college tours

When Should I Start Touring Colleges?

We get this question a lot, and it’s an important one to ask because oftentimes students come to us the summer before their senior year not having visited one school. To be frank, that is kind of an *almost* worst-case scenario. By that time you should have your school list nearly together and have begun working on your Common App personal statement. For that reason, we encourage our students to begin touring colleges the spring of their sophomore year. But the best time would be to plan a trip during the summer between your sophomore and junior year.

Negatives of Touring Colleges in the Summer

Buying final-sale clothes without trying them on is ill-advised. So to is going through the application process without touring colleges. U.S. News & World, secondhand information from friends, and information packets can only tell you so much about a school. To give yourself, not only a three-dimensional experience of a university, but also a sense of what you want in a school in general, visiting is really the only way to go.

Actionable Items for Rising Seniors/Current Juniors

It’s April of your junior year. The sun has come out. Your classmates are planning the next all-school walkout, and you are probably using all of your strength to focus in history class for just a few more weeks so you don’t totally bomb the question about the Teapot Dome Scandal on your final exam. April also means that if you haven’t started thinking about the college process, you’re late to the game.

How Do I Start the College Application Process?

If you’re reading this, you’re going to apply to college (or your kid is going to apply, and you’re going to tell them about this at the dinner table, so it’s basically like they’re reading it anyway). Just knowing that you’re going to apply to college, though, isn’t enough to actually kick-start the college process, and figuring out how to start can feel crippling.

What to Do During Spring Break If You Are a Sophomore

The spring of sophomore year can be fun. You feel more confident about your place in school. Perhaps your parents are granting you more freedom and depending on where you live, you might even be revving up to get your driver’s license. We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but you’re also hitting that point in which everything starts moving faster and before you know it, you’ll blink and be in college. So, while it may seem a little early, there is no time like your sophomore year of spring break to start preparing. Admit it. We know you’re kind of excited.

Spring Break Guide: Juniors Who Haven’t Toured Colleges Edition

So, juniors. Spring break is coming up. And let us guess: you haven’t toured any colleges yet. You have two options: 1) tour some colleges or 2) visit some colleges. That was a trick because those two things are the same. This is the time to take advantage of your upcoming break and start visiting colleges, doing your research, forming opinions, and making decisions. If we’re being honest, it’s late for you to be starting the college visit process (you should have already visited at least a couple of schools by now), but here we are. You can do it.

How to Write a Thank You Note After Your College Tour

We’re sure you’re all so well-mannered that you’ve been writing thank you notes since you learned script. Your grandma probably still has boxes of your letters saved. Now, we enter the adult thank you note realm. Scene: you’re visiting a college. Someone gives you a tour of the college. Two students host the information session and answer some of the questions that you had prepared. You sit in on a class with a particularly inspiring professor.

The 19 Questions you Need to Ask When Visiting a College

You’ve spent countless hours deciding where you might want to go to college, and now you’re finally seeing the campus with your own eyes. This is perhaps the most valuable opportunity you’ll have to really get to know a school- so don’t waste it. Instead of leaving with only the information given to you by your tour-guide-- likely a sales pitch about the amazing facilities and trees and $5 million dollar gym-- find some students who aren’t working for the school, and get their opinions. And remember, you already know the best parts of the university. Colleges spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing. So as un-fun as it is, try to also get a sense of the worst qualities of a school- what factors would deter you from going somewhere? 

What Questions Should I Ask on a College Tour?

When Jane first stepped foot on the campus of the school she would ultimately attend, she fell in love. It looked the way she imagined college should look: ivy-covered buildings, students sprawled out on the lawn, historic looking statues. She found the information session with the Dean of Admissions comprehensive, providing a glimpse into the academic and social scenes of the school.