currently a rising senior at BU, where she is a biology major.

THE REVIEW:

First Impressions:
Location - 10

Much like Fisher College, NECO is located on Beacon Street in a series of converted mansions. We were a little alarmed by the fact that we had to pass the Church of Scientology to get there, but we made it there okay without having to take a free stress test. We had a little trouble locating admissions, but that’s also due to the fact that NECO is also an eye clinic and Jay-Z didn’t mention admissions to the receptionist.

Lobby Appearance - 6

NECO’s lobby was just like the lobby at the doctor’s. It was perfect.

Tour Guide:
Holly, a third-year graduate student and former bio undergrad from Maine. Fun fact: She usually goes home to eat lunch because she lives so close to campus.

Personality - 9
Holly was surprisingly friendly and did not seem like a stereotypical optometrist, which we found refreshing. She was eager to show us around while adding tidbits of personal information about her time at NECO. We got the sense that she really loved NECO and optometry and we would gladly put our eyes in her hands.

Appearance - 9
Holly was wearing a white t-shirt and a cute mid-century-modern-patterned skirt with adorable white crochet flats. She even had her hair pulled back neatly out of her face: a sign that she obviously follows lab safety. On the hotness scale, Holly received an 8.

Ability to answer questions - 10
Since we know absolutely nothing about science, eyes, or applying to graduate school for medicine, we had a lot of questions, most of which we were too embarrassed to ask. Jackie did a pretty impressive job of faking her knowledge of these subjects, but Holly was equally impressive with her ability to answer our questions.

Ability to relate - 10
Holly and Jay-Z bonded over their shared experiences as bio majors, and Holly even said that they had a leg up over other students because of all the science they’d had to do while undergrads. We also spoke briefly to an admissions coordinator after the tour, who was excited that Jay-Z had gone to BU since her husband had also gone there.

Tour:
Informative (1) vs Entertainment (10) - 4
The tour was very informational, but Holly managed to keep it interesting by showing us all the cool features of the buildings and telling us about the opportunities she’s had through NECO. We thought that this was definitely one of the most interesting campuses we’ve toured.

Quality/Quantity of free stuff - 7

We received an application, a brochure about going to school in Massachusetts, a brochure just about the NECO clinic program, a general brochure about the school, and a more specific one about the grad programs. All of these came packaged in a white envelope upon our arrival. We didn’t have to pick anything out ourselves.

Quality of literature provided - 7
The literature was well-designed while remaining informative. Again, we really don’t know anything about applying to medical school or even applying to grad school, but thanks to the information we got at NECO, we are at least prepared to become optometrists.

Length of tour (1=too short, 10=too long) - 5
The tour was perfect. We got to see all of the school and its facilities while learning a lot about the program and the admissions process. We even had time to chat with the admissions coordinator for a few minutes afterwards.

Quality of tour content - 9
We saw labs, lecture halls, and student life areas. We learned what classes students take and how they get to work in the field doing screenings from the moment they arrive on campus. While talking to the admissions coordinator afterwards, we also learned that Jay-Z can submit her application without having taken the OATs yet: they will put her application on hold until they get the test scores. This provided some good motivation to finally sign up for the test.
 
Miscellaneous:
Was there Dr. Pepper? 0

Was there a sitcom TV set in the library? 0 - No, but there was a case of eyes. The jury is still out on whether they were real or glass.

Font choice/use? 7- NECO’s font choice was simple and classic. They mixed fonts well, and, most importantly for a vision school, everything was legible.

Favorite tour member? N/A

Meal Plan Breakdown:

Paulo, the cook, makes breakfast and lunch in the cafe for the students. The food’s pretty good, and there’s always coffee. There’s even a fridge to put your lunch in if you bring it from home.

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Our first impressions of NECO. It’s crazy how many colleges there are in former mansions in the Back Bay!

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NECO has optometry labs where students can practice various things they’ve learned in class. They also serve as a clinic where Bostonians can get eye exams.

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And yes, there were eye charts everywhere.

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Seriously, how cool is it that NECO is in a real Back Bay mansion?

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We even got to visit the president’s office as a part of our tour: now that’s a Rate My College Tour first.

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But really. We can’t get over the fact that this school is in a mansion.

OVERALL NECO EXPERIENCE - 7

If you want to know actual information about possibly attending NECO, head over to StudentAdvisor.com to find out if this is the right school for you.

The Boston Architectural College

“This is the furniture that the pre-college kids made out of cardboard.”

PROSPECTIVE STUDENT:
Jay-Z

Architecture

Just finished her freshman year at Emerson, where she was majoring in scenic design. Interested in a more practical application to her art.

