While the student needs to take charge of the campus visit, parents can be a great second set of eyes/ears. Touring with your student is fine – just let them ask the questions! If you do have questions, make sure you are letting the students in the group have opportunities first to ask their questions. Parents always have safety questions – and almost always that information can be found on the schools websites and in their literature. All campuses have a blue light system and most have some kind of after hours escort service to get the students back to their residences safely. While on the tours parents should observe activity they see on campus; your student might be focused on what the tour guide is saying and miss some of what is happening. In an information session another set of ears is helpful; parents might pick up on something the student did not. If your student has an interview let them do it on their own and take the opportunity to walk around campus, stop and chat to students and get a sense of the campus vibe. After your visit you can discuss with your student what you saw and heard; it might be different or might reinforce what they learned or felt about the campus.
What should parents do on campus visits? Take a separate tour!! Don’t embarrass your child. Turn off your cell phone. Don’t keep talking about what college was like when YOU were a student. Don’t embarrass your child. Don’t ask about partying or drinking on the tour, save that for a private conversation with an admissions officer. Don’t say “we”. Don’t speak for your child. Don’t try to be funny, or smart, or hip. Just hang back and listen.
Parents should be a help rather than a hindrance on college visits. I went on numerous visits with my son, and I was quiet and respectful during information sessions and always showed my appreciation to tour guides. (I remember that special request, “Now Mom, don’t embarrass me!”) Parents are often good note takers as well, so perhaps that can be the parent’s assigned job. This is especially true if you are seeing a number of schools. A parent should prompt the student about a particular question or issue and can remind the student to sign a guest book or ask for a business card in the admissions office. When the visit is over, the parent should wait to be asked for his or her opinion to have healthy dialogue with the prospective applicant.
Both the parents and the child have a role during the campus visit. As parents, you will certainly want to know if the institution will be the best fit for your child. You may want to know how your child’s needs will be met both academically and socially. Do they have the major their child wants to study? How about internship and study abroad opportunities? What about the money? Does the school offer financial aid and scholarships? Let you children shine during the information session and while on tour. You will have time to ask your questions as well. While on the visit, spend some time meeting the financial aid representative while your child develops your relationship with his or her admissions representative. Enjoy the visit and compare notes at the end. Communication is the key to reducing the stress in the search process.
Always ask questions. Make sure you always ask questions regarding school accreditation, financial aid support from the school, career services upon graduation, and costs.
Parents should be involved in the college process including the campus visit. Prior to the visit sit down with your child and discuss it. Discuss questions to ask if the guide does not address your concerns or needs; but, let your child ask the questions not you. The campus visit is the time for your child to see if the school is a good fit. Take note of the things that are important to you. Once the visit is over talk about everyone’s likes and dislikes. Let your child be the leader not you.
visit departments and check out the activities. speak to student advisory, ask about rention and graduation rate, find out more information about carrier placement services, and have lunch at the student center
As much experience, knowledge and good intentions that you have — try to keep a low profile during a campus visit. Let your student be the leader and the main driver of the process. If you have questions, you should certainly ask them as well — but remember — you don’t want to be the overbearing parent that we all know who monopolizes a Q&A session with the admissions staff or who expounds on their opinions/experiences during a campus tour.
The first no-no on a campus visit is the royal “we.” The student is the one who will be going to the college. Do not say things like, “We just love your school,” “We don’t know what we will major in,” or “We just took our SAT.” The student is the applicant so the student should do the talking and ask the questions. The correct pronoun is “I,” and it comes from the mouth of the student! The second no-no is the parent who speaks and “does” for their student. The student should sign in. The student should introduce her/himself. The student should ask questions.
There’s a fine line between being involved and being TOO involved with your child’s college search, campus visits, and so on. Parents should always be available as a sounding board for their children’s college ideas and perhaps to provide some guidance in staying focused once in awhile, but they should avoid pushing their own agenda, as much as possible. That being said, it’s important to remember that, since this college venture will, in most cases, involve a heavy financial commitment on the part of parents, they do have a right to be involved in the process.
As a parent touring colleges, you will be best served if you look but don’t speak. The last thing you want to do is embarrass Johnny with your questions. Along with that, please give Susie time to process the visit before hitting her up for her impressions. They will share their feelings when they are ready. It is important that you keep your thoughts to yourself until your opinion is solicited or you just can’t keep quiet any longer. Remember you aren’t the one going to college, this is their decision.
Ask questions if applicable
Parents should be there, but should walk behind the student, allowing the student to take the lead and ask the questions. It is fine for the parents to ask a few questions, but only a few. It is helpful if you have discussed some topics ahead of time so you all have an idea of what is important to you.
Take photos so that after the trip, your family will have visual guides. Take notes during the information session as you used to do in classroom lectures. Take your kid to lunch on campus–not only will you get a better sense of the campus culture but you will be able to check out the food. If your child has any disabilities make sure you have an appointment at the DSS office to find out what types of accommodations and services are available. Look around for the safety precautions–is there a blue light system? Let the student take the lead–he/she is the one who needs to understand if this school is a good fit. Don’t forget to fit in a few fun side trips for everyone to blow off steam.
Parents should smile, be proud of their child, and let their child ask the questions and make the comments. The child should sign in at the admission office. Parents should be polite and friendly with everyone on campus visits, but do nothing to upstage their child. I have a blog on this topic that I believe all parents should read, it is the list of what parents should NOT do on a campus visit. http://collegeadventures.net/blog/2009/08/11/campus-visitswhat-parents/
Almost every tour I have been on, a parent has asked “how safe is the campus” which prompts a discussion of the blue light system and the police’s response time. This is a time for the student to be asking questions about the different aspects of life on campus. How are room mate problems handled? What is the party scene like? Parents should take the tours and attend the information sessions but should let the students ask the questions.
