The time has come for you and your teen to start taking a look at colleges. You may have a list of ten or more campuses to visit. How do you find information on tours and put together a plan? I have the answers!

Before you get started, keep in mind that college visits can be very expensive. You can easily spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars just on one campus visit. You don’t want to skimp but with proper planning, you can make the most of your visits without breaking the bank. Costs to consider are:

  • Gas
  • Food
  • Hotel
  • Airfare
  • Campus parking fees
  • Swag items from the bookstore

One no-cost way to visit colleges is to do virtual campus tours. They have become increasingly available since the COVID pandemic began. Some colleges have their own virtual tours on the school website, or your student can do YouTube searches. Here are other sources for virtual campus tours:

Another lower-cost option is to attend a College Fair in your area where many different colleges are represented. These are typically held in the spring and fall. While you won’t be on campus, representatives can answer any questions you may have. Click here to see options for College Fairs.

Many colleges also bring representatives to high schools. This typically is just for your student to attend and geared towards juniors and seniors. However, I would encourage your freshman or sophomore to ask administrators if they can attend, especially if they are interested in a college that is visiting. Getting noticed early doesn’t hurt and it teaches your teen to network. If your student does attend, encourage them to dress nicely and prepare a list of questions to ask.

These little to no-cost options can help your student narrow down their choices so you are not spending time and money visiting colleges that are not the right fit. 

When you have determined which colleges you want to actually visit, sit down with your teen and make a plan. Here are some points to consider:

  • It’s best to visit colleges when they are in session and not on a break.
  • Touring students should plan on sitting in on a class, if possible.
  • Visits should be done during both weekdays and weekends.
  • Call ahead and ask about scheduled campus tours being offered.
  • Don’t cram too many visits in one week. Many families try to visit as many colleges as they can during Spring Break. This will only lead to stress and will not provide the opportunity to really evaluate if it’s a right fit for your teen.
  • Once your teen is accepted to a college, your family should plan another campus visit. 

With a little research and planning, you can make college visits informative and fun for your family while avoiding excessive expenses. Want to learn more ways to plan for your teen’s future while saving time and money? Schedule a free College Assessment Plan call with me today.