Introduction: Or why we would spend 9 days visiting 3 colleges in 3 states.
My daughter, Lizzy, (not her real name), is a senior in high school. She's been home schooled her entire life, but has taken some classes outside the home for the past 5 years. She's an excellent student, and has done very well in all her classes and on her college entrance exams, taking both the ACT and the SAT. As a result, she was invited to attend scholarship competitions at both Benedictine College (BC) and Franciscan University of Steubenville (FUS). The competitions were spaced a week apart; the first two weekends of February. Our family had to decide whether or not it was worth the effort to attend one or both of the competitions. BC is much closer to home, but doesn't currently have the nursing program that she was interested in pursuing. FUS is further from home, typically has less financial aid than BC, but has an excellent nursing program.
In the meantime, around Thanksgiving time, we were re-reading the Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College for the upteenth time, when we noticed the note in the back about DeSales University having an excellent 5-year Physician Assistant's program. Lizzy completed the online application on December 1st, which was their deadline for priority consideration of scholarships. We figured it was a long shot, but worth investigating.
Fast forward to January 24, 2009 (the feast of St. Francis de Sales, by the way), and Lizzy received an offer of full tuition scholarship to DeSales University, which increased her interest exponentially.
By the time she received the offer from DeSales, we had already made plans to attend both scholarship weekends at BC and FUS. Since they were both fairly far away and there was only about 5 days between them, we decided to fill in the time in the middle visiting DeSales.