Parents should attend an information session with their child and while on a tour of the campus should generally remain in the background. Let the student meet with admissions staff or faculty on their own and ask their own questions. Try to refrain from commenting on the school until later when the student has had time to think about it and comes to you.
This is the hardest role to take, to be passive rather then active in voicing your thoughts about a campus. That is not to say that you should not every share your reflections. Just that it would be more useful for your children, if you wait to hear their reactions BEFORE you share your observations.
Campus visits are exciting for both students and parents. They can also be stressful, especially if travel and/or multiple campus visits during short time frames are involved. To minimize parent/child conflict and help make the visit valuable to the whole family, parents should help kids prepare for campus visits, organize logistics, and then take a calm, objective backseat.
Parents can be a big help on a campus visit by serving as an additional set of eyes and ears, while never forgetting that the process is about finding the right fit for the student. Help your child do some advance research so that all of you can ask questions that yield good information and a fuller understanding of what going to the school would be like. The school has a message it wants to share, but parents can help their children get beyond that and look “under the hood,” so to speak, at some of the things that are not immediately evident but which, especially if you have gone to college, you might be more aware of. Help your child get as full a picture as they can of what life at the school would be like.
The best advice for parents who accompany the student on college visits is to remain as quiet and uninvolved as possible. First of all, this is a student’s opportunity to shine and parents should give the student space to do that. Every interaction that a student has with the college is recorded one way or another and students who don’t seem as interested in the college of their parents will not be regarded as serious about the college as they might otherwise be. Also, students at this age tend to harbor some resentment towards parents who are too involved in decisions that affect the student and in this case, considering that this is a decision that will stay with the student for the rest of their life, parents want to be careful not to influence or try to exert too much influence on the student because most of the time they will rebel and it will have the opposit effect on them.
Therefore the best thing that parents can do during college visits is to do the research that they find necessary beforehand, talk to the student before the college visit and bring up any questions or concerns that they might have that they didn’t have discretion about it so that then possibly, the student can ask about it while they’re there or they can try to find the answer together while they’re there. Further, parents can let the student to take the lead during campus visits because whichever campus a student chooses to make their home for the next four years should be the decision that that is theirs alone and based on their own opinions.
Parents should be supportive of their students and remember that the campus visit should allow the student to practice independence and explore the environment. Parents should take notes, ask questions and discuss their impressions with the student.
Parents should be supportive of their students and remember that the campus visit should allow the student to practice independence and explore the environment. Parents should be observant, take notes, ask questions, and discuss their impressions with the student.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. They should be in the background. It is certainly ok for them to ask questions, but this is about the student. The student shouldn’t be relying on the parents to ask all of the questions.
Most students are going to go on campus visits and remain very quiet; they have no questions and if they do they do not want to be the one to step out and ask what they may think is a “dumb” question.
Depending on your personality it’s probably hard as a parent to not want to take control and be a force to reckon with on a campus visit. I suggest that you plan together before the visit. Help your child prepare a list of questions.
As a parent, you must realize that you will not be attending college with your student. If they are going to be successful at the college, they will need to be comfortable on campus without you. It is perfectly acceptable and expected for parents to attend the college tour with students, and you can certainly ask a few questions. However, If you have more than a few questions, call or email the school prior to the visit to get your questions answered. Allow students to roam the campus without you and encourage them to set up meetings ahead of time with an academic adviser for their department, coach, music director or other school representative. Most importantly, as difficult as it may be — hold back on your opinions of the school until after your student has had a chance to develop and voice their opinion.
Parents should stand back and observe during the campus visit. This is the chance for your child to practice being engaged in the process. The parents’ role takes place BEFORE the visit happens. Ahead of time, have a discussion with your child about what kinds of information you both want to get from the visit. Encourage your child to brainstorm the kinds of questions he/she will want to ask. Practice asking follow-up questions with each other. Check other Unigo answers for suggestions about what factors you might want to learn on your visit. Your kids will often allow you to take over the questions and discussion with tour guides. Kids: don’t let them! Take charge of your own campus tour.
The campus tour is so that the student can get a feel for the campus and ask questions about what it’s like to live and study there. Their job is to decide if they like the school and if it feels like a good fit for them. That is not the parents’ jobs to be asking those questions. However, a parent must think of the logistical issues of putting their child through college- paying for it, getting them to and from school, etc. A parent’s job on the college tour is to ask the all the questions they need to find out if this is a school they can help their child succeed at. Remember, parents know their kids better than anyone so they can help their child process what they learn, and maybe think of the questions they forgot, but they are there as a support team.
In my opinion, not a lot. A campus visit is not a parents day but a student’s. It is a great way for parent’s to soak in the atmosphere of where a potential student may be spending the next 4 years of their life, however too much interferance is not needed as it’s not the parents but their son or daughter who will be attending.
A parent’s ability to analyse important element’s in a college may become very beneficial in giving one’s son or daughter constructive feedback. Some prospective student’s try to make decision’s based upon emotion or specific factor’s such as how big the school is, how big the football stadium is or how many attractive student’s of the opposite sex they see walking across campus. Although this is a very exciting time, it can be good to have another perspective that can ground a prospective student to tick off the core criteria of a college is met e.g. the right major, transport options, college prestige, alumni connections, extracurricular activity access etc…
But overall parent’s need to remember that only the student will know whether that college feels like the right fit and although financial support may be covered by the parents, the most important aspect is that one’s son or daughter feels safe, secure and able to express his/her potential in the overall college experience.
Be sure to stay out of the financial aid office! Try to take a back seat, but if certain questions aren’t asked on the tour, make sure to ask them for your student.
Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. The information on this site is for informational and research purposes only and is not an assurance of financial aid.
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