THE REVIEW:

First Impressions:
Location - 8

The BAC’s facilities are located right on Newbury Street in the heart of the Back Bay. This would sound charming, but unfortunately they are also located inside a classic example of 1970s Brutalist architecture, commonly known as the WORST. Although the BAC doesn’t really fit in stylistically with its neighbors, it is a good look for an architecture school, since you can’t deny that Brutalism is all about planning.

Lobby Appearance - 4

There really wasn’t a lobby. We walked into the main gallery space and were directed by Securitas to the office. Upon entering the admissions area, we realized it was primarily an office space, with a few chairs scattered around the room to meet with prospective students.

Tour Guide:
Molly, a member of the admissions staff (our first non-student tour guide!) Fun fact: she likes to use the concrete stairwell when it’s hot out because it’s “built in air conditioning”.

Personality - 8
Molly was so nice. She was friendly and welcoming and made Jackie feel like she could fit right in at the BAC. Even though she was an adult, she treated us like equals throughout the tour.

Appearance - 8
Molly was wearing a cute black casual summer dress and sandals. Her primary purpose is to work in the admissions office, and this outfit fit the bill: professional, but still cute. On the hotness scale, Molly received a 7.

Ability to answer questions - 10
We didn’t have a lot of questions because Molly went over the program and admissions process so thoroughly, but the few we had were answered effectively. Molly asked Jay-Z when she was thinking of applying and told her that there was still time to apply for the fall. She even printed out an application.

Ability to relate - 9
Molly asked about Jay-Z’s program at Emerson and inquired about her interest in architecture. They talked for a little bit about design, and Molly shared her favorite features of the building (the stairs).

Tour:
Informative (1) vs Entertainment (10) - 3
The tour was mostly informational, but we didn’t mind because it was so short and we got to see everything. We really got a sense of what it would be like to study at the BAC and how the program is set up.

Quality/Quantity of free stuff - 6

In addition to printing out an application, Molly also gave us a magazine about current design at the BAC, the information book, and a sheet about the architecture program.

Quality of literature provided - 10
This is the best literature we have received so far. The cover of the information book is a hologram showing a view of Boston from the BAC at various times throughout the day.  Additionally, it is spiral bound and there are tabs inside that open up to the different programs of study. We loved it.

Length of tour (1=too short, 10=too long) - 4
The tour was a little short, but the BAC only has one main building that we could see during the summer, since one is under renovation and the other houses faculty offices and financial aid.

Quality of tour content - 9
We saw everything from studio space to lecture halls to student lounge areas. We also learned about the programs of study available at the BAC. Molly clearly knew a lot about the school and was eager to share it with us.
 
Miscellaneous:
Was there Dr. Pepper? 0

Was there a sitcom TV set in the library? 0

Font choice/use? 10 - We did say it was the best piece of literature we’d ever gotten. They even overlapped typefaces without making it look clumsy or cluttered.

Favorite tour member? N/A

Meal Plan Breakdown:

The BAC is a non-residential campus, so there is no meal plan, but there are vending machines in the student lounge.

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The exterior of the BAC. Note the Brutalist design: we’re torn about its overall aesthetic (so ugly, but so designed!)

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Examples of student work are hung throughout the hallways: pretty intense, but pretty cool.

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Most of the BAC is taken up with studio space. This is just an example of one of them.

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The student lounge.

OVERALL BAC EXPERIENCE - 7

If you want to know actual information about possibly attending the BAC, head over to StudentAdvisor.com to find out if this is the right school for you.

Massachusetts College of Art and Design

“She looks like a fibers major.”

PROSPECTIVE STUDENT:
Jay-Z

Architecture

Graduated from high school in 2011 and took a gap year to “just travel and make art”. Our tour guide was so into this: apparently taking time off from school to make art is a common MassArt experience.

THE REVIEW:

First Impressions:
Location - 10

After a strong showing at BC, we soon slipped back into our old pattern of running late for tours. Because MassArt is on the E Line, aka the line that never shows up, even though we left the Back Bay office with just enough time to spare, we were still a few minutes late. Fortunately, the admissions office was very easy to find from the T, as MassArt is just opposite the platform. Additionally, we only missed a few minutes of the info session, which (surprisingly enough) is very boring if you’re not actually planning on applying: how did our parents sit through that without going crazy?

Lobby Appearance - 10

The MassArt lobby looked like an elementary school in the best possible way. It was comfortable, cozy, and supportive: the perfect environment to be told that the art world is very harsh and unaccepting. We were taken to another room for the info session, where the large group was divided in half and taken on two different tours.

Tour Guide:
Andrew, a senior printmaking and art history major.

