Wednesday’s Parent: Getting the best out of college visits

Campus this way. Pjhoto by Wendy David-Gaines

Campus this way. Pjhoto by Wendy David-Gaines

The purpose of a college visit is to decide whether or not to attend if given the opportunity. It can help refine the college list, determine whether to submit an admission application, and choose to accept an admission offer. It can improve chances for admission by demonstrating interest in a school and provide fodder for essays asking students to explain why they want to attend. It’s also why college visits are best when students and parents linger longer and go back to revisit.

Such plans often go awry because students can react emotionally. They may want to leave the college tour after the first stop or announce the school is off the list before you have a chance to park the car. They may change their mind later and want to go back because they re-researched after they chose a different major or decide their original second choice college is now number one after Admitted Student open houses.

Don’t expect a reasonable explanation. Ask your student why and he’ll probably just shrug. How does a teen tell mom that the campus gave him the creeps or dad there was not one current student who shared her views that a fave campus activity was lame? Or that firmly voiced beliefs did a 180 in a matter of months?

Smooth this bumpy ride with a frank parent-student team college visit talk. Each family member can describe expectations and brainstorm ground rules. Here are some more helpful tips:

A better way to visit colleges

Top 10 nonacademic reasons why parents and students visit colleges

Top 10 questions to ask on college visits

Wednesday’s Parent: Parent role in college visits

Wednesday’s Parent: Collegecations

Read Suzanne’s post: My College Visit Experiences


Tonight is Wednesday’s Parent night (the fourth Wednesday of each month) on #CampusChat, Wednesday, February 25, 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will talk with Z. Kelly Queijo, Founder and President of Smart College Visit and #CampusChat and our team of college parent experts. Please join @SuzanneShaffer @collegevisit and me-@pocsmom and bring your questions and comments.

RECAP: Don’t worry if you missed any college visit pointers from our chat. Read our transcript: #CampusChat Recap 2/25/15: Planning the Perfect College Visit.

Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from to and vice versa.

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