Who should come with you on college visits?
That certainly varies, but if you go with others give everyone a job. Friends can help you sense the vibe of the school and advise you as to whether they think it’s a good fit. Parents can visit the financial aid office and get the scoop on all the money issues. They are also your best eyes for other practical things: what shape are the buildings in? Is laundry easy/cheap, to do on campus? You should organize everyone to support YOU, the person who is going to college!
The most important rankings are the ones you make. Published rankings are based on what’s important to someone else. Would you spend between $100,000 and $200,000 on a car or a house, just because someone else said they liked it – without checking it out for yourself? Of course not. You need to decide what’s important, and what’s essential to you in a college, then find colleges that have those characteristics and rank them based on YOUR criteria. Maybe a high rank in a published ranking is one of your criteria – but don’t make it your only one. Be your own person and make your own rankings!
Here is my video response to the question.
and possibly a younger sibling that is close to high school age can be a good addition to the group. It can help cut down on costs and make it considerably easier for younger siblings to have a good sense of what colleges are like, often even before high school begins! I have found that younger kids who visit colleges with older siblings often have a better understanding of why it’s important to work hard in high school and what the end prize is – going to a great college! However, if the kids are too young, leave them at home. It’s okay to take a friend on the visit if you are both considering the same school – however, remember, the purpose of the visit is to get a sense of whether or not this school is right for you. If having a friend along will distract you from your mission to learn about the school, then don’t take them with you! Also – don’t forget a notepad, a camera or cameraphone and a pen. You will forget key details about the campus visit if you don’t document them. Most of my students like to take pictures of what the campus is like to review later on.
One of your parents should join you on the college visit. If possible, bring the parent who is more knowledgeable about the college process.
if you have your own counselor to work with you, your counselor may set up interviews with the admissions office and other people. that’s the best way to go.
if you do not have a counselor, you should visit schools with other seniors or classmates to gain different perspectives.
if your parents are helpful and able to share their perspectives with you, you should consider their inputs seriouly.
if you have college friends, they can help you with their experiences as well.
A parent or peers are good for the first visit, but you should go alone for a second visit where you may be staying over night.
A parent, trusted adult or friend
I think a parent or guardian should come. Don’t bring an entourage however, just go with one or two people. Leave brothers and sisters at home if they will be demanding of attention. Having friends go with you, I could go either way. The point is that you need to be able to take everything in undistracted and without pressure from others.
You should go to college visits with a parent, relative, teacher, counselor or by yourself. DO NOT go with friends unless you are very mature and can resist laughing and joking and talking! Groups of friends who visit college campuses together can make a very poor impression due to giggling, laughing, shoving, etc.
Chosing the right college can be a challenging task. Most parents/guardians want to be part of the process. Parents can offer valuable insight and advice into chosing a college. You may not want to bring your parents, but I would recommend that you do.
You can go on your own but bringing one or both parents is a great way to see their perspective on the college.
Visiting colleges with friends, neighbors, or siblings can be a great way to start your college search. But, as you get closer to making decisions about application and enrollment, you will want to include a stakeholder on your visit. Stakeholders (aka parents) don’t want to invest without first-hand information.
I encourage parents to let the student drive the show when visiting campus. Hang back, save your questions for later, allow the applicant time to process all the information. While mom and dad are common chaperones to campus, grandparents and aunts/uncles can often be best. At this stressful time, mom and dad are often perceived to be uninformed, thus their questions could be oh so embarrassing! Extended family has the luxury of not being so closely invested in the process, so may actually make better observations and know when to share them. My number one rule is that once you’ve left campus, wait for the student to volunteer their thoughts. Don’t start asking questions or sharing your impressions, until the student has had a chance to digest everything they just experienced.
Each individual has their own perspective on things and the college search process is no exception. Consequently, while having friends and relatives accompany someone on a campus tour can have value, providing different lenses through which to view a school, whatever advice they offer may be far more a reflection of their own experiences, biaises, and desires, however much they may be trying to see what is best for the individual student. Ultimately it is about finding the right fit between the student and the school and any outside informaiotn must be viewd in that context. Too, a large number of competing perspectives can result in confusion and in a process that can seem overwhelming, given the number of factors that are a part of even in the most basic search, that can be a problem.
