There is virtually no better time to do college tours than during spring break. Your teen is off from school for a week. The weather is improving and most colleges will be in session. (Unless they are on spring break as well).
Here are a few suggestions for putting together a successful multi-college campus tour:
Create a plan: I am a huge believer in planning ahead. Especially when it affects some of life’s most important decisions. The college selection process is one of those. Take time to plan where, when, and what you’ll be doing during the trip.
Put together an itinerary: Make certain to map out the colleges you plan to visit by using MapQuest or Google Maps to get a clear idea of how long it will take you to travel to each college on your tour. Consider any campus guided tour and information session times before you schedule anything. Don’t assume there will always be someone available at the college to give you a tour. Most schools have select times and limits to how many families can go on those tours. Some do not offer tours on certain weekends. Book online through the college website and reserve your college tour times as far in advance as possible.
Build in free time: Make certain to check out the surrounding areas of each college. Don’t forget to mix in some fun family activities while you’re at it. Many families make this a mini-vacation.
Getting a feel for the city or town’s restaurants, sites and local college hangouts will give your teen a feel for the social aspect of that college. Remember, the social aspect of college is a big deal.
There are three (3) major factors in selecting the right college. The right college will be a good fit… financially, academically and socially.
If anyone of those factors is missing, the chances for getting in and out of college in four years or less drops dramatically.
The social aspect is important. And the campus tour is arguably the best time for your child to get a feel for how they will fit in. If sports is a big draw, you can go to a sporting event on campus to experience the spirit of the school and the teams.
Dress the part: Wear shoes that are comfortable and good for walking on your college tours. You will walk a lot. Students should dress nicely but not overdress.
Take notes: A multi-college tour will leave your head spinning. It is best to take notes as you go along. You will be able to look back over your notes and objectively focus on the pros and cons of each college visit. Include photos in your data gathering.
Lastly, make certain you have a list of questions you want answered as you conduct each college tour. This will help you compare each school. Happy touring!
“If you have any other questions about selecting a college, or the admissions process, feel free to contact me through my website at www.Prep4CollegeNow.com or call me at 760.877.7200. I’d love to answer your questions!”
Andrea K. Frimmer, M. Ed.
Prep 4 College Now, Inc.
Excerpted from College Made Simple, Jodi Polster, Educational Director