See Some Schools On Your Own
If youre comfortable traveling alone, try visiting schools without your family. While they can provide helpful advice, bringing relatives along can greatly add to the cost of college visits.
Seeing the school on your own can also help you evaluate the school objectively, without someone elses opinion influencing you.
Are Campus Visits Necessary
Ideally, yes. The main reason has to do with being able to see yourself attending the college. This is more important the smaller the college. The second reason to visit the campus is because some colleges view them a sign of interest and will take level of interest into consideration in admission decisions.
How Early Should You Begin Visiting Schools
It may be beneficial to schedule one or two trips to nearby colleges while your child is in their freshman or sophomore year. This is simply to get them thinking about colleges and getting into the mode of college planning.
There is also some evidence to suggest that visiting a college early and often can actually boost your chance of admission in that college. Admissions officers will see when and how often a student has visited when researching the student and take an early visit as a good indication of the students serious interest. Students who express serious interest are more likely to get accepted and often receive better financial aid packages. Admissions officers are able to invest time in your student early and get a good feel for whether or not this student is a good fit.
We recommend doing the bulk of your visits when your child is in their junior year after they have already done some research into what they are looking for. Its common for a student to fall in love with a school during the college tour, so you want to make sure any school you visit is one that is a good choice for your student, both academically and financially.
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When Should My Student Take A Campus Tour
If it is a prerecorded tour, they can take an online tour when its convenient for them . If its a live virtual tour, they will probably have to register for a session, so they should do that as soon as they can. Your student should plan an in-person tour for a weekday, and preferably not a Friday. This is because theyll want to get the most accurate picture of what campus is like, and many students arrange their schedules so that they dont have Friday classes. Plus, with all the students and faculty around, your student can start a conversation with someone who attends or teaches at the school to gain some further insight.
What Should You Take On A College Visit
Pack light if you can, and make sure to bring something to record your trip, whether thats a notebook to take notes in or simply your phone to take pictures with. Jotting down your thoughts and impressions will help you remember what you liked and didnt like about each college.
Before you visit, you might also choose to set up special meetings, such as an interview with an admissions officer, a meeting with a financial aid counselor or professor or a class observation.
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When To Visit: The College Tour Circuit
Before you decide when to visit a college campus, remember why you’re going: To see it in person and evaluate it as a possible environment for a four-year academic and social experience. But does that mean going when fall colors are at their peak, summer breezes are blowing or snow is drifting around Old Main? When classes are in session or when campus is quiet?
Colleges and universities have created all kinds of visit programs for prospective families, from the standard campus tour and information session to overnight visits where high schoolers can stay with a current student. Some ask that you register beforehand, others let you drop in whenever they have admission office hours scheduled. Always check with each institution to see what they expect you to do before stepping onto campus. Ultimately, though, it’s up to you to decide when you’re ready to see quads, cupolas, commons and classrooms. Here are some visit seasons–considering primarily traditional four-year institutions–with their pros and cons.
For high schools, March usually means a week of spring break. Many families of high school juniors see this period as a good time to visit campuses, but I consider it the most problematic.
Fall Break or Weekends
Whenever you choose to go, enjoy the trip!
What Should I Do On A College Tour
10 Things You Should Do on Every College Visit
- Talk to students.
- Visit the office of your academic department chair.
- Size up the gym and on-campus athletic facilities.
- Locate the health center.
- Stop by the admission office.
- Survey the classrooms.
How Should My Student Arrange A Tour
Your student can start figuring out what their college visit tours will look like based on two things: what the colleges they are interested in are offering, and what you and your student are comfortable with. Most colleges are offering virtual tours of campus and many are also offering in-person, socially distanced tours with fewer people than normal.
