College visits are an excellent opportunity to get a “feel” for the colleges you are applying to. College visits aim to get you acclimated with the important aspects of choosing a school. They will take you on a tour of campus and residence halls, teach you about academic and student life opportunities, provide you with further resources, and let you eat at the dining hall.
There is often a dilemma about when to make college visits. This can range from time of year to what day of the week. Visiting on the weekend may sacrifice a complete view of academics, but give you a good sense of the campus culture. Summer is when most high school students have flexibility in their schedule, but campus may be a bit empty. We’re here to address misconceptions about the negative aspect of visiting colleges over the summer.
There won’t be any students to interact with.
False. When you go on your college visit in the summer, you will still find students on campus. Many are there for summer classes, internships, or volunteer opportunities. Take advantage of this smaller pool of students by having the confidence to approach somebody and talk to them. Many colleges will arrange for students to assist you with your visit regardless of the time of year, so you will have student contact no matter what. Students will often be the most honest and insightful resource at your disposal when deciding where your best college fit is.
There will be no classes to shadow.
Not true. Many students take summer classes to stay on track to graduate in four years. Since less students are on campus, it is likely that you will get a more meaningful classroom experience. Instead of visiting a large lecture where you likely won’t have the opportunity to interact, you will probably visit a discussion based class with 10-30 students. You may be able to sit in and observe for as little or long as you’d like. Then, you can hopefully ask the students or professor questions. This can help ease your nerves before your first class. While college classes are certainly different from high school, it wrong to assume you will never get to know your professors or have a small classroom feel.
My visit will be cut short.
Inaccurate. Despite classes not being in session, colleges will ensure you still get the full experience as a student who visits in October. Your tour group will probably be smaller so you will have a more individualized tour and can ask your guide more questions. Additionally, staff will have lighter loads in the summer months and will probably be more accommodating to spend time with you and answer your questions.
When it comes down to it, there isn’t usually a bad time to visit a college. Visiting colleges over the summer is perfectly fine! Have an open mind before you go and objectively evaluate all the aspects of the college. It is smart to jot down things you liked or did not like immediately after your visit. This will help from having colleges blur together and making inaccurate decisions. If you and your parents have the time to make college visits in the summer, do it! Unsure of what colleges you want to attend? Use the College Raptor match tool to receive a list of colleges that fit your preferences.