Tour Thoughts: University of Miami

It took a little longer to get this one posted than I’d planned, sorry about that. December is a crazy month, and with only one week at home due to a cheer competition weekend and a visit to family for Christmas, I almost forgot about this. This is competition weekend, and currently my daughter’s holed up in our hotel room (for the 2nd day in a row) studying for her AP Psych final, so I figured now would be a good time to get this out.

This won’t be a complete review, as we only stayed for the tour, and not the admissions presentation. She’d applied to Miami before we took the tour, and having sat through so many of those already, just didn’t see the point.That, and we were tired, and very much looking forward to getting on a boat the next day 🙂

Let me start with a positive: UM is one of the most beautiful campuses we visited, even with it being overcast and raining off and on while we were there. Plenty of greenery, some nice buildings, and a great layout. Once you arrive on campus, you almost forget it’s located in the middle of a very busy area. Coming from our hotel near the airport, traffic sucked as much as it ever did in L.A.. We left the room close to an hour and a half before the tour and still only arrived 15 min early. Driving on to campus, it was like we’d entered a completely different world from the rest of Miami.

Let’s back up a bit, too. UM has possibly the most annoying admissions department we’ve dealt with of any college we’ve toured so far. When we registered, we got a confirmation email telling us we’d get a second email with all of the details we needed for the day of the tour. That second email never came. Junk folders were checked, and checked again. A week before we arrived, we emailed them, asking for confirmation of our tour time, and for the information we never got. The response we got from admissions was: “We have two tours a day, one of 10am and one at 1pm”. Yea, we knew that, but with everything else going on, had forgotten which one we signed up for, and since we never got the informational email, weren’t sure. We called a couple of days later, only to basically get the same response from whomever we talked to. She didn’t bother to look it up, just told us the two available times, and said we should have gotten the informational email by now. Yea, we knew that, but it never came. She said they’d re-send it, and asked for the email address on the registration.

Fast forward to the day of the tour, and unsurprisingly we still never got that second email. Nothing in the inbox, and nothing in the junk folder. The arrival of the initial email tells me the email address was entered right on the tour signup form, so not sure what happened there, we just had to figure things out on our own. No biggie, and we were able to figure out where to go when we got there, we just never really got the sense that admissions felt like being helpful to those interested in their campus.

On the tour itself, we really liked most of what we saw. The sample dorm they showed was a bit cramped for two people, however:

UM Dorm


It has been a little over three weeks since we toured, so my memory on the size of this (as compared to other dorms) could be off.

Other than the dorms, they’ve got a really great campus. Our tour guide did a really good job explaining everything along the way, and answering most of the questions that came up. They do have (what’s supposed to be) a strong program for my daughter’s desired area of study, so like Eckerd, if she didn’t get in to her top two in SoCal, but did get in here and one or two others in SoCal, I think she’d have a tough choice.

Honestly, my only other gripe with UM is CaneLink, which is their student portal. Like a handful of other colleges, it’s also the same portal used by prospective students to check application status. Speaking as a software engineer specializing in web presence, it’s one of the worst interfaces out there. Very plain, with a very non-intuitive UI, and to this day, their system shows that her application is missing transcripts. We’ve triple checked that with her guidance counselor at school, and they were sent back in October. The school even has confirmation from Miami that they received it on 10/31, yet it still shows as missing on CaneLink Reading a few posts on other sites (like this one), it seems she’s not alone, making it seem like a poorly designed system.

That’s it for the college tours. Yea, I know, I said something similar after our last SoCal tour (USD), but I’m confident we’re done now (unless she wants to tour University of Phoenix 🙂 ). With one acceptance in the bag, even if she didn’t get in anywhere else, she’s got an option she likes, so I don’t expect to be going on any more tours. Our next round of acceptances should be coming in starting in a week or so (beginning with one of her top choices), so fingers are crossed. We’ll be in Ohio visiting family during that time, so we’re hoping to come back and find good news.

Enjoy the pics of UM, and good luck to all of the seniors out there who are going through this right now!

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One thought on “Tour Thoughts: University of Miami

  1. I cannot agree more on the fact that CaneLink is almost useless as it rarely works the way it is supposed to (if you can find what you need). It also omitted some very important information that used to be included with the MyUM system that is a nightmare for financial aid. I will say that, as a student here, I have had the pleasure of having some great professors at UM but, aside from financial aid department, it is pretty much hit or miss with the university administration when it comes to information or needing help with a problem – university or not, they forget that they are in the service industry.

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