Every parent dreads the day they have to pack their child up and send them off to college. These Tips for Taking College Tours with Your Senior will make it so much easier to feel comfortable about where you are sending your child off to begin their adult life. Finding the right fit for their needs is important for them, but also important for your peace of mind.
Tips for Taking College Tours with your Senior
Remember that these college tours are a great way to see how much a college has to offer, but also how your child will fit into the dynamic. What sounds great on paper may not always be the right fit in person. That's why taking the time to tour more than one college is really important for your child.
Talk to current students when applicable.
One of the best ways to really get an idea of how your student will do in the school is to talk to the current students. This is especially important if they are going to college for a unique or very niche specific field of study. The more unique it is, the more focus they will need. It won't be as easy to just "fit in" and "go with the flow".
Talk to current students to learn how the school has worked for them. Ask about specific professors or department chairs and how they handle issues. You may even want to spend time asking about the workload or requirements of classes your student would be taking.
Ask what the college will do for your student to enhance their experience.
If your student is being courted by numerous colleges, take advantage of these college tours to find out exactly what they will do to gain your child as a student. This may sound odd, but many colleges will add extra perks if your child fits a need they have. These sort of extras tend to be a part of sports, music, drama, or similar departments that have a higher need for new students and variety of enrollment to fill gaps.
Don't make any commitments while on the tour.
While you may be tempted to say yes to an invitation because of the great offers, it is smart to wait until after you are done with college tours. That way you can compare and contrast the benefits before making a final decision. The first college sounds amazing right away, but the fifth college on your tour list may really be the best fit.
Pay attention to amenities on campus as well as in the community.
When you say amenities you may be thinking of a hotel stay. Colleges really should offer a wide variety of amenities as well. Simple things like affordable housing, easy to find restaurants for budgeted students, and even a gym that is nearby are things some will look for on campus. Others may want to have movie theaters, museums, or culture nearby that will offer the comforts of home when they can't afford to drive all the way home for a weekend. Look at what your student needs and decide if the campus and community give them the things that they need.
Make sure to spend time in their focus of study department.
Immerse yourself not only in the overall college culture but specifically in the field of study they have an interest in pursuing. If your child loves arts and drama, then fitting in there and seeing the dynamics of the department is vital. Sports is another type of environment altogether, and someone who simply wants their education without the extracurricular stuff on the side may want to be in tune with another department. Take time to get to know the places and departments they would be spending the bulk of their time.
These are just a few tips for taking college tours with your student this year. Let us know if you have anything to add to the list!