From college visits, ACT tests and lots of discussions with family and friends, narrowing down a college list is a process.

“It’s overwhelming,” said Lisa Goodmanson. “We’re going through the FAFSA process now and then the application process is next. But it’s good. It’s good to see Alex get interested in different schools and see what he likes.”

For Goodmanson’s son, Alex Bailey, the engineering program at St. Thomas is where his interest lies. On this college visit, he’s learning more about the program at a school that’s in his home state.

“I really like it,” Bailey said after touring the campus as part of fall Tommie Days. “It felt like home. I can travel to (local) sports games. I’m a huge Minnesota fan – Timberwolves and Vikings and all of that.”

“Personally, I like St. Thomas because of the Catholic component,” Goodmanson said, “because of the beautiful campus, the great location and just the personalized education that a place like St. Thomas offers right here in Minnesota.”

With the Nov. 1 early action deadline nearing, fall Tommie Days give parents and potential #Tommies all of the information they need to make their big decision.

“I really like the strong academic programs and just all the options you have here,” said Grace McGill, a senior at Visitation School. “I just don’t feel limited.”

Emma Ebeling, from Maple Grove, agrees. “I just like all the opportunities here. I like all the majors.” Over 150 majors are offered at St. Thomas, and while conversations with professors from different colleges and programs is a big part of fall Tommie Days, information given out went well beyond that. College visits to campus are so important to get the full picture.

“There are so many opportunities for great schools in the Twin Cities,” said Emma’s mom, Jennifer Ebeling. “We did our homework on the programs and the size of the classes as well as all of the other opportunities. And St. Thomas just had the perfect mix of everything that we were looking for. It was just a natural choice for Emma to consider.”

The Ebelings were impressed by what they saw. “Mom likes that it is close to home and it is beautiful,” Jennifer said. “And dad’s a grad,” chimed in Philip Ebeling. “I went here and graduated with my MBA in 1999, so I am a big fan, having gone here myself.”

Emma plans to pursue a business degree and a career in human resources. She and her family were impressed with the connections St. Thomas has with a vibrant local business community.

“They have excellent relationships in the community with local businesses. Local companies are coming here. Kids don’t have to venture out. They are coming to them. There are all these mentorship and interview opportunities, internship opportunities … that’s really appealing to me. It’s some real-world experience,” she said.

Getting Information

Families like the Ebelings were also able to gather information on the admissions process, financial aid as well as student services, athletics and other extracurricular options. “I want to travel abroad,” Emma said. “I took Spanish for four years and I would really like to go to Spain. And I am also interested in the choir here. The choir came to my school last year and they were just really great.”

For many, this college visit weekend is a big part of a big decision, digesting the final bits of information that are needed before a final list of schools can be trimmed down to one and hopefully finding the right fit.

“As my husband said to me when we were taking the tour, ‘Wow, you would never know you are right in the heart of Minneapolis and St. Paul.’ And it’s totally true. It’s quiet, it’s peaceful, it’s beautiful and you really feel like you’re on a campus,” said Jennifer. “You don’t feel like you’re in a big city.”

“I love walking around campus because it is so pretty,” McGill said. “It reminds me a little bit of Hogwarts, especially at night. I really like it.”

Whether it feels magical, mythical or peaceful, the goal for our admissions team was to make future Tommies and their families feel comfortable and, of course, choose St. Thomas!

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