With Summer 2021 in full-swing and the country reopening, it seems appropriate to write about the college visit – a right-of-passage for high schoolers and parents. Summer is a popular time for college visits simply because everyone has more time to make short and long-haul trips. And, this summer, as campuses begin to accept visitors again, I expect families to flock to college campuses.
Ideally, I believe that families should start visiting colleges in the summer following 10th grade or later as a student’s high school presentation begins to solidify. Older students are more engaged in college conversations and can imagine themselves taking part in the diverse aspects of college life.
In my college advising practice, determining social and academic “fit” between a student and a college is critical. As such, the college visit is a complement to substantive college research (done prior to the campus visit) to identify specifically what the match is between the student and the university.
Consistently, students will report to getting (or not) a “vibe” on campus. And, while adults may look for more concrete reasons that a student falls in love with or rejects a college, often it just a feeling the student gets listening to an information session, walking the campus, and speaking with students.
These steps will help you and your student maximize campus visits, record your thoughts, and identify a clear fit with the universities they are applying to.