11th Grade

Planning Your College Visit

Planning Your College Visit (Junior)

As the weather gets colder and holiday preparations begin, schoolwork takes a backseat. Whether you break completely for the holidays or do light work all year round, I’m about to add one little thing to your to-do list: arranging your first college visits!

Don’t worry: you don’t need to visit colleges in December. Since most of the students and professors will be home for Christmas break, there wouldn’t be much to see anyway! This is the month to begin planning for this year’s visits, whether in spring or fall. How do you set up a campus visit, and what should you do once you’re there? Here are some tips:

Check your list of top colleges.

In previous emails we’ve encouraged you to come up with a list of colleges that meet the priorities of both parent and student. While college websites and materials will give you an overview of the school, every university will use its marketing present itself in the best possible light. That’s why visiting is so important!

Go over your list of colleges, starting with the ones within your immediate vicinity. You can start your visits with these. For colleges that are further away, peruse the website for special offers and events. Sometimes there are group or family discounts for campus events, or even special events designed for homeschoolers.

Contact Visitor Centers.

Next, contact the school visitor center. You can usually arrange a visit a week prior to the requested date, but the earlier the better. If you want to see a model dorm or meet with a specific department, make sure you are visiting within the academic year (not summer or during a holiday).

Not all visitor centers arrange academic meetings, so be sure to ask their policy on meeting with academic deans and professors.

Questions For Your Visit.

As you peruse your list of colleges and the associated websites, begin compiling some questions to ask each university (or trade school, if going that route!). Some examples would be:

  • Are freshman students allowed to have cars?
  • Is housing arranged by seniority?
  • Can roommates be requested?
  • Does your school have a doctrinal statement?
  • What opportunities for student life are available?
  • What is your policy on alcohol and tobacco use?
  • Are your dorms co-ed?
  • How open is your school to dissenting worldviews (e.g. Christianity, if it’s a secular school)?
  • Do you have a campus church or Christian club?
  • What volunteer opportunities are available?
  • What about your career center or internship programs?
  • Do you offer study abroad?

Make a list of questions specific to your student’s major of study as well. This will be helpful if you meet with an academic dean.

Join us every Thursday at 3 p.m. for our Facebook Live Office Hours

Make sure to check in to our Facebook group, and catch our live videos every Thursday at 3 p.m. ET / 2  p.m. CT (we will be off the week of Christmas and New Year’s Day).

Have questions? Email [email protected]!

Teach Them Diligently wishes you and your family a merry Christmas and a happy new year!