College Visit Checklist: What You Need to Look for When Touring a College

A college tour is a great coming-of-age experience for a child and an important part of the process of choosing the right school. If you’re at the stage of planning college visits, you want to do it the right way so that your child can get the maximum benefit. What do parents need to know about college tours? Read on to find out.

What to Know About College Tours and College Visits

Your goal when visiting a college should be twofold — first, to gather academic and financial information and second, to see what the campus, professors and student body are like. Here’s a checklist to assure you and your child get the most out of the experience.

Before the Tour:

  • Explore the school’s website online and think about things you may want to ask about or see.

  • Sign up for the official information session as well as the guided tour. You want the college to know that you have taken the time out of your busy schedule and made the effort to visit. “Demonstrated interest” matters!

During the Tour

  • Ask your tour guide as many questions as possible, such as their favorite aspects of the school, what the popular clubs and extracurriculars are, what students do on the weekends and why they chose this school.

  • Get to know some of your fellow touring students, but be sure to stay focused on the tour.

After the Tour

  • Meet with an admissions officer, if possible. Be armed with any questions about the admissions process and what they are specifically looking for in a student.
  • Meet with a financial aid office. Ask about grants and/or scholarships that may be available.
  • Collect brochures and other printed materials.
  • Explore campus media, such as the student newspaper or radio station.
  • Check out the bulletin boards and stop by the career center.
  • Sit in on a class in a subject that you may be interested in. Meet the professor afterward.
  • Talk to some students about their experiences, if they like the school or not and why.
  • Explore the major buildings, like the freshman dorms, gym, student union, dining hall, and bookstore.
  • Talk to coaches if you are interested in playing a sport.
  • Take a drive around the campus and the community around the school.

Some of these activities may require some advance scheduling and others may not be possible when you are visiting, but try to do as much as you can.

Ecliptic Financial for Tips on College Visits and More

If you’re looking for ideas on how to help your child with college visits, college funding and other college planning, a great place to start is with an Ecliptic Financial Advisors College Workshop. If you’re in the New Jersey area and have a child getting ready for the college application process, you should definitely take advantage of these great workshops. Find one near you and register online right now!

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