Personality - 8
Andrew was outgoing and fun. He seemed like the quintessential MassArt student: creative, quirky, and cool. That being said, he struggled with taking control of the group when necessary.

Appearance - 7
Andrew was wearing a bright orange v-neck with an admissions nametag, dark shorts, and a pair of classic Adidas. We liked that we could see his tattoos: not only were they pretty cool, but they also showed off his personality. On the hotness scale, Andrew received a 7.

Ability to answer questions - 8
Andrew was a little uncertain when it came to answering questions (especially about the meal plan), but he did a great job overall. 

Ability to relate - 10
Andrew made a point of asking everyone what they wanted to major in and then taking us to those facilities. He spoke to most of the tour members while walking in between locations and shared his personal experiences with the school. And like we said earlier, he totally believed Jay-Z’s story and even shared a similar anecdote about someone he was friends with.

Tour:
Informative (1) vs Entertainment (10) - 5
Once again, we found the perfect balance of information and fun. Andrew even said that he knows what the “cool things” are on campus and makes a point of taking tours there: like the glassblowing studio. He told us everything we needed to know about MassArt, the application process, and life on campus.

Quality/Quantity of free stuff - 7
We got a cute accordion-style book about preparing your portfolio, a large book of information, and even a sticker. We also got a bottle of water at the start of the tour, as it was a hot day.

Quality of literature provided - 10
As befitting an art school, MassArt’s literature was amazing. Not only did we learn about the programs of study, we also got to take a look at various student and alumni experiences at the college. It even turned out that Andrew was one of the featured students in the book. “If you visit campus, you might be able to ask Andrew your questions in person. He’s one of the student tour guides. And he’ll give you honest answers,” the book says. He certainly did.

Length of tour (1=too short, 10=too long) - 5
Once again, it was perfect. MassArt has a lot of facilities in a small space, and we managed to get to them all in an hour. However, Andrew told us that we were allowed to leave once we’d visited the area of our interest. We started with about eight or nine groups, but by the end of the tour it was just us and Andrew. This did give us a great chance for some one-on-one at the end, though.

Quality of tour content - 9
Andrew knew about every single major. He took us to the main space for each major and told us about the program of study. We saw everything from the loom room to the architecture studio to the metal shop to the glassblowing studio. We also got to see inside several MassArt dorms, including the brand new tower that will open in the fall. Andrew took us to the top floor of the new dorm and used this opportunity to show off MassArt’s great location by pointing out all the museums, colleges, and attractions in the area.
 
Miscellaneous:
Was there Dr. Pepper? 10

Was there a sitcom TV set in the library? 0

Font choice/use? 10 - MassArt is known for their graphic design program, after all.

Favorite tour member? Let’s be real: most of the people on this tour were pretty great. First of all, there was the transfer student who learned (while on the tour) that she does not have housing for September. VDB stepped in and told her and her mom how to use ProArts Connect to find a roommate (thanks, Emerson). Next, the semi-British dad who made a lot of strange jokes that were somehow hilarious. Finally: the bored friend who was listening to her iPod for the entire tour and yelled on the phone in the film studio.

Honorary mention goes to our friend and recent Emerson grad Jeff Eichert, who now attends MassArt for his masters in architecture and was spending the day in the studio.

Last, but certainly not least, we spotted the infamous Wentworth tour guide Kevin Binder on his way to work at the admissions office on the campus next door.

Meal Plan Breakdown:

Students who live on campus get a set amount of dollars per semester that can be used at both MassArt and Wentworth dining halls, as well as the awesome C-Store.

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Seriously, this C-Store was awesome. And apparently it’s for all the Colleges of the Fenway. We wish this had been addressed on some of our other tours.

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An example of the furniture in the newest MassArt dorm. We love it!

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Spotted in this picture (from left to right): Girl Suddenly Without Housing, Her Mother, and Semi-British Dad. This was shortly after they had learned that submitting the housing deposit that day did not, in fact, mean that housing would be available on campus. It’s a good thing VDB saved the day with ProArts Connect! (Speaking of VDB, she loved this girl’s purse and would totally like it for her birthday, hint hint.)

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VDB was also really into this pink pool table.

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Okay, the view from the top of the new MassArt dorm is pretty awesome. You can even see VDB’s apartment from here!

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Friend of Rate My College Tour Jeff Eichert hard at work in the studio. Look at that posture: he’s a born architect!

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Can we get a loom room at Emerson? It was so relaxing. We could have hung out here for days.

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The infamous glassblowing studio is one of the last stops on the tour. We wish more people would have stuck around to see it, since it’s pretty awesome (even when no one is using it).