I am a big proponent of students and parents touring colleges together. The time spent traveling to schools is often a wonderful time to spend talking about future plans and cementing bonds. That being said it is important for parents to take a back seat and let the student ask and answer questions. And of course parents can always wait and see if another parent will ask questions, thus sparing your child the “embarrassment ” of having their parent speak up!
Probably not your best friend. Choosing a college is such a personal decision. It is best to experience a campus’ culture without your high school buddy. After all, chance are slim that you will be attending the same school next year! College Visits are also a time when your parents can be really helpful–leave the coordination of the trip up to them. You take care of the exploration!
A parent (or both), guardian, or close relative who participates in your life should be part of your college visit. This is not the time to keep them at arms length. I’ve seen students who are experiencing temporary ‘teenage angst issues’ and think they don’t need their parents’ help. I’ve also seen well-intentioned but overbearing parents who think they know best which college their child should attend. Parents, please don’t push your alma mater on your student. Visiting colleges should be a positive and open-minded experience – for everyone. Enjoy the tour, listen to the admissions officer’s presentation, but take time to wander around on your own. Parents – resist the urge to ask all of the questions. Take time before you get to campus to review questions as a family and students, YOU, ask the questions. Let the parent quietly take notes in the background. Take your own pictures – always helpful after visiting several campuses to have some visual reminders. I ask students to be brave and ask at least two questions of some random students (tour guide is ok but ask someone who is not the ‘ambassador’ for the college): 1. What made you decide to attend this college? 2. What do you wish you had known about this college before you got here (or, what don’t you like)? College students are generally very honest and willing to answer prospective students’ questions. Enjoy the journey! Consider the possibilities!
You should come with any family members or trusted friends that you choose. You might want remind them (gently, of course) that this is YOUR college visit and that YOU will be in charge of the agenda!
Of course — this means that you will have to take the initiative and really study up on the college and think about what kinds of qualities you are looking for — rather than relying on mom and dad. But you are up to the task, right? If you are responsible and self-motivated — there’s no reason that you can be the driver of your college journey!
One or both parents may enjoy accompanying the student on his/her college visits, but ensure that they are clear exactly whose college visit it is. In a matter of months, that prospective student will be college student. Living into that change can begin during these vital visits.
If you are visiting a campus far from home, it’s ideal to go with a parent. Your parent can go on the the tour and info session with you and then disappear for the rest of your visit. Parents are great at arranging tours and coordinating how many schools you can see during a trip. They can also rent cars and help with travel arrangementse. Sometimes, they help to remember things on a campus visit and to ask some helpful questions. If not, go with a friend. But remember, to get to your appointments on time and visit all kinds of great places on campus. Take some time to explore the neighborhood around the college and even visit the dorms. ALWAYS take notes so you can use them later on in the campus process.
Some students visit colleges on their own – with no one else accompanying them. If a student does visit a college completely on his/her own, it is important, as it actually is in every case, for the student to be well prepared, having done the necessary research about the institution and having given thought to the things he/she wants to know about that school, so that relevant questions can be asked and relevant areas of the school can be seen. Another option is for a student to book a college tour with one of a number of college visit organizations which offer students the opportunity to visit a selected number of schools within a certain time frame (usually about a week). If the tour was arranged through the student’s high school, members of the high school faculty may accompany the group. If the student books the tour independently of the high school, there will be other responsible adults, usually in the field of college advising, who will accompany the group. There will also be someone from the organizing agency with the group seeing that students get to their various target locations on time and making sure that the visits remain well structured. Depending on how the tours are organized, there may or may not be an opportunity for students to schedule individual interviews. In most cases, this will not be an option. Some families choose to make college visits together, in which case, the student will be accompanied by one or both of his/her parents. It is a reasonable expectation that parents would want to have some insight into an institution which may ultimately represent a considerable expense to them. It is important, however, that parents step back a bit when they visit colleges with their children, so that students can develop their own impressions of each institution without being inordinately influenced by parental opinion. The family may choose instead to have another responsible person accompany the student on the college visits. It would be desirable for any accompanying individuals to be able to give the student support in reaching his/her decisions without dominating those decisions. If visiting schools totally independently or with parents/other responsible individuals, students will have the advantage of being able to combine the college interview, if required, with the visit. Another advantage is that the student will only visit schools in which he/she is interested, not a spectrum of schools on a tour itinerary. An advantage of the organized college tour group option, however, is that this can often be a more economical choice, in that there will be no expenses incurred for accompanying persons – parents, for instance. A family college tour can be an expensive proposition when one considers transportation, food, lodging, and other related expenses. It would not be wise for students to visit schools with someone who would distract them from the purpose of their being there or who would lead them to behave foolishly in some way. But, of course, you know that! Visit schools with people who will support you in making wise decisions.
