Plan For College

Monday, July 7, 2014

College Tours During Summer: Beware of 3 Common Issues

Time is more plentiful in the summer for a high school student. And because of that, you're most likely planning a few college tours. Although it's a good time to check out a school that interests you, you need to be careful. The summer is not a good representation of what your campus life will look like in the Fall, Winter, and Spring. Here's why:

1. Students aren't around
Most important - the overwhelming majority of students will not be around during the summer. Just like you, they are on break. So you'll see some summer students, athletes, and students with jobs on campus, but those people do not represent the population. Keep this in mind when doing a college tour over the summer. What will it look like with ten times more people?

2. The weather is too nice
Summer (and part of winter, but let's ignore that for now) is the only time you WON'T be at college. Therefore, except for a week or two in the Fall and Spring (thinking of the Northeast here), you will not experience summer weather. This is important to keep in mind because the grass may be greener, sun brighter, and flowers more plentiful - and that could falsely impact your view of the campus.

3. The food may be different
One underrated factor in selecting a college is the food. How are the cafeterias? You'll be eating the food for anywhere from one to four years, so it's important you like it. If you don't, you'll end up spending more money on less healthy food. So on any college tour, you should make sure you try out the cafeteria. But in the summer, hours and facilities are different than normal. Small schools may not even have a cafeteria open, just cafes. Look up the cafeteria schedule before you go and make sure it's similar to what it'll be during the school year.

People, weather, and food are three important factors in deciding on a college. And they are all different in the summer. So beware of these factors before heading out on your college tours this summer.


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