Plan For College

Thursday, June 15, 2017

College Planning in the Summertime

College Planning in the Summertime

Planning a family road trip this summer? Instead of visiting the World's Largest Ball of Yarn or Muskrat Carnival Village, why not make a stop at a couple of colleges in between? Many families are realizing that the best time to visit school campuses is in the summer, and colleges are more than eager to have you visit.

If you would rather be at the beach or the lake, no problem: Find a college near the sandy shore or a few miles away from the lake house and spend a few hours will not regret it, especially if you happen upon the hundreds of smaller, unknown schools that are very attractive and great institutions of learning. Rather be in a big city? Same thing goes: Inner city colleges love summer visitors so they can show off their summer learning and sports programs and give tours of more buildings because the school population is down 90% from the rest of the year.

So here are some ideas on how to find a college that is the right fit for you:

  • You get to see a lot more areas of the country while you travel. Don't change your destination, just the route. Driving through 3 states? Look at what colleges are in the towns along the way, plan a stop for 2 hours
  • Many colleges have summer programs for Grad Students and underclassmen with double majors. These students make better tour guides because they are more invested in the school and have more experience with the community.
  • Call Ahead: Many professors and coaches are on summer leave. If you want to tour the Computer Lab or all the sports facilities, you will need to communicate directly with those departments. Check the school website for a list of emails.  Some facilities may be closed for renovations also.
  • You may be able to get High School credit for a Road Trip Report…Your English or History teacher may take a 3-page summary of your trip if it meets criteria for a writing or research project. Visit a college and include some notes about the school's history or an anecdote about a famous student in your paper. Less homework in the Fall maybe?  hmmm…
  • Family Friendly: While you tour the science wing with Mom, your younger siblings can hang with Dad (or vice versa) to visit the town and have their own adventure...they can tell you about the rest of the town you did not get to see
  • Social Media: Post from campus, create a photo album of the campus, hashtag the college and add yourself, make a FB Live video as you walk the Music Rooms for all your friends to see…you get the idea. Note: Selfies with the College T is always a good image especially when college recruiters see your post (and they will!)
  • Don't be afraid to visit colleges that do not have a big label. Prestige has nothing to do with a good education. campuses tend to be more beautiful and lush if they are in the countryside where land is more plentiful.
  • Take advantage of extra time: College visits during the school year are often limited in order to avoid missing lots of classroom time. This usually isn't the case in the summer. If possible, stretch out your visit for an extra day or two, especially for schools that are high on your student's list.
  • Tours are more personalized: In general, fewer students visit schools during the summer, which means that your group will be much smaller—perhaps just you and your family! Use the personal attention to get all your questions answered, either by your campus tour guide or another admissions representative.

STUDENTS: Here are some other ideas on how to plan for college in the summer:

  • If you work, make it count! Save as much money as you can. Your college resume is stronger if you show you can keep a solid job when other students are getting tans and sleeping until noon!
  • Sport Camps: If you attend a sport camp, use it to impress College Coaches: Post with pro college messages. Ask the coach for a leadership role or help run the camp anyway you can. Wear a college T and send a selfie with the team.
  • Be careful of Social Media Fails: Smart Social Media is a must…College Recruiters are watching and are being trained on how to scour the internet for reputation-ruining posts. The Internet never forgets!
  • Volunteer while you have time away from High School stress. Giving back to your local community shows a college that you will do the same when you get to college. They don't just want 4.0 students…They want students that help create a sense of community, inclusion and camaraderie to keep their campus vibrant and innovative.

Hope This Helps!

The College Planning Group
Canton MA     800-985-8569