If your child is approaching college age, you may want to consider planning some campus visits. These visits can provide very valuable information that simply cannot be retrieved from a website, brochure or visit with a designated college representative. But how do you choose which colleges you want to attend? And how do you make sure the visits are worthwhile? Here are some tips to maximize your time and enjoyment on campus.
Decide Where to Visit: When your child is seriously considering where to spend their first years away from home, it's obviously a good idea to visit and check things out if you can. But not all families have that option, and the choice of which colleges to visit depends on time and resources. It is recommended to visit a college if your child chooses between several top choices or if they are unsure whether a college will really fit well.
Set boundaries: Get rid of potential conflicts with your young adult child by having an open discussion about what is important to them and what is important to you in relation to the visit. Plan to visit certain places together and let your child do and explore certain things on their own.
Prepare questions: As any professional knows, the key to getting what you want is to ask the right questions. This in turn is because you first know what you want. Both you and your child should prepare a list of questions for potential professors, admissions counselors, and students.
Taking in the Environment: It may seem obvious, but do not forget to use your college visit to explore and experience things you would not otherwise be able to do. Attend a campus concert or lecture, check out local student hangouts, and get to know the city your child may live in. campus according to criteria that are important to them. Do they feel welcome and comfortable? Can they see themselves living in the dormitories? Are the programs and academics inspiring? Getting your child to register their thoughts will help them see clearly and make an informed decision.
Visiting in the time of COVID:
Are college visits still worth it during a pandemic? The answer is: maybe. If someone in your family is at high risk, it may make sense to stay home. But if you get creative and commit to learning more about the colleges your student is considering, you can still go beyond the brochure and gain a better understanding of the places you want to visit. Take a virtual tour, contact current and former students; Explore the city, the weather, the professors and do what you can to help your student learn as much as they can without a personal visit. If you decide to make the trip, be sure to find out each college's requirements for visits during COVID. Take as many precautions as possible to minimize your risk and be prepared to skip or postpone your trip if you or your family are ill or at risk.
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