Spring break is coming and for any family with a high school junior, that means it’s time for a road trip. This is part two of my suggestions on how to make the most of campus visits:

Let them know you’re there – make sure you register in the admissions office so they have a record of your visit. Collect the business card of the admissions representative from your geographic area.

Suggest that your son or daughter be bold and ask a small group of students these questions:

Where else did you apply?

Which schools were you choosing between?

Why did you choose to come here?

What’s your favorite part of your college experience thus far?

What one thing would you change about this college, if you could?

What do they do on weekends?

Are most students happy there?

Are they studying more or less than they anticipated?

Responses will be very revealing.

Take an “unofficial” tour. Check out the freshman dormitories and visit the fitness facilities if they weren’t on the tour. There might be a reason why they didn’t take you there.

Visit a class and/or meet with a coach or professor. Make sure to schedule these options separately, and notify the admissions office of your plans. The opportunity to sit in on a class is the best reason to arrange your trips during spring break. Most colleges will be impressed with your initiative for going above and beyond the typical visit.

Consider an overnight visit. Having students spend time with other students without parents and admissions officials hovering is the best way for a student to truthfully evaluate college-fit.

Prospective students will be able to check out the vibe in the dorms, dining halls, classrooms and on campus overall. Most students walk away from an overnight visit with a much more defined opinion.

Pack a camera and a notebook. I know it sounds a little lame, but you really need to take notes and snap photos. This is especially true if you are seeing multiple colleges during the week.

Send a thank-you note. If you had an opportunity to introduce yourself to someone in admissions, follow-up with a handwritten note.

The big question in the end is whether or not the student feels comfortable on that specific campus. When they close their eyes, can they see

More Information
College Fair is Sunday — The National College Fair is coming to Charlotte this Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. at The Park (formerly the Charlotte Merchandise Mart). The fair is free and you can attend workshops, meet college reps, and collect information on financial aid and scholarships. Find a list of participating colleges at www.nacacnet.org, search Charlotte College Fair.themselves there?

Lee Bierer is an independent college counselor based in Charlotte. Questions: lee@collegeadmissionsstrategies.com www.collegeadmissionsstrategies.com


Leave a Reply


Lee Visits with The Psych Mom 



“It was just what we needed and expected. We wanted you to keep our son on task, which you did. In addition, your essay editing was good. The essays truly reflected him. You pulled his own thoughts out of him, I could tell they were his thoughts, not yours. Your report after you and he met was great. It let me know what you accomplished in your meeting and what tasks and by whom were required for the coming week. We were not making any headway in keeping him on task and it was very frustrating to us that he seemed so disorganized, so your help alleviated the frustration and possible (probable!) arguments. I am very likely to recommend you because you filled our immediate need. When I called you, I was in a near-panic mode and you were able to work with our son right away and I felt totally comfortable with you and knew you to be competent.”
Mom of a 2008 graduate


Student | Parent Login 


Get The Countdown To College Column by Email! 

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

When you receive our posts by email simply click on the title to read the full article.




Looking For Something?

Countdown to College Top 40 eBook!

Learn more about the Top 40 eBook!

Learn more about the Top 40 eBook!

Made by: MD