Tips for College Visits

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COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) – Next to a home or a vehicle, a college education is a big investment. That’s why high school students and their parents should take the time to tour colleges and universities.

“The only way to know if a college is truly the right fit for a student for their four years at that college and beyond is to know how it feels, and the only way to know how it feels is to visit the campus,” said David Tobias of Ursinus College.

Surprisingly, most students want that college campus to feel like home. So how can you make the most of that college visit? First, schedule an information session with an admissions counselor to get the facts, figures, and deadlines for college applications. Second, take a tour of campus with a student as the guide.

“You can ask tough questions of the tour guide. What’s the food like? Where do you hang out on campus? What do your friends do on the weekends?” Tobias said.

The last tip: follow up after the visit with a second tour, sit in on a class, and meet with a professor. Make a list of the pros and cons of each school and, this may sound like a simple thing, but writing a thank you note can go a long way.

“We’re human. If I know a student and I know they’re the right fit for us, I’m gonna fight for that student when we’re sitting in the admissions committee and we’re arguing about who’s in and who’s out,” Tobias said.

As for the cost, schools are required to have a net price calculator online. By entering finances and other information, parents can get a general idea of what the real cost will be and not what’s listed as the sticker price.

Parents can also negotiate. Private schools tend to offer academic or merit scholarships, so you can negotiate if one school is offering your child more than another.

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