Some students visit colleges on their own – with no one else accompanying them. If a student does visit a college completely on his/her own, it is important, as it actually is in every case, for the student to be well prepared, having done the necessary research about the institution and having given thought to the things he/she wants to know about that school, so that relevant questions can be asked and relevant areas of the school can be seen. Another option is for a student to book a college tour with one of a number of college visit organizations which offer students the opportunity to visit a selected number of schools within a certain time frame – usually about a week. If the tour was arranged through the student’s high school, members of the high school faculty may accompany the group. If the student books the tour independently of the high school, there will be other responsible adults, usually in the field of college advising, who will accompany the group. There will also be someone from the organizing agency with the group seeing that students get to their various target locations on time and making sure that the visits remain well structured. Depending on how the tours are organized, there may or may not be an opportunity for students to schedule individual interviews. In most cases, this will not be an option. Some families choose to make college visits together, in which case, the student will be accompanied by one or both of his/her parents. It is a reasonable expectation that parents would want to have some insight into an institution which may ultimately represent a considerable expense to them. It is important, however, that parents step back a bit when they visit colleges with their children, so that students can develop their own impressions of each institution without being inordinately influenced by parental opinion. The family may choose to have another responsible person accompany the student on the college visits. It would be desirable for any accompanying individuals to be able to give the student support in reaching his/her decisions without dominating those decisions. If visiting schools totally independently or with parents/other responsible individuals, students will have the advantage of being able to combine the college interview, if required, with the visit. Another advantage is that the student will only visit schools in which he/she is interested, not a spectrum of schools on a tour itinerary. An advantage of the organized college tour group option, however, is that this can often be a more economical choice, in that there will be no expenses incurred for accompanying persons – parents, for instance. A family college tour can be an expensive proposition when one considers transportation, food, lodging, and other related expenses. It would not be wise for students to visit schools with someone who would distract them from the purpose of their being there or who would lead them to behave foolishly in some way. But, of course, you know that! Students should visit schools with people who will support them in making wise decisions.
I think you should bring along a person you trust and whose opinion you value. Needless to say that a parent/guardian would be a great choice, because normally these are the people who need to help you with making these life changing decisions.
For first-generation college students, I suggest that both parents (if present in the household) and siblings accompany you to the first few visits so that the whole family can be introduced to college together. In all other instances, I suggest that the parent who is primarily engaged with the admissions process accompany you. I’m some cases, however, you may have to travel alone for overnight visits. I suggest doing those only after you’ve had a few other visits with your parent(s). No matter what the circumstances, it is important for YOU to take the lead role in gathering the preliminary information, setting up the visit and preparing a list of questions to ask. The other people in your family should just be your “supporting cast.”
While it is most important for the student to get to the colleges he/she is considering, it can also be helpful to have a parent along. I don’t recommend having friends do college tours together because they distract eachother and influence eachother too much. Parents can do a great job assessing a college with a more mature perspective. It is important for the parent to remain in the background and not share his/her thoughts at first. Parents should ask the child’s impressions before sharing his or her own views (but do so carefully).
Although I’m of the perspective that the college-planning and enrollment process is a family venture, I also think it’s a good idea for students to go on some campus visits with just friends. This is a good way to practice independent decision-making in a low risk environment. That said, however, when a student gets toward the end of his or her decision-making process, I think it’s a good idea for parents to go with the student a re-visit the top two or three schools the student is deciding on. Sincerely, Mike Chapman, Owner
Chapman College Admission Consulting
most likely your parents are the ones to come with you for college visits.
if your school offers counselor’s tour, you should take on the opportunity.
You should come with any family members or trusted friends that you choose. You might want remind them (gently, of course) that this is YOUR college visit and that YOU will be in charge of the agenda!