OVERALL MASSART EXPERIENCE - 8

This tour was great. We would have rated it a little higher if it hadn’t been quite so open-ended. That being said, we may end up transferring here for real. It’s a good thing we can take elective credits here through the ProArts Consortium!

If you want to know actual information about possibly attending MassArt, head over to StudentAdvisor.com to find out if this is the right school for you.

Boston College

"I can’t go here! It’s not a flat, urban environment with elevators!”

PROSPECTIVE STUDENT:
Jay-Z

Finance/Business

Currently a freshman Marketing major at Emerson College.

THE REVIEW:

First Impressions:
Location - 10

Ever since our journey to Tufts University, we have been very nervous about arriving places on time, which is why we ended up at BC 45 minutes early (even though we had to take the B Line all the way to the end!). We found the admissions office easily and determined that we had time to get a snack (not a full meal, and definitely not at the Boston Burger Company). When we picked up our edamame, Fuzes, and muffins from a student cafe, we were pleasantly surprised to be greeted cheerfully by the man working the register. We used our time seated in comfy chairs at a big table to scope out what the average BC student is like. It was around this time that we figured out that Jay-Z would not be able to plausibly pass as a potential Finance major, and we got very nervous. The office was in what appeared to be an old chapel and we really got a feel for what the rest of Boston College’s campus would be like.

Lobby Appearance - 10

Upon entering, we were greeted by a benevolent receptionist at the desk, who told us that a tour would be leaving shortly and that there was literature for us to pick up on the wall. The lobby was stunning. It matched the exterior of the building well: lots of shiny exposed wood and elaborate paneling with formal chairs and coffee tables. We could feel Boston College’s rich and illustrious history.

Tour Guide:
Stephen, a sophomore physics major and math minor from Boston. Fun fact: he likes chalk (unlike Jen from Newbury College) and his mom works as a physical therapist there.

Personality - 8
Stephen was energetic, passionate, and excited to show people around his school. We could tell that he really loved BC and wanted to make us love it just as much. He was really funny, told great jokes, and shared a lot of his personal experiences with us. The only reason we took a few points off is because we could tell he was a relatively inexperienced tour guide. With a few more big tour groups, we know that he’ll be able to get the script down right and let his personality and humor shine through. That being said, he was GREAT at walking backwards and even managed to do it down the stairs.

Appearance - 8
Stephen was dressed well. He was wearing a button-down, a nice pair of shorts, and green Adidas. He looked professional, but we could also get a good sense of his personal flair. On the hotness scale, Stephen received a 9.

Ability to answer questions - 10
Stephen answered questions throughout the entire tour, and even stayed on the lawn for about ten minutes after the tour to answer all of the questions that the families had. He answered questions ranging from test scores vs. grades, career services, and the location of the Eagle Deli as seen on Man vs. Food (that was ours).

Ability to relate - 9
Stephen may have been a physics major, but he made a point of showing the facilities for all majors at BC. He asked everyone where they were from and what they were interested in at the beginning and was sure to talk to people while moving between locations.

Tour:
Informative (1) vs Entertainment (10) - 5
This tour was the perfect balance of entertainment and information. We learned a lot about BC’s academics, student life, Division 1 sports (WAIT, THEY’RE ACTUALLY ON TV!!), and the admissions process. Stephen’s personality definitely helped: he made a lot of jokes throughout the tour, and unlike many we’ve heard, they were actually funny. Some of our favorites included the million dollar staircase, the fact that his legs were so muscular from climbing the stairs every day, and making us clap for him at the end.

Quality/Quantity of free stuff - 6
We received a map of the campus, as well as a book of information and a bookmark.

Quality of literature provided - 8
BC’s literature was simple and elegant, matching the overall feel of the school. It was very focused on the student experience at BC, which is a major selling point for most applicants.
     
Length of tour (1=too short, 10=too long) - 6
The tour went a little long and started a little late, but Stephen kept us on track for most of the tour. We didn’t get to see all of BC, but it’s a large campus and it’s impossible to see everything in an hour.

Quality of tour content - 8
We learned a lot about BC. Stephen used a lot of personal examples from his experiences at the school: no matter what questions were thrown at him, he always managed to answer it in a way that tied back to something he or someone he knew had personally done while at BC. We also got a lot of information about the school in general and the different programs and majors available.
 
Miscellaneous:
Was there Dr. Pepper? 0

Was there a sitcom TV set in the library? 0

Font choice/use? 8 - Much like everything else BC-related, the font choice was classic, yet relatable.

