Have a Child in Middle or High School and a Trip Planned this Spring Break or Summer?
4 Reasons You Should Work in College Visits on those Trips:
1. Your child will see a greater variety of universities by getting an early start!
Ideally, students should not apply to a college they have not visited. Visiting colleges takes time especially when students are open to applying to colleges across the country. If students wait until their junior year, they will most likely be applying to colleges based on what they think a college is like rather than basing that impression on firsthand experience. Starting as early as middle school, I recommend working in college visits while on vacation. It’s an affordable, organic way to get a jumpstart on what can be a time-consuming process. Try to schedule a school tour and admissions session if possible, and ignore the naysayers who question why such a young student is visiting. Many of the current seniors I am working with wish they delved into this process earlier. None of them were able to visit all the schools they applied to and now are scrambling to see the campuses they’ve been accepted to before the May 1 deadline.
2. Visiting an assortment of schools can help your child determine the size/type of college that best suits him or her.
There are so many factors that go into choosing a college such as size (large, medium, small) or type (research or liberal arts). When working colleges into an existing trip, try to pick a range of sizes from a large research college to a smaller liberal arts college and everything in between. Exposure to different size campuses will help your child determine what best suits him or her.
3. Seeing colleges in different locales will help your child know where he or she would feel comfortable living.
While some students go away to college and the transition is seamless, for many, attending college away from home can be a huge adjustment. Students may be living in an unfamiliar location far from a city and with a dramatic change in weather. Ideally, you should try to work in colleges that cover a variety of locales and conditions, and starting this process early can help you cover more territory so your child can get a feel for areas of the country he or she likes or doesn’t like.
4. Just stepping foot on college campuses can motivate younger students!
Many college campuses have that WOW factor, and experiencing being on one can make your child even more determined to do well in school. Also, hearing the admissions requirements and how selective some colleges are can be an additional motivating factor.
Visiting is crucial because chemistry is hard to predict. It’s similar to a blind date; someone thinks you are going to love it, but you won’t know until you see it for yourself.