What I Did for Summer Vacation: College Tours

With summer breaks, many families are busy planning vacations that include college campus tours.   The expense and time families invest in visiting colleges can be more valuable, with preparation by both parents and students.  Here’s a few tips:

  • While scheduled campus tours give families a general overview of the campus, spending additional time to “wander” the campus and the surrounding neighborhoods can give students the “vibe” they need in their decision making.  (Over the years, Creative Marbles finds students making determinations about colleges based on how they feel while on campus, no matter the academic reputation. )
  • Students who think through how they want to learn new information–are they a blow-stuff-up-in-the-lab-and-learn-from-my-mistakes kind of student or are lectures more effective?–can ask informed questions about how professors  teach.
  • Parents concerned about financing a college education and qualifying for financial aid can research a college’s need based and merit based financial aid policies before touring.  Then, asking questions like, does a college fund 100% of financial need or what are the expected tuition increases for the next four years–starts a methodical planning process, to afford the increasing costs of college.

For more suggested questions, see the New York Times