In early November The Girl and The Wife visited West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. West Texas A&M has a very, very strong equine program and The Girl can earn a degree in
Agribusiness/Equine Industry and Business, which is her dream major. As such, WTAMU was easily #2 on The Girl’s list of prospective schools, right behind Texas A&M.

As with the summary from the Texas Tech visit, I did not attend this visit, so everything I’m posting is second hand information coming from The Wife and The Girl.

Per my usual, here are the  Top and Bottom takeaways from the visit:

Top 5/Bottom 5 from the West Texas A&M University Tour

Top 5 Experiences at WTAMU (plus one bonus item!)

  1. The school is small, much smaller than any of the campuses The Girl has visited to date. She LOVED the more intimate setting and how easy the campus was to navigate. The Wife and The Girl spent Friday night exploring the campus on their own and during their “official” visit on Saturday, The Girl was already confident in providing directions. She knew where various buildings were and how to navigate the entire school.
  2. The College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences is building a new Agricultural Sciences Complex that is scheduled to open in 2018, while The Girl would be matriculating there. The designs for the new facility are spectacular. This might have been the most exciting news for The Girl, but it came in fourth behind…
  3. On the Friday they visited the campus, The Wife and The Girl met with the coach for the Western Equestrian Team and got the full scope of the program. That meeting blew The Girl’s socks off. She was so impressed with the program, the coach, and the handling of the team. Plus, the coach introduced The Girl to members of the team. While extremely cool, that could only rank as the third best highlight behind…
  4. After introducing The Girl to team members, the coach invited The Girl to sit in on a class that was currently in session. While observing the class (a horse training class), the team members The Girl just met came over to the stands and chatted with The Girl and The Wife. They were extremely friendly, answered every question The Girl had and were really encouraging. The Girl was among peers who she completely related to. She really enjoyed the interaction and finding a group of ladies who have the same interests and passions that she does. However, the true, #1 highlight of the entire WTAMU visit was…
  5. They spent Saturday experiencing WTAMU during their “Discover WT” event. They got to meet professors, students, administrators, and more. They toured the campus, got to see classrooms, explore dorms, and eat lunch in the cafeteria. It was a full immersion into WTAMU and it was amazing. However, the true highlight of the Discover WT event was when some girls from the Western Equestrian Team remembered The Girl and stopped by to say “Hi” and visit while they were eating lunch. That was super awesome of the ladies and really impressed the hell out of The Girl.
  6. As a bonus, the Western Equestrian Team was hosting a reining clinic on Sunday. Instead of heading back home right away, The Wife and The Girl decided to extend their stay by a few hours and see what it was all about. The Girl was extremely impressed with the competition, it was high school riders showing their stuff. However, what really made the event for The Girl was when the Western Equestrian Team came over and said “Hi” to The Girl and talked her through the events going on. She had some of the best competitors in the country explaining what was happening. Not only that, but they remembered her name and treated her as an equal. They made her feel so welcome. Simply awesome!

While these were all awesome experiences, you can’t have good without having bad.

Bottom 5 Experiences at WTAMU

  1. The school is a six hour drive away from home. It’s a long frickin’ way! Should The Girl decide to attend WTAMU, having her horse there would complicate things. She wouldn’t be able to easily just swing home on a long weekend if she was feeling homesick.
  2. Some of the dorms don’t have air conditioning. Weird, huh? However, I don’t know that Canyon experiences the same weather patterns as The Girl is used to. Maybe it doesn’t get as hot as Dallas?
  3. It snows enough there that it piled up to the roof of the barn during a recent snowstorm. The Girl doesn’t like the cold, so it would be interesting to see how she handles that.
  4. That’s about it. I’ve got nothing else!
  5. Yeah, only 3 real things were on the “bad” list and none of them are too serious.

Overall Results

West Texas A&M impressed the hell out of The Girl and The Wife. They were blown away by how friendly everyone was, how beautiful the school is, how easy it is to navigate, just about everything left a positive impression. Not only that, but, according to The Girl, West Texas A&M is now the clear #1 choice for her higher education! We still have 3 schools to visit, so anything could change, but The Girl hasn’t taken off her WTAMU Buffaloes sweatshirt since she got it.

Like with Texas Tech, The Wife and The Girl met with a current student to get the “inside scoop” on WTAMU. The student had very complimentary things to say about the school. Her one complaint was that the school is very equine-focused, which is a major plus for The Girl.

The best parts from my perspective are that with The Girl’s strong ACT score, she is assured admission to WTAMU (and qualifies for some solid scholarship money!). The other huge positive for me is the cost. WTAMU is about half the cost of the other schools The Girl is looking at. I’m a cheap bastard, so that’s a MAJOR plus from my perspective!

We’re taking a break from school visits for now. The Girl has decided that she wants to hold off on any further visits until this summer. In fact, she’s not sure that she actually wants to visit two of the three remaining schools on her list. She loved WTAMU that much! She still has to visit Texas A&M, which was her previous #1 school. It will be very interesting to see how that huge school stacks up with the more intimate experience of WTAMU. I can’t wait. This journey is so very exciting!

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