Four things you need to do to plan for college visits

Young women touring beautiful college campus with tour guide

You and your student both want to get the most out of your campus visits, and preparing ahead of time is a great way to ensure that you will.

Making college visits is a critical part of the college-planning experience. These trips take time and money, so you and your student will want to make the most out of each visit. Take some time to prepare with your student ahead of time so that you’re sure to get all the information you need when you’re on campus. Following are four things you and your student should plan to do ahead of time in order to maximize your visit.

  1. Know who you want to talk to. Talk with your student and make a list of everyone you’d like to talk with while you’re on campus. The schools you visit will likely have campus tours that you can arrange to take; however, you may wish to meet individually with others, such as professors, current students, admissions officers, financial aid officers, coaches, etc. Come up with a comprehensive list of everyone you’ll need to meet with, and schedule appointments ahead of time.
  2. Have questions prepared. There is a lot of information to take in during a campus visit, so work with your student to come up with a list of questions to ask each person you’re scheduled to meet with. You can find a list of helpful questions here.*
  3. Make a parent/student plan. It’s likely that you and your student will split up and go your own ways for parts of the visit. It’s important for students to have some time on their own to take in the campus and form their own impressions. As a parent, make a plan for what you can do during this time. Check with the school to see if they have special sessions for parents making campus visits.
  4. Factor in time to take in the town. As you know, there’s more to college life than just the campus. Plan for some time to take in the surrounding community and see if it’s also a fit for your student. Take a few hours to find the nearest grocery store, shopping area and movie theater. Factor in a couple extra hours to drive and walk around town together, or try out the local transit system, if that’s what your student would be using.

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