Going to look around colleges can be a daunting and exciting experience for both you and your child. Not only will you potentially be preparing to say goodbye to your offspring for the foreseeable, but you will also be helping them to have the very best start to their adult life. Continue reading for our advice about what you and your child should look for when you go on a college visit.
Before actually visiting a college in person, it may be best to take a virtual tour. This will allow your child to discount any that do not feel like the right fit for them. Not only will this help reduce the total number of visits you take in terms of time, but it will also significantly reduce the cost of doing your research.
Although your child should certainly have done plenty of research prior to undertaking a specific college visit, ensuring that the establishment offers a suitable course, visiting the department may be enlightening. If you and your child are able to see the classrooms, lecture theatres and possibly even speak to some of the professors and current students within the desired department, this is advantageous. So, if your child is wondering how to get into Columbia, for example, a visit there may even help with the application process, being able to refer to specific things that your child has seen or experienced during their visit.
All colleges are different, offering a variety of experiences. It is likely that your child will already have formed a list of non-negotiables in their head, for example, a swimming pool and a gym. Being able to tour the campus and get a feel for the type of facilities on offer, the prices and also the distance needed to travel to them will support you and your child to decide whether this is the right place for them.
Feeling at home when you are away from home is something that many students seek. Checking out the different types of accommodation available when on a college tour is certainly something you and your child should aim to do. Some colleges offer rooms on campus, which are handy if your child is not keen on needing to travel very far (or if they enjoy sleeping in on a morning!). Finding out what the bathroom situations are, too, is advisable. Finally, you should ask what is provided. For example, will you need to arrive at college with a mattress?
As well as feeling confident about what is on offer to your child while they are on campus and in their accommodation, it is essential to also consider the local area. Sticking solely to campus and undertaking student-only activities can be restrictive. Local amenities and transport links should, therefore, be top-notch. Furthermore, it is imperative that your child feels safe in the area in question. High levels of crime will, of course, be off-putting for anyone.