Have you ever wondered what goes into making the most of a college visit? Look no farther, I have some great tips that can help you with that very process.
Just this past summer, we started the process of searching for and going on visits to colleges for my son. I have to say, the first time was completely intimidating. I think I was more nervous than my son was.
The key to making the most of a college visit is to plan ahead!
Seems simple enough, right? Yeah, I thought so too, until I went into that college visit completely unprepared. Thankfully, there are websites like Follett to get you started on some reading. They have some great posts about financial aid, which is a big part of college. If you do some research ahead of time, it won’t be so overwhelming.
So here are a few things I have learned during our visits. I hope they can help you, as well.
Making the most of college visits for parents:
- Start early. I can’t stress that enough. We started during the summer before my son’s junior year. We also have a list of places we are visiting next summer, as well.
- Talk to your child about what they want to do. This is important. If a college doesn’t offer what your child needs to succeed, then don’t waste your time or the college’s by visiting.
- Grab a college guide and start marking it up. See what schools are the best equipped to give your child the best education. Rule out ones that don’t fit the bill.
- Make a list of questions you would like answered. Go beyond majors and financial aid. Think about life outside of school. Are there good hospitals around? What about public transportation?
- Take time to research the college online. Look at the campus map. Take a peek at costs, but don’t let that deter you. Read reviews from current and former students.
- Have an open mind. You may think you love a college, and when you get there, it is not what you think. And vice versa, as well.
Making the most of a college visit for potential students:
- Be willing to sit and listen. Be considerate of the people that WANT to be there. You may be bored, but there are people that actually want to listen and learn. We had a presentation at an Ivy League school that was distracting because the kids behind us spent most of the time talking. It is disrespectful!
- Wear good walking shoes. Campus tours are often done simultaneously, so be prepared to do a lot of walking.
- Have a notepad for taking notes. Colleges generally have folders with information, but a speaker may tell you about something that is not in the folder. You can then jot it down.
- As suggested for the parents, come prepared with questions. Don’t just talk about majors or dorm rooms. Be bold, and ask “What can you do for me?” Ask about activities, nearby places, etc.
- Be there because you want to. Don’t visit a college because a friend is visiting. Go because you think that college will give you the best possible education!
- Ask yourself a very important question! Can you imagine spending at least 4 years of your life on that campus? Will you be happy there? Remember to take pictures so you can look back at them when it comes time to make a decision.
While this isn’t a complete guide, there is enough information here to get you started on making the most of a college visit. Remember, the sky is the limit, what you do is up to you!
So whether you child is headed to college or back to school for the regular school year, Follett can help you get your year started off right!
What are your best back to school tips?
*This post is written by me on behalf of Follett, a leading provider of education technology, services and print and digital content. While I was compensated to craft this post, all thoughts and opinions contained within are 100% my own