So your teen is ready for college! The days of unit studies, phonics and book reports have been replaced by scholarship hunts and admission counselors. You’ve read the fliers, searched the websites and talked about majors. Now it’s time for you and your teen to see it all in person.
Lots of colleges and universities have special weekends or open house events so you can see the college before enrolling. You can also plan a personal visit on your own. Whatever you decide, remember these tips for getting the most out of your campus visit:
5 Tips To Remember As You Visit Colleges
Your tour will probably be led by a current student who will show you landmarks, dorms, dining commons, classrooms and at least one coffee shop. (College students are rarely far from coffee!) This is a great time to ask questions and get a student’s perspective.
Take advantage of your chance to experience the learning environment your teen will be in. See what the professors are covering and how they interact with the students. Are they approachable? Are they excited about their subject? Be sure to note class size and any projects the class is working on.
If the college offers overnight stays, encourage your teen to do it! They can ask their roommates questions and experience dorm life. Quite a few colleges require freshmen to live on campus, so make sure both you and your teen are comfortable with the environment.
Schedule one-on-one meetings
Finally, put a face to that admission counselor! Pick the brain of a financial aid expert! Ask an advisor about academic accommodations! These people are here to help you along and make the whole thing less daunting.
Ask lots of questions
- Why should I choose this college?
- How is college different from high school?
- What is something that surprised you about college?
- What do you like/dislike about this college?
- What kinds of academic accommodations are available?
- What’s the area surrounding campus like?
This is an exciting time for your family! It can be complex, but it doesn’t have to be scary. Remember, colleges have teams of trained experts waiting to answer your questions. So try not to stress, and have fun exploring your options!
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Bridget Nee is a writer for Bob Jones University, a Christian liberal arts university in Greenville, South Carolina. After navigating the journey through homeschool and college herself, she enjoys sharing her insights with other homeschool families to help make their experience fun and exciting.