Summer is here! Now that it is, many high school students and their families have some spare time to visit colleges. Here are some tips to make the most out of a college road trip: Do Your Homework
When researching colleges, take notes of what you want to see and questions to ask. Showing that you are informed and interested during your visit can make a great impression on the admissions staff. Schedule your tour beforehand either online or by email. Ask about discounts at local hotels and restaurants. You’ll want to avoid visiting between summer sessions when the campus could be deserted. CAA suggests you also schedule a meeting with an admissions officer, if possible, to answer more detailed questions. And, for the full college experience, find out if you can sit in on a classroom session. While on your tour, take several notes and pictures. This will help once you get home and start trying to evaluate your experiences. Eat in the cafeteria or just off campus and chat with a student to learn more about campus life. Make it a Vacation
Don’t forget to have fun too! Check your routes and the area around the college and visit some attractions along the way. Find out what students do for fun. Social media is a great way to find out where students hang out, and many colleges’ websites list recommended restaurants and hotels. Remember, you’ll potentially be there for four years so learn firsthand about the surrounding city. Appreciate Your Time with Family
A college road trip is a time where families can come together and have fun while collectively looking toward a student’s future. However, parents should let their students take the reins, ask questions, and help plan the trip. This is their journey and future. Cherish the opportunity, share your dreams, and try to not let stress deter you from having a great experience. Stay flexible
Prepare for unexpected weather or minor emergencies along the way. Also, leave some time unscheduled where you might catch a show at the college theatre or find an attraction you didn’t know would be on the way. These spontaneous experiences can oftentimes be the most memorable. Don’t Break the Bank
Let’s be honest: traveling is expensive. For some families, an across-the-country road trip is not feasible. CAA recommends that students at least visit the local colleges that are within a few hours’ drive. Even if they are not your top choices, these local visits can help you narrow down your college preferences. As always, clients can contact the CAA Coaches with any questions. Enjoy your summer visits!