Emails and postcards are flooding inboxes and cluttering kitchen counters of high school juniors all across the country. These promotional materials invite prospective college students to tour campuses, attend information sessions and visit open houses. There’s no question that college visits are an important piece of the college search. Some teens enthusiastically embrace visiting campuses, while others need a little encouragement. A well thought out plan can save time, help alleviate stress and build enthusiasm. Before hitting the road, keep in mind the following college visit tips.
Begin with schools your teen is excited about There is no better way to get that reluctant student on board than to visit a school that is on his/her radar. It’s human nature!
Don’t overschedule Do not visit more than two schools a day and allow ample travel time between schools. Make sure you arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled visit.
Incorporate college visits into a vacation Build a vacation around a few college visits. If you are driving to Cape Cod for a summer vacation, plan to see a few schools on the way in New England. (Hint: better to visit 2-4 schools before the family vacation when everyone is fresh.)
Be flexible Be prepared to modify the schedule. If your son or daughter is on information overload scale back a bit. Sometimes attending an information session and tour at each school is too much for the individual student. Consider just going on the tour at schools that your student has already researched online.
Allow time to absorb the experience Refrain from asking your teenager what they think as soon as you get into the car. Give your son or daughter time to process what they saw and heard.
Keep your opinions to yourself No matter how you feel about the school, try to remain neutral. Let your son/daughter form his/her own opinions. Often, a student’s opinion changes, as he/she gets deeper into the process.
Build in fun and downtime To avoid burnout and fuel the enthusiasm, have fun along the way. Explore the area, eat in new restaurants, attend a ball game and see the nearby sights.
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