Visit Colleges, No Excuses

“We are too busy. We don’t have time!”

How often do you hear people say that, or, how often do you say that? Sure, summer gets busy fast and is over too soon. While that might make for good reason to miss things, it also serves as a poor excuse. Now that might strike a nerve…

Don’t think for a moment that it’s too early for your rising-sophomore or rising-junior to be visiting colleges, it’s not!

College visits are your way to connect with the key decision-makers of the college, the people who will decide upon your fate.

So ask yourself, when is it too early to meet the people who will decide on your student's chances of a scholarship? Or are you just too busy to do so?

Here are the most common reasons people miss taking college visits.

  • They are too busy with everyday life
  • They don’t think about it until it’s too late
  • They don’t have a college list to work from
  • They don’t think they need too
  • They think it is too early
  • They can’t miss a day of work, school, or practice
  • Although it’s important, it’s not urgent
  • They don’t know how or when to do it
Circumstances will cause interruptions and delays, but never lose sight of your goal.

You wouldn’t leave buying a house to chance, so why leave the college education and experience of your child to chance?

Your Winning Strategy to College Visits

You can form a strategic plan for winning the college game and leave chance to others. Visiting colleges allows you to form a relationship with the Admissions Office and their counselor assigned to your geographical region. It all begins with an email and a phone call.

The email is simple. it’s a personal introduction of the student with an expression made reflecting serious interest. Attach your profile-sheet along with an embedded video link of your personal introduction and you will begin to build interest in you as a prospective applicant. 

Then comes a 5-10 minute phone call which begins,

“Thank you for taking my call. I have a few questions for you. Do you have ten minutes for me?”

Then proceed with 5 must-ask questions.

  • I am a resident of ____; how does that affect my admissions?
  • My GPA is ____ and my SAT/ ACT scores are ______; how does that position me for an acceptance and scholarship?
  • What else can I do to improve or strengthen by application?
  • What is the advantage to applying Early Action? Early Decision?
  • Will you be traveling to my high school area?

There are additional questions to ask upon making your visits, one of major importance is:

  • What is the scholarship range you have authority to give and what does it take to get the highest amount?

Most families find it much easier to just show up and register for tours, which is good for seeing the school. But it’s not good enough for knowing how their policies apply to your personal situation.

Start College Match today to begin your list of schools to visit.

Hans Hanson has worked as a College Advisor for 15 years and has published articles in such places as US News and Forbes.