Here are a couple of suggestions to help make the most of your college visits.
Go During the Week
The absolute best time to visit a college campus is during the week when school is in session. Not only will you get to see the campus in action, but you can attend a class, meet faculty and talk with students. If possible, try to visit during high school holidays that fall on Mondays and avoid Friday afternoons when classes are rarely scheduled.
The Best Seasons
Although visits can occur anytime, we'd suggest scheduling yours seasonally, based on what year you are in high school and specific circumstances.
- Spring of Junior Year: Juniors should consider using spring vacation for college visits, especially if you're considering early decision or plan to play a fall sport.
- Summer before Senior Year: Many families plan a road trip, hitting several colleges over several days during the summer. Try to time it for late summer because most colleges begin their fall semester in late August. Even if campus isn’t in session, you should be able to get a feel for the college and decide whether to keep it on your list.
- Fall of Senior Year: Fall is a popular time for weekday visits and many colleges schedule Open Houses on weekends. You want to be sure to visit every college on your list before applications are due to make sure you'd be happy there, should you be accepted.
- Winter of Senior Year: By early winter, you should have visited all of the schools on your list and applied at those you’re interested in. This is a good time to schedule a second, more in-depth, visit to the schools you’ve applied to in order to gauge how you fit into their environment.
- Spring of Senior Year: For the schools you’ve been accepted at or extremely interested in, consider attending an Overnight or other admission event to help make your final decision about which school to attend.
When Not to Go
Before you visit any campus, check with the admission office or website to makes sure you don't arrive when the campus is deserted. Some general rules of thumb are to avoid exam weeks, winter and spring breaks, Thanksgiving weekend and Christmas week.