As spring approaches, parents of high school juniors and seniors need to consider college visits. The National Center for Education Statistics estimated that 21.8 million students started college in 2013. That number is projected to increase in 2014. A lot of children and parents need to explore the options available to them as far as colleges.
There are definite dos and don’ts for college visitation. Make the experience the best you can and hopefully your twelfth grader can make his or her final decision or your eleventh grader can begin to make a list of potential colleges to attend.
Tell The College You Are Coming
Tell the school that you are coming, so your child can get specialized attention. Many schools will put the visitors’ names on a blackboard or marquee welcome. After you notify the school you are attending, arrive early. Visit the school on your own, so you can see all of it, even the warts. No school is perfect, so be prepared to know what you will or will not tolerate. The tour will highlight the best parts of the school, but you will want the complete picture.
Talk to Current Students
Stop and talk to students as you tour. Ask them about the safety, social life, professors, and campus food. If your child knows his or her intended major, try to visit the buildings that house those classes. The rigor and expectations of that major can be determined through talking to the students in that major. If the professors’ offices are in the building and accessible, that is even better. The students will tell you the truth and the professors’ demeanor and approachability will a great gauge for our helpful they might be.
Eat on Campus
If you and your child are considering the campus meal plan eat on campus. If there are several family members visiting with you, sample the different cuisine options. This will allow you to be informed on the flavor of the different choices. You want you child to enjoy the meals they will ingest every single day.
Get a feel for the lay of the land. Many colleges will offer a bus tour, but opt for the walking tour if possible. Just walking among the students and professors can show you a lot.
Make a List
Before you go, make a list of what matters. Check that list as you tour. The lists can be reviewed when you return home and your memory starts to fade.
Spring is in the air, and with the favorable temperatures and blooming flowers, comes decision time. High school junior and seniors have much to consider concerning college. Use these five considerations to help you on this very important journey.