How to do college visits right.
It is a rite of passage. High school students and their parents embark on a voyage of discovery to colleges all over the country. Often times the first college visit is guided by a somewhat vague idea of what the high school student is looking for, and sometimes the visit is determined by a parent’s vague idea of what they want for their student.
One of the first questions that clients ask us is: “should we visit colleges before applying?” Like the answer to many questions we receive at Monumental Beginnings, the answer to that question is “it depends.” Visiting colleges is as individual a decision per family as choosing a college is. At Monumental Beginnings we recommend college visits that are deliberate, timely, and don’t break the budget. When your student is in middle school or freshman and sophomore year, it is sometimes fun to visit colleges when you are traveling. This helps students think about college, and get a feel for what a type of college interests them. When our oldest was in high school our family college visits helped our younger child determine what he didn’t want in a college, and allowed for much more ease when he was deciding where to go. As students get older, families may want to organize college visits according to the type of college or geographical location, and we always recommend visiting your local and state colleges before making any decisions about out of state colleges. The right college may be your own state university! Also, one can always visit after being admitted, and most schools offer admitted student days that allow your senior to really get a feel for the campus.
Here’s a link to a great article about college visits, and how to make them valuable and meaningful. Happy Spring, and Happy College Visiting Everyone!
Annamarie Brachfeld, BA, MAEd, IEC
Co-Owner, Monumental Beginnings
Specializing in test prep, school success, and college essay