Lehigh has science, technology, and business in a vibrant social culture

lehigh stem business majors

Interested in pursuing a field in science and technology? Then Lehigh University is well worth considering. Lehigh has invested millions to enhance programs in nanotechnology, biotechnology, biosciene and optoelectronics. In addition to being a leader in technology, the atmosphere is very collegial – students push each other to do their best and their career services office actively brings in multiple employers at a time to help students network before they graduate.  If you’re wondering what type of student will excel at a college like Lehigh, one senior describes it by saying, “The type of student who will do best at Lehigh is the one who prefers to be too involved rather than sit back and observe.”

Here are a few quick facts about Lehigh:

Acceptance: 22%

Freshman retention: 94%

Freshmen from out of state: 75%

Most popular majors: finance, mechanical engineering, accounting

4-year Graduation rate: 72%

Student Community Diversity: 4% Black, 10% Latino, 9% International

 

Academics:

Probably the most restrictive requirement for Lehigh is that students must complete courses in four domains: mathematical sciences, natural sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities, in addition to enrolling in an Evolution Seminar their first year which focuses on transition to college. Some degrees also require a mandatory internship or capstone project. 

Aside from that, Lehigh undergraduates are free to study across disciplines. In fact, Lehigh is known for connecting traditionally separate disciplines, such as arts and engineering, computer science and business, and environmental engineering with minors in engineering leadership and sustainable development. Lehigh also boasts many dual-degree options and innovative special programs such as Technical Entrepreneurship Capstone, which teams up engineering, business, and arts students to design and make products for sponsoring companies. Students can also enroll in more than 250 study abroad options in 60 countries or a faculty-led program during winter or summer breaks in over a dozen countries. Those students who are looking to gain field experience can participate in a co-op – and get paid to do it. 

 

Housing:

On-campus housing is home to all first- and second-year students and 65% of students overall. Accommodations for underclassmen are described as “decent.” Upperclassmen have several housing options: apartment-style dorms, Greek houses, off-campus apartments, or an apartment in Farrington Square – a residential and commercial on-campus complex that houses about 250 upperclassmen. So if having a bookstore, farmer’s market, a coffee shop, restaurants, and sometimes live music right outside your door are your scene, you’ll want to apply to live here your last couple of years. 

Similar colleges to consider:
Boston College, University of Southern California, Wake Forest, William and Mary

Social:

With such strong academic programs, you might expect the social life at Lehigh to be lacking, but that’s not the case. There’s a robust Greek life at Lehigh which attracts 38% of males to fraternities and 45% of females to sororities.

Lehigh After Dark hosts a variety of events, including a midnight breakfast bar, a carnival, and bingo night. Other traditions include the Founders Day celebration, Turkey Trot, and spirit week activities leading up to the big Lehigh vs. Lafayette football game. This game is such a big deal – and understandably so as it is the longest standing rivalry in college football (you hear that, Ohio State and Michigan fans? :-)) – that students put more emphasis on beating Lafayette than winning the whole Patriot League championship. The Division I Lehigh Mountain Hawks also boast a number of competitive teams besides football; their wrestling team is described as a “powerhouse” with numerous EIWA championships.

While Lehigh is located in an up and coming small town, undergrads have plenty of big city options with Philadelphia being 50 miles to the south and New York City about 75 miles to the east.  The Poconos and Jersey Shore are also a short drive away.  

Financial:

Lehigh offers both need-based and merit-based aid, as well as 200 athletic scholarships. The average percentage of need met is 97%, with 75% being fully met. Although the tuition and fees are $72,000, the average financial aid package is $61,000. Where there is a demonstrated need, Lehigh has capped loans at $5,000 per year, and for families who make less than $75,000, loans have been completely removed from the financial aid package. More than 50% of students receive some type of financial aid.

What do you think about this college? What else would you like to learn about it? Please post your comments below.

Santa Clara in Silicon Valley Emphasizes Ethics and Social Justice

Santa Clara emphasizes a commitment to academics and community and is distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities. This comprehensive, faith-based, Division 1 university offers small classes taught by full professors and incorporates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice to educate students and citizens prepared to contribute to a more just, humane, and sustainable world. The beautiful 106-acre campus in Santa Clara, California, littered with palm trees and luscious rose bushes, is steeped in history and tradition.

This selective mid-sized California university has a heritage of traditional Jesuit ideals of “infusing morality and ethics into strong and coherent academics.” Founded by the Jesuits and with a large undergraduate population (almost half) of Roman Catholics, religion has a non-intrusive impact on campus life. Santa Clara students will find many opportunities for spiritual development and to get involved with local volunteer organizations. Students will also have access to job-recruitment and internships afforded to a university located in Silicon Valley, with other 70% participation.

