When NOT To Visit A Campus

Here's when not to visit a college campus

Flickr user uvuphotos

You know all the reasons why you should visit the campus and naturally, you would make plans to visit during the most convenient time. For most people, this would be during the summer break. Not only is a school out so you won’t be missing classes but summer is also the best time to travel. Instead of traveling only to visit a campus, you could turn the trip into a family vacation.

Unfortunately, while that sounds like a tempting idea, summer is one of the worst times to organize a campus visit. Unless you have absolutely no other choice, you should try to avoid summer campus visits.

Here are some of the reasons why you should NOT visit campus during the summer break:

Colleges Are (Mostly) Deserted During The Summer Break  

Like high schools, colleges are mostly ghost towns during the summer. This means if you visit any college campus during the summer break, there will be very few people there. Most of the students will have left for their break and so will most of the faculty members. Only skeleton staff remains on campus during the break, and a few students taking summer classes—usually part time.

This can make a huge difference to your experience during the campus visit and your take-away from the visit. The main purpose of a campus visit is to get a ‘feel’ for the campus and its ambiance by observing students, mingling with them, and asking them questions about life at the school. Their answers will help you determine whether or not you and the college are a good fit for each other.

Without students and staff on the campus, a visit will tell you nothing more than what you already read on the college brochure or on the college website. This defeats the very purpose of your visit.

You Will Not Get The Opportunity To Sit In A College Class Or Eat In The Cafeteria

Sitting in a classroom during a lecture, observing students participating in extracurricular activities, eating in the cafeteria along with the other students, visiting the dorm rooms and talking to the residents… these are some of the highlights of a campus visit. They give you a sneak peek of what your life will be like if you decide to attend that college. You can only get this perspective when classes are in session and when students are milling around the place.

You Won’t Be Able To Get All Of Your Questions Answered

With most of the faculty absent, you may not be able to get answers to all of your questions on the spot. Instead, you will have to send an email to the department after the tour and wait for school to re-open before you get a reply. While this may not seem like such a big deal, it does force you to put a lot of important decisions on hold.

Other Bad Times to Visit

Summer isn’t the only time to avoid if you can. Holiday breaks also cause college students to travel home and classes to be out. Thanksgiving or Winter break will also be less than ideal, even if you have the free time.

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