Visiting colleges with your child as they embark on this new phase of their lives is incredibly exciting! When you make your college visit appointment with your child, you'll be able to see first-hand how classes are laid out, where students gather between classes, what the on-campus living situation is like, and much more. This will ease your mind a bit when you start to plan for your child to take this next step. There's so much to see and do on a college visit that it's easy to feel overwhelmed and unable to take it all in.
As such, we’ve put together a quick list of 6 tips to make the most out of your college visit with your child.
1. Visit When Classes are in Session
We understand that it is significantly easier to arrange a weekend or summer visit to a college campus. However, if it’s possible, you should try and arrange to visit a desired college on a Tuesday or Wednesday when classes are in session. On these days, you'll be able to get the best idea of how busy and alive the campus feels and you’ll feel more connected to your child when they talk about their future days on campus.
There are many different elements that contribute to a strong academic experience. From the admissions counselors that you’ll work with, to professors and instructors who teach courses, a team effort is necessary to help you get the best out of college academics. Learn more about the immersive education offerings available at Fort Hays State University (FHSU).
2. Write Down Your Questions and Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Other Students
If you're taking a tour with a representative, they may be able to answer some of your most common questions. It’s a great idea for you and your child to put together some questions for students that you meet throughout your visit. Good questions might include:
- How the transition into college went for them
- What they do on their weekends
- How the class size and structure works for them
If you need a little help on questions, you can download our checklist, “10 Questions to Ask During Your First College Visit.”
3. Take a Complete Tour of the Campus
Speaking of tours, if a prospective college offers a comprehensive, student-led tour, take it. College campus tours are always worth your while as it will show off the school's best features, get you into areas that you probably wouldn't have found otherwise, and ensure you have all the info you need for proper registration. At Fort Hays State University, you can schedule an in-person visit, or even schedule a virtual tour.
4. Look Into an Overnight Stay
In addition to the campus tour, some colleges will offer overnight programs in which you can stay with a current student or in an otherwise outfitted dorm room. For parents, you often stay at a hotel off-campus. This stay-over is particularly important if your child is considering living on-campus and wants to get a better idea of what that life has to offer. It will also give you a bit of extra peace of mind because you're part of this significant part of your child’s decision on where they choose to go to school. The on-campus living is a critical component, so be sure to inquire about overnight stays.
5. Attend a Sporting Event
If your child likes sports, or simply are interested in the social aspect of college (which is an incredibly important aspect of college), consider going to one of the college's sporting events. This will help you and your child get a better idea of the campus culture. Remember, most colleges have more than just the big football and baseball collegiate teams. Many have recreational sports that anyone can join and participate in. If your child wants to try a unique activity, go and check out their facilities and one of their sporting events.
6. Check Out the Town
Finally, no matter where you go to college, your child is not going to spend all their time on campus. Be sure to include a tour of the surrounding town on your college visit itinerary. That town is going to be where your child and their friends will most likely go to eat, work, and play, so it's important to see what it has to offer.
College visits are very exciting, and they provide you with a great perspective on the student life, academics, extracurricular activities, on-campus housing, and much more. Take the time to schedule these campus visits at your top schools so you can truly compare one school to another, and give your child all of the tools they (and you) need to make the best decision on this next journey.
If you’re currently evaluating university options and even scheduling campus tours, we invite you to download our checklist, “10 Questions to Ask During Your First College Visit.” This will ensure you ask all of the right questions to make sure your campus visit is a success!
Fort Hays State University