Spring break is just around the corner! Knock two items off your to-do list by combining your family spring vacation with college visits
. What parent doesn't love getting two things done at once?! Bonus, you’ll get to create more family memories together—before your high school senior
is off to college!
Since most universities have schedules that differ from high schools, visiting on your spring break is a great tactic because you will get to see the school while there's still life on campus. Here is what you should consider when planning your visit road trip
How to Get the Most Out of Your Campus Visits
Get the most out of your family spring break destination and campus visits with these five planning and tour tips.
Your Trip Should Include Stops
Minimize travel time and save gas money by picking a spring break destination that is close to a few colleges you are interested in. Check with the admissions counselor from each college to ensure you are not visiting during their spring break; It is best to see campus when school is in session because you will get to see campus life—staff and students—in action.
Reach out to the admissions team to be sure you do not have to register for a formal information session or campus visit. Some colleges may also request interested students consider virtually visiting or virtual tours of their campus.
See a Variety of Aspects the College Offers
Organize your trip so that you have plenty of time to visit your top-choice colleges. In-person visits should allow time to see residence halls
, and the flexibility to explore what the town offers students off-campus
Experience the food trucks
current college students are excited about and find the entertainment spots college students hangout when they are not on campus. Most towns have a chamber of commerce office; these places usually offer town maps highlighting popular town attractions.
Who Should Join Your Spring Break Campus Visit?
Consider who you should take along for the ride. Siblings and parents are always beneficial because they can help you make the tough decisions by seeing the school with you.
If you have friends considering the same schools, you could invite them to join you on the college tour. They may ask questions you did not think to ask!
Meet Up with Current Students You Know, Make New Connections
If you know anyone that attends the college or university you are visiting, contact them before your visit, letting them know your plans. You may consider meeting up with them to get their perspective as a college student at the university you are interested in attending. If they cannot visit you, ask them if they have any must-see places on or close to campus.
Most campus tours are led by current students. Before your tour, ask the colleges’ admissions reps if any students are available for questions. Or strike up a conversation with college students during any tour breaks. You will get the most truthful answers from students you encounter, rather than students who have already been given “appropriate” responses from the school’s administration.
If you are visiting multiple colleges, you will want to take notes. It can be hard to keep distinct aspects of each school straight. Consider recording voice memos or phone notes as quickly as you can following a visit.
Your notes should include how you felt at each college visit, new questions or unanswered questions, the pros and cons, and other important highlights (even the negatives) of your college visit.
You, and the family, can reference your visit notes to help you make the best college choice—college Decision Day is May 1
—much closer than you think!
Be sure to check out these college visit tips from a campus tour guide