If a college that your student has their eye on is offering only virtual tours, then that is their only campus tour option. But as long as the campus is open, your student can go to campus and have a look around on their own if they wish. If a college offers virtual and in-person tours, your student should take a virtual tour first. If they still like the college after taking a virtual tour, and they are comfortable going in person, their next step should be to sign up for an in-person tour. The earlier they sign up, the better most schools doing in-person tours are reducing the number of people allowed on a tour, so your students options could be more limited.
Establish Your Budget From The Start
First off, its important to figure out your budget from the start. Determine how much you can afford to pay for campus visits without breaking the bank.
Once you have your budget, you can choose which schools to prioritize and which ones to leave off your list.
If, for example, you can visit five nearby schools for the same cost as one college thats located across the country, it might be more worthwhile to stay local.
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When It Comes To Campus Tours The Earlier You Start The Less Stressed You Will Be
In junior year, time quickly gets away from you especially if you play sports. So start your research, make your list of schools, and schedule those college visits early. Research colleges online and make a list of schools that interest you based on majors, size, location, school spirit and more. Our article What to Look for When Searching for Colleges can help you get started.
In 9th grade you can certainly dabble in college visits. In 10th grade, you should definitely jump in and start taking tours and signing up for information sessions. It is important to get a flavor for what it is like to be on a college campus and what to look for and the earlier the better. This will give you an opportunity to really cast a wide net, then narrow down your college search so you can find schools that fit you best.
And, by getting this head start early, you will be less stressed when it comes time for completing those college applications. You will have an idea of what you like and dont like about the schools you were interested in. And, you may even have more time available to visit those on the top of your list a second time.
Researching Colleges On The Sly
If you want to do advanced research on colleges that fit your childs interests, make it stealth research only. With some exceptions, its too early for most sophomores to care. They have other things to worry about that are more pertinent to being sophomores.Lynn OShaughnessy is the author of Shrinking the Cost of College, a workbook available on her website. She also writes a college blog for CBSMoneyWatch. On Twitter follow her .
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What Do You Do On A College Visit
College visits usually involve a campus tour led by a volunteer college student. They might also involve an information session with current students and/or admissions officers.
Youll get to tour campus, check out facilities and ask questions. Some schools also offer programs for prospective students to stay in a dorm overnight.
Plus, you might also be able to schedule an interview with an admissions officer or meet with a financial aid counselor.
Note that most colleges have COVID-19 pandemic restrictions in place this year. You might be limited to a virtual tour or a socially distanced outdoor tour.
They Also Don’t Offer Interview Opportunities There Are Just Too Many Students Who Apply
When it comes to the college, how soon is too soon to start touring? To make the most of your visits, you should prepare thoughtful questions to ask on a college tour. You might arrange to attend a class or two. I recommend going there after you visit the grey beards. A student needs to see colleges and prepare early to increase their chances of being competitive. Acceptance letters often arrive in march and april and the deposit deadline is typically may 1. Since admissions requirements and deadlines vary a great deal among colleges, getting an early start is a must. When it comes to deciding whether or not colleges are right for you, nothing beats a firsthand campus visit. Visit colleges to start finding things you like and don’t like about campuses. They also don’t offer interview opportunities there are just too many students who apply. Visiting campuses, particularly ones that aren’t close to you, can get expensive, when you factor in travel, hotels, and meals out. If you visit many schools, your memories of them are bound to overlap. Before the december holidays vacation, they usually have a reading period, a week or two during which students study for finals and then take their exams.
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Meet The Other Experts
Stop by the admissions office and introduce yourself. Let them know what interests you about the school so they can direct you to the best place for further investigation. Collect contact information and send a brief, friendly e-mail thanking them for taking the time to talk to you.
If there is a signup sheet, add your name! Colleges do keep track of which applicants have demonstrated genuine interest in the school. A visit is a great way to demonstrate your interest.
Some schools will let you interview with an admissions rep during your campus visit. If this opportunity is available, don’t pass it up.
College Visits: Tips For Making The Most Of Your Trips
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Take Notes On Your Impressions
If you make college campus visits, be sure to record your impressions of each school through notes and photos. College visits are a lot to take in, especially if youre visiting multiple schools in a short period of time.
