When I decided to pursue a degree in library science, I sought information from about 18 graduate schools, ranging from Kent State in the east to Denver in the west, and from North Texas in the south to St Catherine in the north. I was ready to leave the east coast/ South/ National Capital region and return to the Midwest where I had grown up.
There were two library schools where I would have applied had their deadlines been later. I was so busy with the end of the semester and other December activities in 2006, as well as the beginning of the semester in January 2007 that I could not get the application finished for U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign or U of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, which had deadlines of 15 January and 1 February, respectively. UWM answered a question I had where I needed a neutral expert after the visits mentioned below. I was able to get my application in at the College of St Catherine by the 1st of March. They are not yet accredited; until they are, the degree would be issued by Dominican University.
When they had received all the paperwork necessary, they offered me admission. At that point, I was able to tender my resignation from my teaching position in Virginia. I continued with my applications to the U of Missouri at Columbia and IU at Indianapolis. When all the transcript issues had been worked out, I was accepted in both locations.
On a trip to the Midwest in June, I visited all three schools, spending some time exploring the area around St Paul and Columbia as well. At St Kate, I was able to meet with some people from the department, but not the faculty members from whom I would likely choose my advisor. The library was in the same building as the library school. At least on a warm day in June, it is a pretty campus. I found an island in either a pond or a stream that was the home to several ducks, and there were turtles and a wading bird in the pond eating small fish.
Mizzou (they spell it that way so the Missourie people and the Missoura people get along better) had a bigger campus, and as it was a cloudy day on my visit, I got a little lost. I had been delayed a little in my arrival due to some car trouble in St Louis that was easily fixed. The library school was not in the same building as the library. The library had some half-floors; they went halfway across and were located halfway between the other floors of the building. Some of these were hard to find, and a user would have to take the right staircase to find those books. There was also the possibly of taking my courses through a distance learning center around the state of Missouri or the Missouri valley. I did not meet with any faculty on this visit.
Although I was able to reuse most of my essay from St Kate for my Mizzou application, that was not the case with Indiana. It was when I was visiting some friends and academics in North Dakota, between stops in St Paul, that I received my acceptance from Indiana. IU-SLIS Indy is located inside the University Library at IUPUI. I was able to meet with my actual advisor (having sent her an eMail from my IUPUI account) passing through from Missouri to Virginia. Whereas Indianapolis is the 12th largest city in the country, it is only the 35th largest metropolitan area. The IUPUI campus is located just on the edge of downtown. From the library, it is possible to see the RCA Dome and some of the construction for Lucas Oil Field. Among the other advantages of IU's location is its proximity to the school where I obtained my BA ; I went to a few sporting events at Taylor, or when Taylor visited Indy, this fall. Also, I was able to make a return trip to Indy in July to scout out housing and other aspects of the area that would be helpful to know, and truck rental for the move was less than if I had gone all the way to the Cities.