Favorite tour member? The Where Did You Park Your Yacht Family. Dressed from head to toe in Vineyard Vines and Nautica, all four family members (dad, mom, son, and daughter) were not only wearing coordinating outfits, but it looked like they might be on the way to Sears afterwards to take a family portrait. When Stephen asked where they were from, our illusions were quickly shattered, as it turned out they were from Buffalo. As VDB made it clear: NOBODY FROM BUFFALO HAS A YACHT. (Direct quote: “I’d like to see them walk down East Utica Street every day.”)

Meal Plan Breakdown:

BC students receive $2,234 in dining dollars to spend each semester.

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As soon as we saw the landscaped BC logo, we knew we were going to enjoy this tour.

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One of the many staircases we encountered on our tour and the reason why Stephen claimed that he gained the freshman negative 5.

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This arena is on TV. Too real.

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We were really into this statue: apparently the Pope tried to buy it and BC wouldn’t give it up.

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Half of the yacht family. Note the alternating whale and sailboat print on the son’s shirt.

OVERALL BOSTON COLLEGE EXPERIENCE - 9

If you want to know actual information about possibly attending Boston College, head over to StudentAdvisor.com to find out if this is the right school for you.

Newbury College

“Tell me more about Emerson!”

PROSPECTIVE STUDENT:
VDB

Interior or Graphic Design

Currently a freshman Scenic Design major at Emerson College.

THE REVIEW:

First Impressions:
Location - 10

After getting off the T we were right in the midst of a beautiful Brookline neighborhood. Walking to Newbury we felt as though we were revisiting a forgotten middle school paper route (that none of us had). The campus was located in the quintessential upper middle class suburbia, that one would expect from any live-action Disney movie from the early 90’s. When we reached the campus, the admissions office was clearly indicated with large signs that not only directed students, but were unobtrusive. The building itself was a converted Federalist style home.

Lobby Appearance - 7

The lobby was beautiful. The decor matched the style of the building and fit in nicely with the neighborhood. The waiting area had comfortable, yet classic chairs. The only reason points were deducted was because we did not feel welcome in the way that a prospective student should. The admissions staff did not ask us to fill out any forms regarding address, phone number, or student status and simply told us to sit and wait.

Tour Guide:
Jen, a senior corporate communications and management major from Texas. Fun fact: She doesn’t like chalk, but she does like laminating!

Personality - 7
Jen was outgoing and friendly. We were able to tell what she was interested in through her personality. However, she didn’t seem to be very passionate about her school.

Appearance - 8
Jen was wearing a floral skirt and a cute blouse. She looked professional while remaining casual and without appearing too stuffy. We felt that she was a good example of how Newbury students typically dress. On the hotness scale, Jen received a 7.

Ability to answer questions - 9
We felt that our ability to answer questions about Emerson went above and beyond what was necessary. Jay-Z was wearing her Emerson hoodie (in 90 degree heat — that was a mistake) and once Jen saw this, her interest was piqued. As a result, we ended up answering more questions about VDB’s former school than asking questions about her potential future school.

Ability to relate - 5
Although Jen did a good job of getting to know us, it seemed that she wanted to focus more on her issues with the school, her favorite houses in the neighborhood (although they were pretty cool!), and questions about Emerson. She didn’t know a lot about the interior design/graphic design programs at Newbury, and we would have liked to have gotten more information.

Tour:
Informative (1) vs Entertainment (10) - 3
Although the tour was definitely more informative than entertaining, we also felt that we didn’t get as much information as we would have liked. Overall, we felt very bored.

Quality/Quantity of free stuff - 4
We were able to pick up a lot of literature about the programs, but nothing else. We did receive an email directly after the tour from our guide asking if we had any more questions.

Quality of literature provided - 3
The literature is of varying qualities. The main book is well-designed and filled with lots of pictures, although there isn’t a lot of information about the school. The other brochures we picked up are literally just collages of pictures about a single department or major.
     
Length of tour (1=too short, 10=too long) - 6
We felt that the tour was longer than it needed to be, although that may have been because it was so hot outside and we weren’t being given very much information.

Quality of tour content - 5
We were given a lot of information, but most of it did not seem very relevant at all. We were told about things that the school does not offer instead of what they do offer. We heard about the various expensive houses in the neighborhood and all the cool things they have in their backyards. We also saw the men’s communal bathroom in one of the dorms, which we were told not to choose.
 
Miscellaneous:
Was there Dr. Pepper?  Update: 10 We were sent this photograph:

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Instagram courtesy of Newbury College

Was there a sitcom TV set in the library? 0

Font choice/use? 7 - The fonts were pretty basic, but they were done well.

Favorite tour member? N/A

Meal Plan Breakdown:

You get 19 meals and 50 dining points per week for use in the dining hall and other on-campus locations. There are two soups of the day, a hot plate, and a deep dish section available in the dining hall. Additionally, you can use cash or credit at the Nighthawk Cafe, which contains a Starbucks.

