Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Summer College Visits: Value or Waste?

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The value of summer college visits is less than during the school year because the students are not there. Many universities have summer programs but the student culture is dramatically different than during the school year. Some families only have time to get away in the summer. A summer visit is better than no visit.

On a summer visit you can usually evaluate:

1) The campus layout and location
2) The surrounding neighborhood
3) The athletic facilities
4) The library
5) The facilities for LD support and the director.
6) The food (not of small colleges)
7) Transportation options to campus
NOTE: Small colleges may not have many of their facilities open.

In summer you can't evaluate:

1) The student culture
2) School spirit
3) The weather during the school year
4) The learning environment (visiting a class etc.)
5) Weekend activities

Visiting in the summer, you don't get an accurate view of the small colleges. They may look sleepy or even empty. I have had students come back and tell me that XYZ College was boring and dull or overrun with little kids in sports camps. Universities often have summer classes so they look more vital and active by comparison.

If your college visits do take place in the summer, make sure to make a second visit to colleges that you are seriously considering.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lucia,

    I followed your advice (above) when my oldest son was visiting colleges last year and found it invaluable. As we begin exploring colleges for my sophomore, I will be sure not to plan his visits in the summer.