College visits can be an exciting time, when they’re taken at the right time.
I learned this over 40 years ago when my mother and I came to visit Rutgers during the summer after my junior year. Back then, my mother and I did the campus tour in her car, using a map that we had received in the admissions office. Today, Rutgers has a well-staffed visitors center, including well-informed student ambassadors. But you get far less from summer college visits to campus, especially on Fridays, than you would if you came during the fall or spring semesters. Far fewer students are around, many facilities are closed.
If your interests lean towards liberal arts colleges in smaller college towns, summer college visits make sense when there is a special program of interest on campus, one where you might meet faculty in a possible area of study. Gettysburg College, for example, has several summer programs for high school students, most notably a Civil War Institute Summer Conference. Oberlin College hosts several music workshops through its conservatory, including a nine-day Vocal Academy. Your visit might be longer than most, but you will be able to find out:
There are some schools where summer college visits much like those you would take during the fall and spring would make sense. Look for the following:
College visits, while time consuming, are the best way to learn if a campus and community are your best fit. Given the costs of a college education, they are well worth the investment. But you also want to get the best possible picture of a school, whether you come in the fall, spring or summer.
Need coaching for your campus visits as you work through your college list? Contact me at email@example.com or call me at 609-406-0062.
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