Summer College Visits: Plan Ahead

Summer college visits are a great way to check out schools, but you need to go prepared and informed.

Updated May 2, 2019

Are summer college visits worth the trip?

If you go informed, prepared, and ready for a different atmosphere, then yes!

1. Check the school’s summer college visit information online for your trip dates. You may need to make a reservation, or you may need to make sure the admissions office will be open when you travel. Some universities have shorter summer hours, some close their doors for an entire week for major holidays (or major construction projects), and some have large-scale summer events that take up parking spaces and hotel rooms during certain weeks.

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2. Planning to squeeze a quick visit in on the way to your vacation destination? Make sure you don’t hold it against the school later, if you’re comparing it to a college you had a full day to visit. A drive-through visit can be a fine way to get an idea of the school’s layout and look, but a shortened visit when you’re headed elsewhere won’t give you as complete a picture as you get when you can take time to step out and engage with college staff and students.

3. Do not expect the normal level of activity you’d find during the fall or spring semesters. While some larger campuses may still have a fair amount of activity, others will be quiet throughout the summer months — which can be a welcome change for some weary travelers! Just be sure you know that the summer may not be as bustling as the academic year and factor that into your personal review of the campus. Admissions offices often hear complaints that the campus was “too quiet” during summer visit days. If this is a concern for you, reconsider the timing of your trip.

More tips to plan a Smart College Visit: