What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

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What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

Reecy ArestyCollege Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & AuthorPayless For College, Inc.

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

When school is in session, and it’s never too early.

Mark GathercoleUniversity AdvisorIndependent University Advising

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

The best time is when school is in session, although even summer is better than not visiting at all. Any time is a good time; it’s just as valuable to find that you really don’t like a school as it is to find that you love it.

Dr. Carol LangloisFounder/CEOHigher Education Specialists

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

I’ve noticed that families tend to visit campuses during the summer and winter breaks. The problem with visiting campuses during both these times of year, is that typically students aren’t around, classes are not in session and therefore faculty are gone as well. If you visit during this time of year, you will probably only have the opportunity to meet with admissions staff and possibly a few students that work for the admissions staff. When you visit during this time of year you only see the shell of the institution. I suggest visiting during your high school breaks which tend not to coincide with college vacations. That way you get to see the colleges in full force and not just the shell but the heart, mind and soul. This will give you a better sense of facilities, dining hall options, dorms, parking, community life, academics and student activities. I also suggest breaking up the visits over an extended period of time. So rather than visiting 3/4 schools in one week. Why not visit 6 to 10 schools over a period of 8 months. That way you won’t feel rushed and can more easily take in the information and the experience.

Reecy ArestyCollege Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & AuthorPayless For College, Inc.

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

When school is in session, and it’s never too early, even the 10th grade.

Katie ParksFormer Admissions Counselor

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

The best time to visit a college campus is when it’s the busiest. This means going when classes are in session, students are cramming the walkways and there are lots of extracurricular activities going on. You need to get a sense of what campus life is really like, and the best way to do this is to see campus when it’s bristling with student learning and living. Here’s how visiting campus during this time can help you make a college choice: Walking around an empty campus can give you a great look at facilities and allow you a chance to get more individual time with tour guides and campus officials. But it’s hard to tell if you feel like you “fit” at a school when there’s nothing but empty hallways and green space to look at. Most students don’t want to go to college and not do anything while they’re there, and if you take a look at a campus while students are on break, it may give the wrong impression that there is nothing to do at that campus. You don’t want to make a decision about a campus and its student life without actually seeing any students. When school’s in session you can peek in to classrooms and see what the class sizes are like, see examples of teaching styles and get a feel for what it would be like sitting with your fellow classmates in lecture halls. When visiting a school at such a busy time you may get the chance to talk to students who aren’t tour guides or ambassadors and get an unbiased view of what the school is like. Find them in lines at the bookstore, after you’ve asked them directions to the nearest gas station or working the cash register at the school’s coffee shop. If you can, spend some extra time on campus during these visits, like eating in the dining halls, taking in a sporting event or visiting the campus library. Take a look around at all these places and see if you can imagine yourself on the campus doing all the same things for the next four years. See how you feel doing normal college things with other college students and figure out if this is a place that makes you feel at home.

Joan Thomas

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

Ideally, I prefer that students visit a campus while the college is in session. Take a tour, visit the dining hall, look around and see how the students are interacting with one another. If planned in advance, you can often sit into a class and get a real feel for that learning environment. Speak with students you see around campus – why did they select that school? Take advantage of your time, make it count!

Renee Boone

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

I encourage students and families to visit college campuses when classes are in session rather than during breaks. Often, the high school calendar leaves students with days off when colleges are generally in session. Because it is difficult for students to overcome bad first impressions, it is important for them to experience a campus that is in full swing. I also encourage students to attend one or two classes by making arrangements in advance. Some colleges publish a list of courses that are open to prospective students. Visits during Preview Day or Open House can also be worthwhile, as the college puts its best foot forward to introduce visitors to a wide variety of features that are unique to life on that particular campus. Take advantage of opportunities to visit departments, speak with professors and engage in conversations in the dining commons or student union. If you cannot imagine life without a morning workout in the gym, be sure to check out the facilities while on your visit. If the gym is only open to varsity athletes during your favorite work-out time or if the equipment appears archaic or inadequate to you, think about how you would overcome these challenges as a student on that campus.

Renee Boone

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

I encourage students and families to visit college campuses when classes are in session rather than during breaks. Often, the high school calendar leaves students with days off when colleges are generally in session. Because it is difficult for students to overcome bad first impressions, it is important for them to experience a campus that is in full swing. I also encourage students to attend one or two classes by making arrangements in advance. Some colleges publish a list of courses that are open to prospective students. Visits during Preview Day or Open House can also be worthwhile, as the college puts its best foot forward to introduce visitors to a wide variety of features that are unique to life on that particular campus. Take advantage of opportunities to visit departments, speak with professors and engage in conversations in the dining commons or student union. If you cannot imagine life without a morning workout in the gym, be sure to check out the facilities while on your visit. If the gym is only open to varsity athletes during your favorite work-out time or if the equipment appears archaic or inadequate to you, think about how you would overcome these challenges as a student on that campus.

John Happs

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

When students are in session. You want the flavor of the campus when it is active. Also, I believe you should visit the school during the same months that you will be attending. Weather changes, and what you percieve as the temperature in the summer, may change drastically once December comes around.

Randi HeathmanIndependent Educational ConsultantThe Equestrian College Advisor LLC

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

The very best time to visit a college campus is when students are there! Now, unfortunately, colleges are normally in session at the same time that high schools are, which forces a bit of creative scheduling on your part, but the extra time and effort is well worth it when you get to see your prospective college on a regular class day and have an opportunity to experience activities like sitting in on a class or having lunch in the dining hall. Class days are going to make up the bulk of the days, weeks, and ultimately YEARS that you spend at your chosen college, so it’s best to get a taste of that experience early on in the search process. Most campuses are also open for tours on select Saturdays during the school year, but I’m not a strong supporter of these visits unless you have absolutely no other availability in your school and travel schedule. Every campus I’ve ever been to on a Saturday is a ghost town on Saturday mornings when tours occur – students typically don’t rise until 11:00 a.m. or much later and dining halls usually accommodate this routine by serving breakfast items as late as 2:00 p.m. Is that typical of what your life as a college student will be? Probably. But it might also be typical of your typical Saturday at home as a high school student – and no part of your Saturday morning routine is going to help you make an informed decision about your potential opportunities as a student at that potential school (though, arguably, knowing what your typical weekend might look like is also somewhat important to know). I also try to dissuade students from taking summer tours if possible. While it offers a wide open schedule for you to travel, most campuses don’t have the same hive of activity during the summer months that gives a strong visual in terms of what the normal school year is like. If you must visit in summer, however, be sure to attend an organized campus visit program with a group of people so that you’ll see some degree of activity on campus. Also, visit programs during the summer normally provide access to faculty members and departments who might not otherwise be available during a regular campus tour day in summer so you can still get answers regarding academic programs. NEVER visit a college campus in May, however. May is the least active month of the year on a college campus and most of them become ghost towns immediately following commencement and stay that way until summer sessions begin in early June. Avoid this at all costs!

Carita Del ValleFounderAcademic Decisions

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

Going on campus tours is really quite fun and depending on what year you are in high school will determine how many visits you should take. If you are in 9th grade through 10th grade attend as many as you can when your family is on vacation or anything that is near your home. You will be surprised on how much this time will help you later during the application season. Most important thing is to take notes! When you are a junior, limit visits to schools that match your academic profile and college preferences. You are already super busy and I am thinking you have much to do with very little time, so make use of your college tours. The most important thing is to get to at least one campus tour done every single holiday or time off from school. If you need to do a campus tour and admissions interview together give yourself permission to miss school (of course talk to your parents first) and attend during regular the school year.

Emily GoldmanFounder and CounselorGrey Guidance

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

It is best, if possible, to try to visit a college campus when it is in session (Fall or Spring). You will get a much better sense of what it feels like to be a student, both inside the classroom as well as outside the classroom. If this isn’t possible, though, visiting when school is not in session is probably better than not visiting at all. But be sure to keep this mind when assessing the school and assessing your experience and first impressions. Visiting during events specifically dedicated to high school (or future) students can be helpful as well, but again, be sure to keep in mind that what you experience during these events may not necessarily be typical of the “normal” student experience at the school….for better or for worse.

Kiersten MurphyExecutive Director and FounderMurphy College Consultants LLC

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

Absolutely during the school year. You will see the campus alive and get the opportunity to interact with students and faculty. If you go during the summer, you won’t have a true vision of what it might be like.

Benjamin CaldarelliPartnerPrinceton College Consulting, LLC

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

When the college is in session and not during final exams or the weekend. You want to see and experience the college on a typical day. Thursdays are usually great because students are going to class and then out at night. You want to see the school at work and at play. You might also want to visit during the worst month of weather if that is important to you. Schools in the east are idyllic in October, but can you handle the cold in January. Likewise, Arizona is great in February, but scorching in September.

Mollie ReznickAssociate DirectorThe College Connection

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

I would say that the best time to visit schools is probably the spring of your junior year or the early fall of your senior year. Visiting in the spring is important if you don’t have a strong notion of what you are looking for as it will help you narrow down your options. If you have already narrowed down your college list, visit in the fall to get a better sense of each individual school. While visiting over the summer might be most convenient you miss out seeing students on campus which could have a huge impact on your view of the school. Also, in the spring and fall the weather is nice, the students are outside and happy and are therefore more approachable.

Riche Holmes GrantPresidentInnovative Study Techniques

The best time to visit a college campus…

The best times to visit are when school is in session (fall and spring) and you have the opportunity to interact with current students, visit classes and meet professors. If you really like a school, I suggest doing two visits–once when the campus is “buzzing” (e.g., during a “Prospective Student Day”) and again on a regular day (e.g., when not much is going on)–so that you can get a complete picture of the school.

Trevor CreedenDirector of College and Career CounselingDelaware County Christian School

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

The best time to visit a college campus is during the junior year. Colleges love to see juniors because they are still open minded. Seniors will come on to colleges campuses most of the time with an agenda. Juniors on the other hand are open to what school is going to be the best fit for them. If you visit as a freshman or sophomore, colleges are going to tell you they want you to come back as a junior or senior. As far as when it would be a good time to visit, my opinion is that you want to visit when students are there and classes are going on and it isn’t during one of there “Open House” or Preview” weekends. Now, if the only time you can go is when students are there or during an “Open House” or “Preview” weekend, please visit. You need to take advantage of the time you have to visit.

Trevor CreedenDirector of College and Career CounselingDelaware County Christian School

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

The best time to visit a college campus is during the junior year. Colleges love to see juniors because they are still open minded. Seniors will come on to colleges campuses most of the time with an agenda. Juniors on the other hand are open to what school is going to be the best fit for them. If you visit as a freshman or sophomore, colleges are going to tell you they want you to come back as a junior or senior. As far as when it would be a good time to visit, my opinion is that you want to visit when students are there and classes are going on and it isn’t during one of there “Open House” or Preview” weekends. Now, if the only time you can go is when students are there or during an “Open House” or “Preview” weekend, please visit. You need to take advantage of the time you have to visit.

Kimberly ParsonsCounselorHerbert Hoover High School

Best time to visit a college campus

I would say that the best time to visit a college campus is either your Junior or Senior year of High School. Visit as many campuses you are interested in, as you can. This can give you an idea of the size of the campus, the class sizes, the students who are currently attending, tution cost, etc…Also, try to visit the campus during a regular school day. If you go on holidays or during the summer, you will not be able to see the WHOLE PICTURE of a day on the life of a college campus. Make sure to call the college ahead of time to see what days they do campus tours for groups or individuals. Also, if you visit while classes are in session, you can have an oppurtunity to sit in on a class, talk to college counselors, and visit with current students, and have the oppurtunity to ask questions (go ahead and write down any questions you have first, that way you won’t be trying to remember them on a very busy day). Most high schools will excuse this absence, if you bring an excuse stating where you were and why.

Wendy KahnPrincipalWendy Kahn College Consulting, LLC

Visit when classes are in session

If at all possible, you should plan to visit colleges while classes are in session. You’ll get the best feel for a campus by seeing it in full swing. It’s tough to get a positive feel from a school when the campus is dead.

Tim Haley

Best time to visit a college.

Any day Monday thru Thursday during the school when the majority of students are on campus. An empty campus tells you nothing.

王文君 June ScortinoPresidentIVY Counselors Network

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

you should visit a few schools during your junior year and more schools during your senior year.

Erica WhiteCollege & Career CounselorMiddletown High School

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

You should begin visiting colleges during your junior year of college. It is always best to visit when students are on campus… between September through December or Februray through April. When students are on campus you get a feel for the student makeup and campus. It also gives you a chance to talk to professors, coaches and students about the school. Some things to consider while you are on campus….Are students outside? Do the students seem happy? Do students appear engaged in class? Is the library busy? How’s the cafeteria food? Are there events going on? Is everyone tucked away in their dorm rooms studying? How crowded is the gym? Are sports teams practicing? Is the student body diverse?

Amber GrohAssistant Director of Student LifeUniversity of South Dakota

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

If travel proximity and money although I think it is best if a student can visit a college campus twice before making a final decision. Visit once towards the end of your junior year after you have taken the ACT/SAT at least once. This will give you an oppurtunity to have a more indepth conversation with your admissions counselor about your chance at acceptance and possibilities of receiving scholarships. This trip should be used to get a broad sense for the campus. Find out what type of extracurricular activities you can get involved with as a new student, can you have a car on campus, what types of supplemental instruction classes are offered, what are the residence halls like. For you second first go at the beginning of your senior year. Focus this visit primarily on your specific area of study. When setting up your campus visit ask to speak with a professor for that department, meet with student from the different clubs associated with that major. This is the visit that you are going to want to ask the difficult questions. Push for answers about scholarships and financial aid, find out what type of live on campus requirement the institution has, meal plan cost and those types of items. You don’t want to be surprised when you receive the first bill.

Erica WhiteCollege & Career CounselorMiddletown High School

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

It is always best to visit when students are on campus… between September through December or Februray through April. When students are on campus you get a feel for the student makeup and campus. It also gives you a chance to talk to professors, coaches and students about the school. Some things to consider while you are on campus….Are students outside? Do the students seem happy? Do students appear engaged in class? Is the library busy? How’s the cafeteria food? Are there events going on? Is everyone tucked away in their dorm rooms studying? How crowded is the gym? Are sports teams practicing? Is the student body diverse?

Annie ReznikCounselor/CEOCollege Guidance Coach

Visit When You Will See the Most

It’s best to align your visit with the school’s calendar, not your own. Ideally, you should visit a college while school is in session (some colleges release in early May) and plan to arrive mid-morning on a weekday when students are most often busying about campus (peak class time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Early in your search, visiting multiple schools per day is fine, but as you are refining your list spend more time on each individual campus.

Corey FischerPresidentCollegeClarity

During the academic year

While any visit is better than no visit, it is always best to visit a college while it is in session, that way you can see it in full swing with the students and faculty. It is also best to try to visit during the week if at all possible. If the college is in a particularly cold climate, you should visit at the height of the cold (for example, Middlebury in February). That way you can see if you are comfortable with the weather as well as the college. Visiting in August does not give you an accurate idea of what it would be like during the school year.

Geoff BroomeAssistant Director of AdmissionsWidener University

School is in session

The best time to visit a college campus is when school is in session. You want to get the pulse of the student body when you visit. It is hard to get that over Christmas Break or Summer Break.

Tricia HowardDirector of College CounselingSt. Ursula Academy

Anytime

That being said, the actual best time to visit is when school is in session. Particularly spring breaks are not generally the same with high schools and colleges, so that is a great time. Sophomore and Junior year spring breaks are ideal. Having the ability to sit in an actual class and eat in the dining hall is important. Going in the summer or on a break is better than not going at all, but especially in the summer you have to remember many of the “students” you see are actually there with some type of camp. Sports, enrichment, early college camps are all going on during the slower summer months. The actual student population drops significantly during these months.

Cheryl Millington

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

The best time to visit is when it’s best for you. But there are many events that are specifically for future students that you’ll get invitations to attend. But note you’ll likely to get the ‘glossy’ view of the campus. But on the positive side, you’ll have a chance to see cool experiments, take part in fun activities or have access to areas that are normally closed to regular visitors. If you can, still try to visit another time during the school year so you can see and feel what a regular day is like. I recommend to start or end the visit around lunch time so you can have a meal on campus. This gives you the opportunity to taste and see the food options on campus, but also speak to students in the cafeteria to get their opinions of their experience at this school.

Cheryl Millington

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

The best time to visit is when it’s best for you. But there are many events that are specifically for future students that you’ll get invitations to attend. But note you’ll likely to get the ‘glossy’ view of the campus. But on the positive side, you’ll have a chance to see cool experiments, take part in fun activities or have access to areas that are normally closed to regular visitors. If you can, still try to visit another time during the school year so you can see and feel what a regular day is like. I recommend to start or end the visit around lunch time so you can have a meal on campus. This gives you the opportunity to taste and see the food options on campus, but also speak to students in the cafeteria to get their opinions of their experience at this school.

Lora LewisEducational ConsultantLora Lewis Consulting

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

You should absolutely visit when school is in session so you can experience what a campus is like in action. Without students there, even the most impressive college is really just a bunch of buildings. If possible, try not to visit during the first month of school or other time of peak activity like sports playoffs, when the temporary hustle and excitement can give you a false sense of what regular day to day life is like. If you’re from a warmer geographical area and are considering school in a different clime, consider scheduling your visit for a month when the weather is at it’s worst; that way, you won’t be surprised when those first snow flurries start to fly and it turns out that, in some parts of the country, winter really does mean cold.

Bill PrudenHead of Upper School, College CounselorRavenscroft School

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

The best time to visit is when a school is in session. You will not only have greater access to people and perspectives beyond the programmed admissions tour, but you will have the chance to see and feel what the campus and the school are really like. Going in the summer or during a break allows you to see the physical plant, but offers no sense of the human dimension and the energy that will be so much a part of the daily experience over the course of your time there. It is important to try and get that sense for college is a place where you will be both living and learning and so the fuller picture you have of what it will be like, the better.

Pamela Hampton-GarlandOwnerScholar Bound

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

Anytime up till the Fall of your senior year.

Mary Mariani

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

Visit a college campus when the students are present. If you plan a head, you should be able to have a tour by an attending student. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes in a major that you might be interested in. Also ask to see some of the dorms and residents halls that freshman live in. You might even be able to eat a meal at the dorms. Visiting while students are attending can give you a sense of what “a day” on the campus is like. If you know someone who is attending the campus, see if you can arrange an over-night visit and attend classes with your friend or relative. Make sure that the visit isn’t just on the weekend because I think it is important to see what the campus is like while students are attending classes.

Patty Finer

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

When school is in so you can see the school in action, sit in a class, eat and talk with the students, and see the activities.

Eric Beers, Ph.D.College and Career CounselorAir Academy High School

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

Definitely try and visit when school is in session…ideally during the regular school year. (Summer is not the best time). Visiting any time is better than nothing! But to get a true feel for the campus, the students, classes, the overall spirit of the college, try and go during the regular school year. In fact, if you are a little worried about the weather, maybe try going during one of the coldest times of the year (or the hottest if you are looking somewhere in the south) and see if you can really stand it!

Jessica BrondoFounder and CEOThe Edge in College Prep

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

Visit when school is in session. This way you get to see what the school would be like when you would be a student there. Visiting while a school is on break can make a tour very dull, as there is nothing going on and it seems very lonely, which is probably an unfair representation of the school. Give the school a chance to have you see it at its best!

Eric DoblerPresidentDobler College Consulting

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

The best time to visit is when the college or university is in session. You will get such a better feel for who the students, faculty and staff are and what the school is all about if you visit during the semester. Think about it, classes are in session so you could always ask to sit in on a class. You could arrange a meeting with an instructor from your program and learn more about the opportunities for someone like you. Check schedules ahead of time and attend a game or performing arts event – get a real feel for activities and student life. Each of these is a valuable experience to have when you visit and much more likely to happen if you visit during the semester. Try not to wait for the summer – college campuses are very different (and much quieter) in the summer when the students, and most of the faculty are gone.

Shoshana Krieger

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

The best time to visit a college campus is when school is in session. In other words, if possible, try not to visit during the summer. There are several reasons to visit while school is in session. 1) You’ll get to see students! One of the most important reasons to visit a college is to actually see the students. You want to get a sense of the social atmosphere on campus, and the best way to do that is to see students in action. 2) You can attend a class. If you visit during the school year, it is more likely that you’ll be able to sit in on a class, which can give you a great glimpse into academic life at the college. 3) You’ll see the area surrounding campus at its most vibrant. If you want to see which stores, restaurants, and coffee shops are most popular with the students, you need to visit when students will be around to go there! 4) It will be the most accurate representation of what it’s really like. When you go to college, you will be on campus when school is in session, so you want to visit when school is in session. A school-year visit will provide the most accurate reflection of what it’s really like to go to a particular college.

Rod BugarinFormer Admissions OfficerColumbia, Brown, and Wesleyan University

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

Here is my video response to the question.

Joyce Vining MorganFounder and college counselorEducational Transitions

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

When the college is in session, but avoiding exam periods when everyone is hyper-busy and the vibe is a bit grim, and staying away from the euphoria of the first weeks of classes in the fall. You want to see everyday life. That said, visiting whenever is better than not visiting at all.

Joyce Vining MorganFounder and college counselorEducational Transitions

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

When the college is in session, but avoiding exam periods when everyone is hyper-busy and the vibe is a bit grim, and staying away from the euphoria of the first weeks of classes in the fall. You want to see everyday life. That said, visiting whenever is better than not visiting at all.

Scott WhiteDirector of GuidanceMontclair High School

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

Fall or spring (before May).

Carolyn MulliganPrincipalInsiders Network to College

Always Try To Visit When School Is In Session

I know that sometimes a hectic schedule or sports can preclude visiting while schools are in session, but I always prefer visiting campuses when students are there. And somehow summer school doesn’t feel the same to me. I have been on the same campuses in the summer and during session, and they have very different feels to them. In the summertime, they often have high school students on campus doing sports camps and music camps, so they are not college students. So to get a real feel for the vibe of a campus, and the flow of students to and from class, visit during the school year. It also gives you the opportunity to chat with students in the Bookstore, the cafeteria or just sitting on a park bench between classes, and ask them what they did last weekend!

Helen H. ChoiOwnerAdmissions Mavens

Classes In Session

Most people advise students to visit college campuses when classes are in session during the fall or spring. That’s good advice because high school students can then talk to lots of students, drop in on a class or two, and get a good idea of student life (clubs, sports, dining facilities, etc.) However, because juniors and seniors in high school have insanely busy schedules during the fall and spring, many families choose to visit in the summer, spring break, or winter break. If you end up visiting during this time — don’t despair! You can still get a feel for the campus and its surrounding environs, and you will always see a student or professor around the library! And… you never know…if you are lucky enough to be on campus during a college’s “jan term” or “winter intersession” — you might be able to get a sense of what special offerings the college offers during that time.

王文君 June ScortinoPresidentIVY Counselors Network

you shall start early if you can

if you can visit different colleges each year, you will find out more about yourself each time.

Francine SchwartzFounder/ PresidentPathfinder Counseling LLC

The Best Time to Visit a College Campus

The best time to visit a college campus is when school is in session. You will be able to get a better feel for the campus vibe than during the summer when less students are available. Always try to eat a meal in the cafeteria not only to sample the food that you will be consuming for four or more years but to watch and observe how students interact. The student center is also a good place to observe students in action. What tables are set up for activities, fund raising, events and causes? Can you envision yourself living and studying among the students you see. In order to visit when school is in session you may need to go during your spring break. Francine Schwartz Founder and President Pathfinder Counseling LLC

Penny DeckOwnerChampion College Counseling

Visit when the campus is in “full swing”

Although weekends and summers can be the most convenient time to visit college campuses for high school students and their families, you don’t get a true picture of the culture and social climate when the students are not there attending classes. Spring break junior year is a great time to visit because most high schools have their breaks in April and most colleges have their spring breaks in March so you will be there when the students are there. You will be able to see the hustle and bustle of college life and also be able to sit in on classes if you choose. Also, in the spring the weather is usually warm and more students will be outside enjoying the sunshine!

Deborah HellerDirector of College CounselingBeacon School

When To Go On College Visits

The best time to see colleges is the February/April break of your junior year. These are the only long breaks that you will have off but colleges will not. It is always better to see a school when they are in session. You can of course go on college visits over winter or summer break, but you must keep in mind that while you are getting a feel for the campus there will likely be very few students around and you won’t get a real feel for what the student body is like. Often students remark that the campus was dead and they felt like nothing was going on. Try not to take this out on the college, as all schools will feel this way during breaks. Even on weekends the campus may seem pretty dead as college students tend to sleep in and there are rarely classes then. If it is possible to miss a few days of school you may want to try to go up to a campus during the week. If you go during your break or a regular school day you can likely sit in on a class and speak to some students about their experiences there.

Tam Warner MintonConsultantCollege Adventures

Visiting campus

Always, always visit campus when school is in session. You want to see other students, sit in on a class or two, chat with the admissions office, and during senior year most colleges will allow you to spend the night on campus. Try not to visit when no one is there….you’ll get no feel for the life of the college.

Jill KaratkewiczCounselorEast Hampton High School

Students on Campus

The best time to visit a college is ideally when the college students are on campus! For high school students it is often easiest to visit during the summer vacation, but the major drawback is that there will be very few students milling around to get a good sense of whether or not you think you will “fit in” there. Initial visits are best made in the spring of the student’s junior year, perhaps during a spring break when high schools are not in classes but colleges have not yet finished their school year. Visits should always be set up ahead of time by contacting the admissions office.

Jill KaratkewiczCounselorEast Hampton High School

Students on Campus

The best time to visit a college is ideally when the college students are on campus! For high school students it is often easiest to visit during the summer vacation, but the major drawback is that there will be very few students milling around to get a good sense of whether or not you think you will “fit in” there. Initial visits are best made in the spring of the student’s junior year, perhaps during a spring break when high schools are not in classes but colleges have not yet finished their school year. Visits should always be set up ahead of time by contacting the admissions office.

Rana SlosbergOwnerSlosberg College Solutions LLC

Best time to visit

The best time to visit a college campus is when college is in session. That way you have a chance to interact with students other than your tour guide and you have a better sense of whether the college is a good fit for you.

Nicholas Umphrey

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

Living in New England, this is easy, in the autumn. The romantic display of old New England colleges and universities is always heightened during peak foliage season. Refrain from visiting during a time when classes are not in session, because this will not give you an accurate view of the school. Also refrain from visiting a buddy of yours a couple grades ahead of you. Going to a college party or staying in his room playing video games does not count as a tour. When you visit, try to arrange a formal tour with the admissions office. An interview, usually optional, is always a good idea. Sometimes smaller schools will review your application on the spot during the interview and waive your application fee. Try to arrange a sit in on a class in your field of study, and/or speaking to a professor in your field of study.

Robin WhitingGuidance CounselorGeorge P. Butler Comprehensive High School

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

It’s best to visit a college campus when class is in session. That’s when you’ll be able to observe how many students are on campus, visit a class, and speak with students who attend the school and may be interested in the same things you are. If you visit when classes are not in session you will miss these opportunities to observe and speak with individuals who will be able to give you their personal take on the school, programs of study, and the best dorms or dining halls.

Mindy PoppPrincipalPopp & Associates, LLC

The Ideal Time to Visit a Campus

The best way for a student to determine if a prospective college is a good match is to experience the college firsthand. When classes are in session, visit a school and take advantage of opportunities to get to know it beyond the campus tour and the information session. Consider going to lunch with a current student, attending a campus performance or sports event, staying overnight with a current student, etc.

Sarah ContomichalosManagerEducational Advisory Services, LLC

When to Visit Colleges?

The best time to visit is when school is in session. Colleges often begin and end earlier than high schools and so late summer is a good time. You can also check to see if your high school’s spring break is at a different time than the colleges you wish to visit.

Erin AveryCertified Educational PlannerAvery Educational Resources, LLC

Best Tip Ever!

