Poring over college websites and catalogs can give you an idea about the schools you are researching, but nothing can compare to the information – and feel – that you gain from a campus visit. In this blog post, I give you three reasons to tour the schools you are interested in this summer – before sending in your application or making a commitment to attend.
You Have The Time. Why is summer a good time for you to visit colleges? For one, you have the time to visit. Since it is summer, you are likely living at a more relaxed pace and not juggling classes, homework, athletics, extracurriculars, or any other activity that consumes your time during the school year. Although the pace is slower and many college students go home during the summer, some students stay on campus and they can give you a sense of campus life. If your summer visit is positive and you decide to apply, then you might consider going back during the academic year when classes are in session. You can do this in the fall of your senior year, or you can wait to see if you are admitted before returning for a visit in the winter or spring of your senior year as you make your final enrollment decision.
Increased Opportunity. Visiting in the summer is an excellent time for rising juniors to visit different types of colleges to start thinking about what college features they like best. It is also an ideal time for rising seniors to confirm that the college(s) that are on their interest list are actually good fits. During your visit, you may also want to consider interviewing if it is an option. After all, your visit is your chance to show the college you are interested and are serious about attending. This is an important part of your visit because many colleges and universities pay attention to something called 'demonstrated interest' –colleges want to know if applicants are seriously interested and taking the time to visit is one way of showing that. So, the bottom line is, if you can make the trip to the colleges you are applying to, then you should – for your own benefit and to demonstrate that you are a serious potential applicant.
Even More Opportunity. Many colleges now offer Summer Open House events. These opportunities come in the form of more in-depth tours, information sessions, opportunities to meet professors and students in your degree program, and much more. During these events, you will have more time to talk to people on campus and not feel rushed as you explore.
Tip: Many students and families are traveling to visit colleges during the summer and often combine their trip with a family vacation, so consider what attractions may be near your destination when making plans. Also, it is a great time for younger siblings to see schools, too. Plan a fun scavenger hunt for them and your family to look for different things such as searching for a mascot or school colors, interesting buildings, or unique features.
Want to learn more about why you should visit colleges in the summer? Contact Creative College Connections at 703-597-7906 for more information.