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One of the giant houses we passed on our way to the Newbury campus. Apparently they replace the lions every year.

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Newbury’s simple and tasteful sign.

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What the interior of the admissions office looked like: quite impressive!

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This was Jen’s favorite house in the neighborhood, mostly because of all the pool parties that take place here.

OVERALL NEWBURY COLLEGE EXPERIENCE - 5

We would have liked to have gotten more information about Newbury College and not to have answered so many questions about Emerson.

If you want to know actual information about possibly attending Newbury College, head over to StudentAdvisor.com to find out if this is the right school for you.

Bostinno wrote another article about us! Check it out!

The Boston Conservatory

"I’m going to be the Black Swan!" "VDB, don’t make any more Black Swan references.”

PROSPECTIVE STUDENT:
VDB

Dance

Currently a sophomore BFA Musical Theatre major at Emerson College

THE REVIEW:

First Impressions:
Location - 9

The admissions office was conveniently located to the Back Bay office: it’s right across the street. Even if we weren’t coming from the next block, the building still would have been easy to find: it’s fairly close to the T. The building itself was a beautiful example of Boston’s 19th century architecture, but the admissions office was a little difficult to find once inside. We had to ask for directions from a security guard to figure out which hallway to take, but given the nature of the building, our confusion was completely understandable.

Lobby Appearance - 6 
The lobby was very “old school”. It almost had a feeling of an academy. The room was a little overstuffed and cramped: there was a large amount of furniture for such a small room. It seemed like more of an office than a welcome center, since the desks in the room were covered in paperwork and forms. We did appreciate the plethora of information and brochures scattered around the room, though. 

Tour Guide:
Molly, a graduate student studying the harp, Fun fact: She did her undergrad at a liberal arts college.

Personality -3
Molly was very unpersonable and we did not get any sense of her interests beyond playing the harp. Throughout most of the tour she spoke at a very low volume that was difficult to hear, even though we were standing right next to her. Her speaking volume was so low at several points that she was practically at a whisper.

Appearance - 6
Molly was wearing a button-down shirt with dark wash denim. Although she looked very professional, we would have liked to have seen a little more personality in her outfit. Additionally, we would have liked her to appear a bit more youthful. On the hotness scale, Molly received a 6.

Ability to answer questions - 5
Both of the students on the tour were prospective dance majors. Given this fact, it would have been nice if the tour guide knew more about the program itself. She was able to give a lot of information about academics and the overall BoCo experience.

Ability to relate - 4
We felt very unwelcome at the Boston Conservatory, due to the unrelatability of the tour guide. As a grad student, she did not know much information about what it is like to live on campus, what classes we would be taking, or student life in general. She made no effort to get to know the prospective students on the tour.

Tour:
Informative (1) vs Entertainment (10) - 3
The tour was definitely more informative than entertaining. On the other hand, we do not feel that we gained that much information about the school that we did not already know or could not find out from briefly looking at the website.

Quality/Quantity of free stuff - 9
We not only received plenty of informative literature, but also a free pen, bottle of water, and a letter from a freshman in the dance program. We thought the letter was a nice touch. It was not personalized, but it contained a glimpse of what it is like in the average day of a BoCo student.

Quality of literature provided - 6
The literature does not contain much information at all, but it is very well designed. It gives the basic information but does not go into detail.
      
Length of tour (1=too short, 10=too long) - 5
The tour was the perfect length. It seemed short, but the Boston Conservatory only has several buildings. We feel that we saw everything that the school has to offer.

Quality of tour content - 4
We felt as though we did not learn enough about the dance program at all. Our tour guide did not seem very knowledgeable about it at all. When going on the tour we were led through the back doors of various buildings and walked through alleys to get to the next destination. This seemed to be a very ineffective way to get a feel for the area surrounding the school, a very trendy neighborhood, and to see some of the impressive architecture that some of the BoCo buildings have. We also felt that some of the information given was not accurate (Molly said there were 80 schools in the Back Bay neighborhood alone: we at Rate My College Tour know that this is not correct).
 
Miscellaneous:
Was there Dr. Pepper? 0 

Was there a sitcom TV set in the library? 0

Font choice/use? 9- The fonts are strong, clean, and create a modern image.

Favorite tour member? Are You Really Ready for a Conservatory Program? mom and daughter. We don’t think they know what it takes for such an intense program and they may be in way over their heads. While touring the studio space the daughter jumped on the floor to see if it was sprung (VDB was unsure if she should do the same to prove herself as a dancer).

