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Are you planning a college visit? Plan smart!

college visit

A college visit can be an exciting learning experience as students get a peek into where they might spend the next 4-6 years of their lives. 

College visits can also be overwhelming and stressful if time is not dedicated to planning a college visit the right way with the right tools. College Parenting Expert, Wendy David-Gaines, has some excellent strategies and tips about how families can plan college visits to help students make a smarter and more informed decision about their college choices. 

All college-bound students and their parents can learn from Wendy as they start thinking about college visits and planning family vacations. 

Have you already made a college visit? Where did you go? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below! 

Read Wendy’s wise words and plan smart when it comes to college visits!


In order to visit schools on a lengthy college list, many parents and students pack two or three college tours into one day. Three days can net up to nine schools! Whirlwind vacations are notorious for leaving visitors exhausted, unsatisfied, and with a head aching from a blur of memories. This is not a good result for the college-bound.

A vacay is a break from the usual work routine but a college visit is for planning a future. If vacationers mix up the identity of a couple of cities, it’s an oops. When students confuse which college is which, they may end up applying to the wrong one. Too much is riding on the decision to squeeze too many sights and experiences into a too-tight schedule.

A better way is to virtually tour the college list first. Go on schools’ websites to look at campus photos and videos and read student newspapers to learn about campus issues. View the schools’ social media to get a feel for their personalities. Cross out the colleges that no longer fit and select those to actually visit.

Second, families can opt for quality over quantity. A slower pace allows for students to take a breath and envision themselves being on a campus for four to six years. It permits attending activities in addition to the information sessions and college tours that are designed as college marketing strategies. Taking it easy, the college-bound are less likely to be overwhelmed, more bound to remember the adventure, and more able to make better decisions about how the school fits with attaining their college and career goals.

An additional benefit of scheduling more time per college visit is it sets the stage for mixing some fun into this college prep activity.

A collegecation is the combination of a family vacation and a college visit. There are many on and off-campus free and low-cost activities ready to be enjoyed. By participating in some, students can begin to form a bond to the campus, current students, and the surrounding area. Or not. Either way, it will help them decide if the school should remain on the college list, and isn’t this the whole purpose of the trip?

Are you planning a college visit? Plan smart!

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