Advice for best scheduling your college tours
Okay, so we agree - visiting schools in-person is huge.
Why? College visits allow you insight into a school’s culture, the ability interact with students, the chance to wander campus, and the opportunity to round out your perception of a school with an intangible element - that overall feel - that might later determine whether or not you decide to apply.
So, when to plan your college visit? Scheduling your college trips isn’t rocket science but there are a few tips you should keep in mind when planning out your calendar.
Schedule a trip before submitting your college applications
Schedule your trips to take place far in advance of application deadlines. Why? The luxury of time, of course. Don’t waste hours applying to schools that you haven’t seen in person, and aren’t positive you’d actually be happy to attend. Furthermore, how horrible to visit a school, fall in love, and realize you’ve mere days to get your application in? Start early, ideally in the Spring of your junior year, and sleep easy knowing that time is on your side.
Plan a college visit when your high school isn’t in session
While sometimes impossible, it’s ideal to avoid missing out on your own schooling when taking a college trip. We advise pin-pointing 3-day weekends or short-breaks on your high school calendar far in advance, and leveraging those for a college trip that won’t leave you scrambling in school.
Note that, many colleges in the North East start their Fall semester as early as mid-August. If your summer vacation runs through Labor Day, consider these late summer months the perfect time to swing a multi-campus college tour.
Other easy opportunities are Spring Break of your junior year. While it’s a bummer to miss out on vacation, knocking out a fair amount of visits during this time can really help to give you a leg-up on your college search.
Last but not least, for those indecisive folk, there’s always the Fall, and early Winter of senior year for last last-ditch college trips to help you make a final call on your top options.
Visit campus when classes are in session
College visits entail way more than just setting your eyes on campus. Seeing a school in person means having the chance to witness a class in session, meet with students, and get an over-all feel for the energy on campus. That said, it’s crucial that your visits are planned during the academic year, because visiting a deserted campus well, what’s the use in that?
Always be sure to check the school’s schedule to ensure you’re avoiding their exam period, or reading days. Though technically not “Holidays”, these periods also entail a fairly deserted campus. If you’re traveling with us, we’ll handle it for you.
Visit campus early on in the week
Academic schedules at most colleges tend to be front-loaded into the first few days of the week, with most classes occuring on Monday through Wednesday. For reasons ranging to pure logistics to… the propensity to party… Fridays on campus can be veritable dead zones. That said, consider visiting during the 1st ½ of the week, or risk missing out on the chance to see the school at it’s liveliest.
Don’t wait to visit campus until after you’re accepted
Alright, if you really need to visit in order to make up your mind, it’s totally possible. That said, we really recommend doubling down on the decision process prior to acceptance, as the time period for visiting after you hear back is really quite slim. Most colleges don’t mail their final acceptance letters until after April 1, and with the acceptance deadline May 1, a state of indecision could leave you scrambling, and in a bind!
Note that some school invite accepted students to visit in early Spring (before the May 1 reply date) to encourage their final decision. Should you feel unsure, definitely take advantage of this opportunity to makeup your mind.
In summary, our main recommendation is plan in advance. Scheduling your college trips as early on as possible will allow you to take advantage of those 3-day weekends, avoid missing school, and most importantly - make up your mind on your top schools prior to application deadlines. This way, once your applications are signed, sealed, and delivered, they’ll be nothing left to do but sit back, relax, and hope for the best!
Do you need help planning your college trips? We’re scheduling pro’s and masters of logistics. Furthermore, we’re dedicated to making college trips a seamless, and enjoyable experience! Visit our college trips page to learn more, and contact TROVVEN to inquire into booking your next trip!