Your college visits might feel like a whirlwind as youre doing them, but once youre back home, your notes and photos can help you sort through your impressions and choose your favorite schools.
Check Out Virtual Tours First
More and more schools are offering virtual tours of their campuses and classrooms. eCampus Tours is a site that provides online tours of over 1,300 schools. While its not the same as seeing the campus in person, going through the virtual tour can help you get a feel for the school and its culture.
For example, if you plan on majoring in science and technology and the online tour features an outdated lab, you can write that school off your list.
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That Way You Have Some Advance Shouts And You Should At Least Have 130 Mana Points
It is essential that you check the list of approved and prohibited items from your college before you move in. They also don’t offer interview opportunities there are just too many students who apply. Sophomore year is usually too early to visit. If possible, it’s best to visit colleges before your applications are due. Meet with your counselor to see what you still need to take. Consider this preparation for the college visits that really matter. I visited colleges with my s in late august/early sept of junior year, spring break april of junior year, and late august/early sept of senior year. This guide will provide you with a comprehensive college visit checklist of questions for your tour guide, current students, admissions officers, financial aid officers, and professors. It’s also best to go is when the college is in session. You may want to put off the actual visits until you are absolutely sure that you’re interested in the schools. That way, you can be confident you’d be happy at any of the colleges you’re applying to. This is the first major decision of a young person’s life, and it helps to have enough time to absorb and digest. Since admissions requirements and deadlines vary a great deal among colleges, getting an early start is a must.
Schedule Your Visit Today
One of the best ways to determine whether North Central College is the right fit for you is to visit. Whether youre an admitted student looking to discuss questions surrounding your final decision, an applicant with questions about completing your application, or a prospective student just starting your college search, our counselors are ready to assist you and your family. We have limited in-person options and several virtual options.
Masks are required indoors for all individuals regardless of vaccination status.
Learn more about each visit option or explore dates available through our online events registration page. When you find the right option, submit your registration
Non-degree and graduate degree-seeking students should set up a visit with Graduate and Professional Studies
If you are looking to schedule a group visit, please contact our Visit Coordinator at 630-637-5810.
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Any Advice For When Theyre On The In
Your student might want to bring a way to take notes while on the tour. Theyll be getting lots of information and probably wont remember all of it without writing it down. This is also an excellent opportunity to have all their questions answered, so they should be sure to take full advantage of it. Finally, they might want to get the contact info of someone they can follow up with if any questions come up after the tour is over.
Whether in-person or virtual, your student should take a tour. They are an invaluable tool while deciding on the right college.
Work Around Your Vacation Plans
Have a family vacation coming up? Try to combine your college visits with the trip.
If youre flying to Florida and are considering the University of Central Florida, you can spend a day at the school in the middle of your vacation. That will save you money, since you wont have to go on a separate flight and book another hotel for more college visits.
If your vacation includes a road trip, make a small detour here and there to include schools on your list. While it may add a day or two to your trip, it will save you money in the long run since youre already on the road.
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Are Sophomores Ready For College Visits
If you visit campuses when your child is a sophomore, make it part of a fun family trip and low key it. It is anxiety producing for your sophomore to seriously consider the idea that high school will end and he or she will be moving away from home.Teens live in the NOW therefore college is a remote, surrealistic concept for sophomores. If a desirable college is a convenient stop on a family trip, walk the campus but you dont need to enroll in an information session just yet. A low-key campus walk can help a student file away mental pictures of what an acceptable college might look and feel like. Thats all you want right now.If other families are visiting campuses this early, you may feel like you are remiss by not doing so. We are all affected by our peers, parents as well as children. Misguided parents who are prematurely stressing about the college process are doing harm, not only to their own teenagers, but to the whole school community by escalating the hype. Try to follow your own inner compass. Restraint will serve your adolescent best.