Visiting colleges over spring break


What is your student doing for spring break? Going on a trip with friends? Sleeping in and binge-watching Netflix? Working some extra shifts at their part-time job?

Spring break offers lots of opportunities for fun and relaxation, but if your student is in the midst of the college search, it can also be a productive time to tour potential colleges. What better way to soak up gorgeous springtime weather than by walking around some beautiful college campuses?

Below are some tips to help you and your student have success touring colleges over spring break.

Plan, plan, plan

It all starts with making a plan. Start by writing down all the colleges your student wants to visit (be realistic about how many you can see in a few days or a week) and map out the most efficient order to visit them. Be sure to sign up for official tours on each college’s website once you map out your strategy.

If your student wants to visit colleges that are in the same city, you can probably hit two of them in one day. But for colleges in different cities, one visit a day is enough. For these, consider touring one in the morning and driving to the next city in the afternoon. Use the evening in your hotel room to go through the college materials gathered earlier in the day and talk to your student about what they thought of the tour. Use the rest of the evening to prepare questions for the next day’s college tour.

Visit colleges when they’re in session

Often, high schools and colleges have different spring break weeks, so some of the colleges you and your student visit might be in session. This is good news, as it gives you a chance to ask some students on campus for straight their honest opinions about what they think of the college, as well as to get a general feel of the campus culture and vibe. Bingo, anyone?

Use downtime to talk through college wants

Along with the valuable college information you’ll collect, spring break college tours also offer lots of time for you and your student to talk about what they want in a college. Now that they are seeing colleges up close, the ideal college experience they’ve had in mind might change a bit. Talking about it will help them figure out exactly what they’re looking for. Bonus: you’ll also have plenty of parent-student bonding time — something you’ll have far less of once they go off to college.