QUESTION: With the majority of students gone, should I even bother visiting campus during summer?
While it’s true that there’s a different vibe on campus, planning to visit colleges during summer is a great way to narrow down your list of preferred colleges, work in a campus visit while on vacation, and let the slower pace on campus work to your advantage.
Here are some ways to make summer visits work for you:
Schedule a visit in advance.
If you know when you’ll be available to visit colleges during summer, sign up in advance for the campus tour and/or information session. Check the college’s web site to see if tours or session times change during the summer.
Make an impromptu visit.
Cruising down the interstate and see a sign for “College X?” Take the exit and follow the signs to campus. A drive-through visit will, at the very least, give you a sense of place. Better yet, get out of the car, walk around, and snap some photos. If you like what you see, drop by the admissions office to get acquainted and learn more about what the school has to offer.
Attend a summer preview day or summer open house program.
Formal campus visit programs will require advance registration and will offer at least a half day of scheduled events. It’s a great way to get a lot out of your time on campus and get a lot of questions answered in one fell swoop.
Make it your own.
One advantage of a summer campus visit is that the pace on campus can be bit a slower. Make this work for you and request to meet with an admissions representative one-on-one. Sometimes making a personal connection on campus makes all the difference in how you see the college.
Once you’re on campus make the most of your college visit by asking questions and by talking with other students. Don’t be afraid to “ask the natives” what they like or don’t like about their college. Be sure to take notes and photos so you’ll be able to recall the experience when it comes to time to choose where to apply.