Meal Plan Breakdown:

There are 4 different options for meal plans that all have different prices. Each option has a set number of meals and Dining Dollars. The meals are redeemable at the Northeastern dining hall.

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The library interior at BoCo: Molly encouraged us to wander around.

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This sign in the library was a nice touch: BoCo is a music school, after all.

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This was the ceiling of one of the recital spaces. Molly told us that it had been covered up for decades and rediscovered during renovations.

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The BoCo student lounge.

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Cupcake: A New Musical's advertising has even spread to BoCo.

OVERALL BOSTON CONSERVATORY EXPERIENCE - 3

We were hoping that we would feel the same “Smash Factor” that we got from the Berklee tour, however we were left disenchanted.

If you want to know actual information about possibly attending Boston Conservatory, head over to StudentAdvisor.com to find out if this is the right school for you.

Tufts University

“We walked to Medford and now we’re sitting on a bench in Somerville.”

PROSPECTIVE STUDENT:
Jay-Z

Undecided, vaguely interested in science

Graduated in 2011 and took a gap year. Visiting VDB, a friend currently studying at Emerson, to look at colleges in the area.

THE REVIEW:

First Impressions:
Location - ?

We made several attempts to tour Tufts, but we were always unsuccessful in arriving at the location of the admissions office. Since all Tufts tours are on a walk-in basis, we decided to take the 2:30 pm one on Tuesday. We arrived in Davis Square around 1:45 and determined that we would have time to stop for a light lunch at the Boston Burger Company, since the university seemed so close to the T according to all our maps.

This was a false assumption.

After rushing through our burgers and chips, we started walking down College Avenue in Somerville with about ten minutes to go until tour time. It was extremely hot out, and our burgers had only been satisfactory. We kept walking down the street (past Nathan Tufts Park and Powder House Square, which will come into play later in this tale) in a Tufts-ward direction. At around 2:35, we realized that the admissions building was all the way across campus, and that we still hadn’t even reached Tufts yet.

We were defeated.

We turned around and trudged back towards the T. On the way there, we spotted a “Welcome to Somerville” sign: apparently we had trekked all the way to Medford on foot without realizing it. Exhausted, we had to take a fifteen minute break to rest on a bench in Nathan Tufts Park overlooking Powder House Square. During this time, VDB texted her father to tell him about our struggles. (He thought that we were sitting on a beach, not a bench and asked a lot of confusing questions until we all got the story straight).

We eventually made it back to the T and ended up taking it all the way to Park Street and then catching the Green Line to the Back Bay office instead of just getting off at Central and taking the 1 bus there due to our exhaustion. Upon our arrival at the office, we ended up drinking several Brita pitchers of water and laying on bean bags with our hands over our eyes.

A full Tufts review will come later, once we have actually taken a tour.

OVERALL TUFTS EXPERIENCE: TBD

Boston University

“The campus is urban… in a good way.”

PROSPECTIVE STUDENT:
VDB

Theatre Arts, Design, etc.

Looking to transfer from Emerson College to a less focused, vague major.

THE REVIEW:

First Impressions:
Location - 10

The Admissions Office was very easy to find. It was located on Bay State Road, where most of the buildings not on Commonwealth Ave. are located. We were very impressed with the architecture of the building, reminiscent of the style of the Kenmore area. The ivy on the front of the building felt very collegiate. Once entering the building the front desk was very apparent.

Lobby Appearance - 10
The lobby was very formal, but in a good way. We were given literature and an information card to fill out upon entering the building and were told to take a seat in one of the many waiting rooms. The waiting room was filled with comfortable, yet extravagant furniture matching the architecture and style of the space.

Tour Guide:
Ian Blau, rising sophomore Film & Television in the School of Communications and a minor in English in the School of Arts & Sciences, from Burke, Virginia, Fun Fact: He’s in a comedy troupe.

Personality - 6
We did not feel like we were able to get to know Ian as a person or a BU student. He was outgoing and personable; however, it all felt very forced and scripted. His jokes were very generic and seemed to be run-of-the-mill BU tour jokes. While we appreciated his ability to walk backwards, we felt that it hindered his ability to speak naturally as he was too busy concentrating on not walking into anything or anyone. Although he did say hello to everyone we encountered on the tour, it did not seem like he actually knew any of them, which is understandable for a school the size of BU. On several occasions Ian lost control of the tour and people seemed unclear of where to go next, as his directions were often tentative.

Appearance - 9
Ian was dressed very well. He was wearing a blue polo and coral shorts, which we liked. We did not understand why a few of the other tour guides we encountered were wearing the same color combination, which has nothing to do with the school’s colors, red and white. Our theory is that the tour guides were friends, and thought it would be funny to wear matching outfits to work. On the hotness scale, Ian received a 6.

