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College Tour Tip: Let the Kids do the Talking

Fotolia_17029495_XS A college tour is not just about listening to the tour guide or information session host. It’s also about talking with others and asking questions.

RELATED: College Visit DON’Ts

While parents attend college tour events loaded down with questions about campus safety, tuition costs, financial aid, and housing, it’s the teen who ultimately decides if the school is worthy of the effort it takes to apply, enroll, and live there for four or more years. So, let the teens do the talking.

RELATED: Parents – Can you handle the truth about college?

College and university web sites typically already provide answers to satisfy the parent’s laundry list of questions, so while on campus, give your child some space and let him or her know it’s okay to ask current students what they like or don’t like about their college.

RELATED: Student-to-Student: Questions to ask on a college visit

Families may even want to split up and have the teen head out with the campus tour guide while mom and dad attend the information session, then trade places for the next schedule of events. (Many schools will offer more than one tour and info session during weekday visits.) Or, consider not sitting together when attending a session together. Perhaps a sense of autonomy will stimulate a deeper level of engagement.


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Some of these items may come in handy as you hit the college visit trail.* Absolutely pack rain gear and other weather-appropriate items. No need to be miserable when a little planning prevents it.

*Smart College Visit is an Amazon Affiliate Partner.