Of course — this means that you will have to take the initiative and really study up on the college and think about what kinds of qualities you are looking for — rather than relying on mom and dad. But you are up to the task, right? If you are responsible and self-motivated — there’s no reason that you can’t be the driver of your college journey!
Who accompanies a student on a college visit really depends on a time of year and the age of the student. Students through grade eleven should tour colleges with their parents and siblings.It’s always comforting to have the approval of your family when you are deciding where to live for the first time on your own. However, f you are a senior and visiting a school and, for example, have an appointment with the admissions director for an interview, then it shows the maturity and independence to attend the session on your own. As you become a senior, you take a step forward in your life and you show that you can handle the stress of an interview and that you are at ease with acclimating to a new environment without the guidance and oversight of your parents. In short, an independent actor and thinker shows a level of maturity that colleges seek. Thus, those of you who are in the midst of exploring schools should do so with whomever you feel you choose because it is necessary to seek support during the process. However, once you’ve chosen the school you would like to attend, it is best to be as autonomous as possible throughout the remainder of the admissions process.
I certainly suggest that your parents, aunt, uncle, or an older sibling accompany you. Why? They have more experience and will witness the university visit with experience and wisdom that you may not possess yet. It is always good to have dialogue with someone about such an important visitation. They are concerned about your education, which is why you should be visiting a university campus. They will notice the resources, the services provided, and possibly how the administrative offices function. Do not forget to all enter and spend some time in the library and dormitories. So important, as you will be spending much time there. Are the dormitories safe? Do they have adequate exits in case of an emergency? Are individuals in the reception area polite and courteous?
It is always good to have someone along on a college visit because they might hear or see things that you miss. A parent is a good choice, particularly if they are paying for college. Caution: if you are visiting colleges with close friends, don’t let their opinions affect how you feel about a school. This is going to be the place that you live and grow in for the next four years. If you are easily influenced by what your friends think, do not include them in your college visits.
Naturally your parents should be your first choice. They probably will be footing the bill (or a portion of it) and should be involved and be comfortable with your final choice. But you know your parents and can anticipate how they will act on the visit. If you feel they`ll dominate the conversation you should have a chat with them before you leave. Discuss the level of the participation you`re comfortable with or maybe you`ll just like them to wait in the car. If they accompany you, make sure they allow you to shine and show the school how bright and enthusiastic you are about that university. The school wants to know more about you, not about your parents. If they are not going to participate, it`s important to debrief them after the visits. This will still keep them involved and hopefully trust your judgement. After all, it’s your degree, your experience and it should be your decision.
Bring your folks. They should feel comfortable with the schools that you are looking at. Most likely, you will have a difference of opinion as to which school they really like and the one that you really like. There is a balance to be had here. You have to like it, but they have to pay for it. Just play it cool. If you like a school that your parents don’t, be professional about it by listing the reasons why you think it would be a good fit for you. Don’t just act like a 12 year old girl at a Justin Beiber concert. Your parents will respect your opinion if you approach them in an adult way.
The answer for this question is going to be different for each student. Some students travel well with their parents, others may be better off with a sibling or other relative. When you are considering who to bring on your campus visits, remember that this is your college search. You should bring someone who is going to let you “take charge” of the campus visit. Below are some “Dos and Don’ts” for the student and the guest for any campus visit: Student:
Do take charge of the visit. Schedule the tour and any other meetings that you will have while on campus.
Do research ahead of time. Knowing what questions you want to ask is half the battle. Make sure you find out about college factors that are important to you.
Do participate in an interview, if the college provides that option. Interviews are a great way for you to show the admissions officer who you are.
Don’t let your mom, dad or anyone else take over the entire visit. Ask the questions and interact with as many people as possible. Parents or Other Guests:
Don’t dominate the visit. Let the student be his or her own voice.
Do help them brainstorm questions prior to the visit. You may also help them research individuals on campus they may want to meet with (i.e. a specific professor or director of a program).
Don’t go into an interview. This is one task that students should do alone.
Do schedule meetings of your own. If you have specific questions about financial aid or other parental concerns, schedule meetings without the student. Katherine Price
A college visit should be about you! You are going to be the one who spends the next 4-6 years at the college. It should be about you. Parents like to go along for the college visit as well. The only thing I caution students is to make sure that they are the ones who take the initiative and ask the questions, speak to staff, and speak to faculty. This is a great time for the student to take the initiative! When you go visit a college it helps to bring along those who are familiar with you, and pulling for you to do well. Usually this can be family such as aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and even friends. This works since these will be the people you will likely turn to for support during your college years. When people are aware of your goals and your situation it makes easier for them to support you and respect your wishes.
The simple answer is mom and dad. If you love the school, they are going to want to see it before committing to sending their child there. So you might as well take them along in the first place. While you (the student) may find their questions embarrassing, they are actually very helpful in getting information that you might not have thought to ask. Mom and Dad will need to see the school anyway, so enjoy the bonding experience and road trip!
I advocate the entire family should go (whenever possible). I have strategic reasons for this which I share with my client families. But it makes sense just from the standpoint that while your trying to focus on asking a question, you may need an additional set of ears and eyes to collect the answers and then “compare notes” later.
Too, those extra sets of eyes and hears will gather additional data which you didn’t pick up on because you were checking out the sample dorm room, the new student center or the attractive student standing next to you.
College visits are a chance for students and parents to get a feel for a college or university and decide if it really is a fit for the student. Ideally, both the student and at least one parent should visit the schools. Since the student is the one who will be living and studying there, the parents should be prepared to collect their information, but let the student take the lead in asking questions. Parents, don’t be too overbearing! Remember that your student will be getting a feel for the atmosphere, social settings, living accommodations, etc. and may have different opinions than you on what is important.
Your parents, or guardians, and if you have neither ask your school counselor.
Anyone whose opinion you value, or who has helped you make positive, critical decisions in the past, should accompany you on the college visit. You should be sure to bring folks with you who will tell you the truth, about the things they observe about the institution, as well as how they believe you will fare at the institution, based on what they know about you. Be sure that the individuals who accompany you, however, are folks who have a vested interest in YOUR best interests, and not in their desires or wishes for your college selection.
Bring along someone (or many) who’s opinion you value, when you have questions to ask but be mindful to keep an open mind and not let that person(s) make decisions for you. After all, you are the one who will be attending school, not them.
My preference for someone to come along with you on a college visit is a parent. Remember, that parent will have input in your final decision on where to attend. That parent, most likely, is paying the bill. However, that parent (s) is not the person applying to the college. If there is an interview, the parent should stay away and let the student be interviewed alone. Admissions wants to interview the prospective candidate and a parent shouldn’t act like an applicant. Yet, the student and parent may see different things when on campus. And, being that both were on campus, they can better discuss what they saw and heard with the same frame of reference. What about going with a friend? That doesn’t always work out. Often, the friend influences you. For example, they may not like something on campus, and therefore you don’t like it either. Of course, you are two different people and you need to think for yourself. What is good for one person may not be good for the other person.
A parent (if not both) should visit the college with the student. Parents perceptions and opinions are very important. I know that the last couple of years has that “push-pull” dynamic with most teenagers and parents, but in the end parents know their students probably better than anyone. Also, the parents want to feel comfortable when their students are living away from home attending college. Parents will also think of some practical, everyday questions that might not be on the student’s mind but will have an affect on how happy he/she will be in the new environment.
– Your parents are the easiest people to bring with you, and if you trust their judgement and get along with them, they are great companions to have, as they may notice things you don’t, or think of things you had not considered.
– If your parents aren’t the best people to bring because you have differing opinions from them, a friend that is also interested in the school is a great idea. They will be just as curious as you, ask questions perhaps you hadn’t thought of, and you two can compare notes throughout!
College visits are really fun and eye-opening so taking someone you enjoy spending time with (do I s.dare say your parents?), who has constructive comments to make, and anyone who knows you intimately to ensure the college is a best fit for the next 4 years. Do not take your best friend if you will be cracking jokes and checking out the cute girls/boys. There is plenty of time for that later.
A parent who can hold back on offering opinions while the student absorbs the experience and determines whether or not he or she can picture attending that school for four years. It may be good to make one college trip with one parent and another college trip with the other parent. Such “mixing it up” allows for variation in the parent-teen dynamics, and sometimes the student will have a different “take” on a college visit just because of the chemistry of whoever is along on the visit. It is okay to have siblings along, unless the sibling dynamics is highly conflicted and toxic, distracting the applicant from the task at hand. Sometimes the younger sibling inwardly decides he or she is interested in that college—making it easier when he or she is later going through the college search! Sometimes a student can go with another family who is looking at the same college for a friend in the same grade in school. This can be fun for the students and they can also compare notes on the college they are visiting.
Someone who you trust to be there for you. Picking a college is a big decision, and the campus visit is going to be one of the factors you use to make that decision. While going to a campus visit with your best friends might be fun, you might miss out on a great opportunity to learn about the campus if you’re busy chatting about the latest gossip, or focusing more on each other than the tour and information being provided. However, if your friends are just as interested in the campus as you are and will be there to help you make an un-biased assessment of what you’ve seen (acting more like a sounding board) than they would be great to have with you. Parents are probably a good choice to bring with you, especially if they are paying for the school since they will then have a personal investment in where you choose to go. But, if having your parents will make you unfocused or distract you from making the most use of your time, try to schedule separate tours (often schools have parent sessions that run concurrently with student sessions). Most importantly, you need to bring someone with you who you trust to gather additional information for you and to be a good sounding board for you after the visit.
That depends on the access point to the college. If you are on a campus tour with your school, then teachers or counselors should be with you. If you are visiting by yourself, then a parent or guardian should go along. Not to make any decisions for you, but to help you with feedback, and memory of the experience.
Any one or no one can go with you on a tour. I am incline to tell people to go alone because it will be in that time that you can test how you feel about a school.. without the feedback from a parent or friend…. Unfortunately, visit college campuses can be scary so having the support of a friend or parent is good.. Try to find someone who can be neutral in the process.
Without a doubt, your parents or legal guardians should come on college visits with you. I strongly recommend *not* taking friends with you on college visits. Remember, the college search process is about you and your opinions about college–not about your friend’s opinion about college. This is a crucial time in your life where your decisions about your own path matter most. We all are susceptible to being swayed by others opinions–sometime for the better, sometimes for the worse–and college visits are no different. You may argue, “Well, my parents are going with me and they may try to foist their opinions on me, just like my friends would, so why can’t I have a friend come along?” The short answer is that your parents are your parents, and there are many factors regarding the college process that they will be involved in, such as distance from home and cost. That, and the fact that most teenagers are more influenced by the opinions of their friends. Just look at the clothes you wear, the music you listen to, and the way you talk. I am sure that your fashion sense is much closer to your friends’ than your parents’. It’s safe to say that a friend’s influence about college may carry more weight in your mind than your parents. If you project yourself ten years into the future, I have a feeling that you will feel better about yourself if you can say, “I am glad that I went on college visits without my friends. Even though they are so important to me, it was ultimately my own thoughts and feelings that helped shape my path.”
It is always best to take those along who are most objective to the process. Bring someone who’s opinion you value and can help you to see through those rose colored glasses to the reality of things as you visit. Also someone that has been through the process and can help guide you about what to consider or look for to make the best informed visit that you can. I went with a friend to the college that I ultimately attended and it worked for me. They allowed me to enjoy the visit but also evaluated it on my level and I didn’t have my parents to worry about what they would think. It was a real educational moment for me and one that I am grateful I experienced.
The answer here lies in your personal situation. Many kids have no families or guardians. Others garner annual college tours and visits via organizations or school districts. The question is not should but how to make the most of any visit regardless of those accompanying you. If you can’t make “in-person” visits, use websites offering “virtual” visits. If your parents must accompany, take advantage of the option some colleges provide to complete the tour apart from your family. It is my observation, having chaperoned many college tours, students who visit with students gain a surer sense of their interest most mitigating their assessment of a given college or university.
Despite who may, or may not accompany you, please do visit so as to make an informed choice about the kind and caliber of academic setting you seek.
A good choice would be parents and maybe a graduate that you know personally.
Although parents should take a back seat in the admissions process, they will most-likely be involved in paying for your college education. Therefore, it is important for them to attend a tour of the college’s that you are seriously considering. They can also be a good sounding board for the logistical realities of being away from home, living options, etc.
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