Try to schedule your first college campus visit during your child's junior year in high school. Earlier planning and preparation provide more time and opportunity to evaluate options and even revisit certain campuses to pare down your child's college choices.
Prepare for Each Campus Visit
It's important to prepare a short list of questions to ask during your visit based on what your child is most interested in at a particular college. Remember to collect flyers and campus newspapers, take notes and pictures during each visit and create a rating system to evaluate each college.
Schedule On-Campus Meetings
During your visit, you should meet with representatives from the Admissions and Financial Aid Offices to learn about the application process and financial aid. It's also a good idea to meet with an academic advisor and a faculty member or department head for your child's field of study. Don't forget to have your child write a thank you note to the people you met with during your campus visit.
Visit While Classes Are in Session
Schedule your guided tour during the school year so your child can get a better feel for campus life. Many colleges offer overnight visits, which include planned activities with current students and a stay in the dorms so your child can experience, firsthand, what life on campus is like.
Connect via Social Media
Most colleges are active on social media, and many will have group pages for interested students. Connecting with these groups early allows better insight into the college and your child can interact with other interested students, as well as current students, alumni, and even faculty and staff.