Ability to answer questions - 10
Not many people had questions, but when they did Ian was quick to answer and gave a very detailed response.

Ability to relate - 4
Ian did not do a good job of relating to anybody on the tour. All of the information he gave us was very generic. Additionally, we did not feel that we got a sense of the typical BU student experience. While we were walking at the front of the tour group, Ian did not use downtime to engage with us, or any prospective students for that matter. Vivian made a joke about moving to the side to let another tour group pass and Ian did not enjoy it at all. He also responded to her using his microphone (which all tour guides have, much like the Backstreet Boys) which was completely unnecessary. At several points throughout the tour, Ian’s microphone began emitting feedback: clearly, he needed the assistance of a good sound engineer (we know several qualified candidates and would be willing to get them in touch with BU admissions).

Tour:
Informative (1) vs Entertainment (10) - 5
This tour was neither informative nor entertaining. We did not go inside any buildings, and were simply told where and what they were. There were a few attempts made to entertain us, such as shutting our eyes to listen to cars on Storrow Drive that sounded like the beach, or jumping to make an earthquake outside of the Earth Science lab, or touching a squishy rock. However we were not impressed. Maybe our standards were too high.

Quality/Quantity of free stuff - 7
We were given literature as soon as we entered the admissions office, including a map of the BU campus. We were expecting a little more SWAG from a school of BU’s size.

Quality of literature provided - 10
We are huge fans of the BU literature. It is very trendy and modern, while still containing a lot of useful and easy to read information. There was even an infographic containing fun facts about BU. It was all very well designed. The map was very useful, as it even contained a map of the MBTA.
      
Length of tour (1=too short, 10=too long) - 7
The tour went over the allotted time by about 10 minutes. We wouldn’t have minded if we were well entertained, we weren’t walking down Comm Ave. in the heat, or if we hadn’t been constantly reminded by our tour guide that we were running over.

Quality of tour content - 4
Although we understand that BU’s campus is not very tour friendly, we would have liked to have learned more about the buildings we were unable to see, which included most of the athletic facilities and any theatre buildings. Considering BU is known largely for sports and their theatre programs, it is strange that neither of these were shown. We learned about student life, academics, and residence communities. We felt as though this tour was better suited for students at orientation, who mostly needed to learn how to navigate the campus: they didn’t really impress us and make us want to attend the school.

Miscellaneous:
Was there Dr. Pepper? 10- We are unsure because we were not taken inside any buildings. UPDATE: We have learned from a current BU student that BU is a Pepsi school, so they have Dr. Pepper. Thanks!

Was there a sitcom TV set in the library? 5- While there was not a sitcom set in the library, the “BU Castle” was used as a filming location for an up-and-coming ABC historical drama.

Font choice/use? 10- effective font mixing and interesting without being difficult to read

Favorite tour member? We have two: The first was Cocktail Mom, who was fully decked in cocktail attire, including the LBD (little black dress), Gucci purse, and copious amounts of jewelry for this 11am tour. (She did wear flip flops in a concession to the amount of walking she would have to do.) Our second member was the family of small children. Who do you belong to? Where is your prospective student? Do you understand that this isn’t a tourist attraction? Why are a bunch of 10 year olds touring BU? Needless to say, we were very confused.

Meal Plan Breakdown:

The meal plan was not addressed by Ian: VDB had to ask him about it at the end of the tour. A BU meal plan consists of dining meals, dining points, and convenience points. Convenience points are on your BU card and are used to buy supplies like shampoo. Dining points are used like a credit card for food at the student union and nearby places like the on-campus Starbucks (they are reloadable). You also get a set number of dining meals to use at the various oncampus dining halls (located in Warren Towers and the new 2-story facility on Bay State Road).

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We were incredibly impressed with the admissions office’s exterior!

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But not as impressed as we were by Ian’s outfit.

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This sample dorm room (in the Towers) was decorated: always a nice touch!

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We weren’t sure why this courtyard was filled with small rocks, but we felt that its existence needed to shown to the outside world.

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Student organizations have been painting this rock since the 1970s, so it’s soft to the touch. All we could think about was peeling the layers of paint off (we passed this picture on to our friend David, who loves paint-peeling more than anyone else we’ve ever met).

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Seriously, who did these kids belong to? They’re obviously bored to death.

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Note Cocktail Mom’s tour-appropriate footwear and contrast it to the rest of her outfit.

OVERALL BOSTON UNIVERSITY EXPERIENCE - 5

If you want to know actual information about possibly attending Boston University, head over to StudentAdvisor.com to find out if this is the right school for you.

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