Summer is an interesting time for college tours. On one hand, it is when students in high school have the most free time to visits campuses, but at the same time, most colleges are out for the summer, making it harder to get a sense of what campus life is like. So knowing that you will most likely be visiting schools over your summer vacation, how do you make the most out of them?
1. Be sure to sign up in advance for tours and information sessions.
Since summer is such a popular time to visit (for the exact reason that you’re visiting them), tours and information sessions tend to fill up quickly. Be sure to register either online or by calling the school’s admissions office to secure your spot. You don’t want to miss out on a school because their tour was full!
Additionally, some schools will “track interest”, or take into consideration whether you’ve visited when they’re making their admissions decisions. Going on the tour and attending the information session tells that school that you’re more interested in them, and thus more likely to attend if offered a spot.
2. Check out the dining hall.
While most will be operating at a lower capacity due to the students being gone, most dining halls should be open during the summer. This is a great way to get a sense of what kind of food you’d be eating for the next four years on that campus, and how it compares to mom’s cooking. This is also a great way to see what kind of offerings a school has any dietary restrictions and how much that would impact what you could eat on that campus.
3. Peek into the dorms.
A lot of schools don’t show dorm rooms during the year because, well, there are students living in them. One of the benefits of visiting over the summer is that there are a lot more open rooms. While some schools may still not want to show them off, there is a much better chance of being able to see where you may be living for the next few years!
4. Visit the area around the school.
The students may have left campus in the summer, but the shops and restaurants in the area around the school will still be there. Explore around the school and see what it is like. You won’t spend all four years on campus, so it is nice to have places to go off it as well.
5. Meet your admissions representative.
Summer is a quiet time for admissions officers. The long hours and craziness of traveling to all of your high schools/college fairs and reading your applications are over and the office will be a little less hectic (tons of visitors aside) in the summer. This provides a perfect opportunity for you to get to meet the representative for your area. This is especially nice with schools that don’t offer interviews as it will allow them to get to know another side of you and put a face to your name. Just remember to always be appropriately dressed and be prepared with questions!
Have any questions about visiting campuses? Don’t hesitate to reach out!