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Windbourne College Consulting

College Visits: How To Plan And What To Look For

As junior year quickly winds down, your family is probably beginning to wonder about college visits & college tours. Specifically, how to plan them, and what to ask while on campus.

Planning a college visit should be fun for your family. A fantastic way to start is to look around your local area to see which schools are available to tour. You can find this information on the website of any school. You may find that your student isn’t very interested in the local campuses but try to tour them anyway. Students often don’t know what to expect and honestly aren’t sure what to look for in a college, so this is good practice. Your student may also have ideas based on name recognition, but that alone isn’t a good indicator of whether a school will be a good fit for your student.

Try to arrange three tours at local universities and then keep notes of what you see. What do you like and what don’t you like? Pay attention to:

  • Size of the campus and student body – you want it to feel right!
  • Campus life – is there a lot of spirit? Are there ample opportunities for your student to engage in campus life, like through clubs or residence hall offerings?
  • Does the school offer academic programs that match your student’s interests?
  • Does the surrounding area provide activities your student may want, like a music scene or outdoor activities?

Your family may also want to conduct visits during a family vacation. Heading to Arizona for Spring Training? Schedule a visit to Arizona State or the University of Arizona, or go check out the mountain campus at Northern Arizona University. These campuses have a vastly different vibe for your student. The same goes for vacation road trips – you can set up a college tour or two on the way to your final destination. (Find a fun lunch spot while you’re at it and get to know the local flavors! We always need driving breaks anyway, right?) You can also find tours at https://campustours.com/.

Deciding where to spend the next four years is a big decision, and the more information you can gather, the easier the transition to college life will be.

COVID-19 also did us one favor – if you want to tour schools but can’t make the trip, practically every school website now features a virtual tour, Zoom appointments with the admissions team, and some even have videos of current students talking about their experiences.

If you manage some tours before the application window opens, you will have a much better idea of where you want to apply. But, of course, you can always tour after applications are out too.

If you’d like help building a college list for your student, we can also help! Give Windbourne College Consulting a call, or contact us today to set up a free consultation.

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