Visit your top choice on an SAT Saturday in the fall. The numbers of visitors are smaller and the opportunity to seek out a department head and make a meaningful connection could be a game-changer. 

kati swansonCounselorTMCC HS

The best time to visit a college campus

To get the most out of your college visit, schedule it when school is in session. This will give you a real feel of campus life. Visiting while the college is in session will also give you a chance to speak to current students.

Suzan ReznickIndependent Educational ConsultantThe College Connection

The best time to visit a college is when it is in session!

While summers are often the “best” time to visit because students are on vacation, so are the college students. If you visit over the summer, you will miss out on seeing what the students look like, and how comfortable you feel in that culture. Do the students seem artsy and quirky? Do they sport nose rings and green hair? Or do they seem more “preppy” to you? Often this sense of “fit” or comfort level is more of a gut feeling. Also being on campus, when the college is in session gives you the opportunity to meet and chat with professors, who can be quite gracious and generous with their time. My favorite time of year to visit is either the Spring or the Fall, when the weather is beautiful and the campuses are at their best. Don’t forget though winter may be a “challenging” time on many campuses.

Karen Ekman-BaurDirector of College CounselingLeysin American School

When to Visit a College Campus

The best time to visit a college campus would be when school is in session. I’ve visited a lot of college campuses, both privately and on organized tours. Unfortunately, most of these visits were at times when classes were not in session because of my own availability. It is much more revealing to visit a college when students are on campus and classes are taking place. You can get a sense of the campus culture, talk with current students, maybe arrange on overnight, sit in on selected classes – all of this in addition to the campus tour and information session. Of course, you should avoid going during exam periods.

Dori MiddlebrookOwnerDori Middlebrook Educational Consulting

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

The best time to visit a college campus is when students are there and school is in session. This way you can get a real “feel” for what the student population is like and what life on campus would be like. If possible you should try to visit campus at the time of year you fear the most. If you are considering a school located somewhere with unusually hot weather (Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, etc.) visit in August or May. If you are considering a school with extreme winter weather (Wisconsin, Maine, Massachusetts, etc.) visit in January or February to see what the cold is really like. Visiting campus is like trying on a pair of jeans, you won’t know if the school is a good “fit” for you unless you “try it on”. A campus visit should be a priority before you make your final school decision.

Sandy McMasterCollege Admissions ConsultantMy College Hunt, LLC

Timing is Everything

You definitely want to visit a college campus when school is in session, preferably during the fall or spring. This will give you the opportunity to get a feel for the student body, see how crowded or empty the campus is (library, cafeteria, classrooms, walkways) on a regular school day. If school spirit is important to you, time your visit for a home game. – but plan ahead, depending on the college, hotel accommodations might be difficult to get. While all college campuses may be beautiful in fall, if weather is an important factor, you might consider visiting when the weather is not at its best: winter in Chicago or Seattle, summer in Tempe… If you’re a high school junior, try to sneak into an accepted student tour in the spring. This is when seniors are making their choices among the colleges they’ve been accepted to, and they tend to ask the hard-hitting questions.

Laura O’Brien GatzionisFounderEducational Advisory Services

Undoubtedly the prime time is when…

colleges are in session. You can sit-in on a class, have lunch in the college cafeteria, meet a few students and really get a feeling for the campus culture. Many schools offer an overnight visit opportunity to seniors.

Nancy MilneOwnerMilne Collegiate Consulting

Timing you campus visit

There are just so many good times to check out campuses. Obviously, if school is in session you will be able to sit in on classes, see real students, eat in the cafeteria, etc. That’s assuming you have a day off/skip school to go on a weekday. If a weekend visit it must be, you’ll be able to check out the vibe: suitcase school, library packed, lots (or not) to do, etc. Obviously, there is no controlling the weather. Since you would be on campus for 9 months you might as well experience it under any climate. Unfortunately, summer is often the easiest time to travel, so just keep in mind that things may be operating on a limited/modified basis. No matter what, it’s always helpful to walk the walk, so you can talk the talk. Safe travels!

Helen Cella

What’s the best time to visit a college campus?

When school is in session

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