Here are a few quick facts about Santa Clara:

Acceptance: 50%

4-year Graduation rate: 84%

Freshman retention: 94%

Freshmen from out of state: 41%

Most popular majors: finance, economics, communication

Housing: Guaranteed housing all four years, but juniors and seniors often utilize the option to live off-campus. While nearly all freshmen and sophomores live on campus, the dorms only house about 56% of the overall student population. Plans are currently in the works to build more university housing to help battle the rising cost of off-campus housing. Students have remarked that the campus always feels safe.

 

Santa Clara University

Academics: Santa Clara offers a rigorous undergraduate curriculum as well as robust masters program, law degrees, and engineering doctorate programs. While offering 8 different engineering programs that comprise 15% of the student population, Political Science, Communication, and Psychology are still the most popular classes among students.

SC boasts its 3-2 engineering program in which a student can attain bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years. The college has also recently added minors in professional writing and real estate. 

Santa Clara’s Core Curriculum prescribes courses in three broad categories: Knowledge, Habits of Mind and Heart (skills), and Engagement with the World. Core Pathways supplement majors and the Core Curriculum by offering 24 sets of courses with interdisciplinary themes (justice and the arts, and values in science and technology, are two such examples). Students choose one Pathway and complete 3-4 courses. A student’s chosen Pathway culminates with an Integrative Reflection Essay and required community service and oftentimes requires completion of a capstone project. 

 

Similar colleges to consider:
Cal Poly–San Luis Obispo, Loyola Marymount, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, University of Southern California

 

Social:  “There’s a great social life both on and off-campus and over a hundred clubs and programs to get involved in,” says one student. Social life is active as 150 student organizations offer a myriad of on and off-campus activities. The Activity Programming Board coordinates a number of popular events such as concerts, movie nights, Midnight Breakfast, to name a few. Although Santa Clara no longer supports fraternities and sororities, Greek organizations and the off-campus party scene still thrive on their own.

Santa Clara’s campus features only one central dining hall where food is prepared by the same company that caters to Apple and Google events. Anyone with a food allergy can take comfort in the fact that they will have a plethora of food options that are organic, farm to table, as well as gluten- and allergen-free.

Financial: Santa Clara offers both university grants and need-based financial aid, with two-thirds of students receiving support. The average percent of need met is 79%. Although the tuition and fees run about $73,000, the average financial aid package is $54,000: $38,000 coming from need-based financial aid, and another $16,000 from merit aid. About 73% of students receive financial aid.

What do you think about this college? What else would you like to learn about it? Please post your comments below.

Top 5 Tips for Best Campus Visits that Save Time and Money

how to make most of campus visit

Many college-bound sophomores and juniors are visiting campuses in March and April during Spring Break. Those campus visits are an important step in the college admissions process and can shape the application process in surprising ways. Given that many colleges will also have “Admitted Student” events in March and April, it’s a good idea to plan ahead for times when prospective students can visit.

These visits are informational so they offer a great opportunity to learn as much as you can about the admissions process and envision your college experience. Because you visit doesn’t mean you must apply. Again, you’re going to gather information. Once your schedule is set, use these tips for a successful visit:

1. Campus size doesn’t always matter

Visit colleges of varying sizes so that you understand whether size matters or not.  When you’re reading about campuses on-line, it’s sometimes difficult to get a feel for the size. Also, the physical space of the campus may attribute either a “small” or “big” feel moreso than the enrollment numbers suggest. Depending on the urban-ness or rural-ness of a campus, it can feel more “big” or “small” when you visit in person.

 

2. Watch your Attitude during the visit

Remember that you are being “interviewed” at all times when you tour a college campus. Even if you’re not in a formal, one-on-one meeting with an admissions officer or faculty member, when you set foot on the campus, consider it as a 2-3 hour interview. With that being said, it’s important to be on “good” behavior. For some colleges, these visits are recorded as “demonstrated interest” and may matter in the application process.

 

3. Not everyone should go

Tour the campus alone or with parents/siblings. Especially, do not visit with your high school sweetheart.  I have actually been on visits where students are there with a sweetheart hanging on to their every hip move. Think about how this looks. Not to mention that the visit can be short-changed by your sweetheart’s impression of the campus. 

This may also apply if your teen has a sibling who will be tired or annoyed during the visit. When I took my son on campus visits, his sister stayed at home. Her interests were so different that she would have been bored and distracting.

 

4. Check out the neighbors

Many college campuses are shaped by the neighborhoods surrounding them. Some neighborhoods are good and some . . . not so good. Check out the neighborhood surrounding the college campus. If you’re not comfortable there, perhaps that’s a sign! Prospective students should feel comfortable with the surrounding area because the on-campus life is often intertwined with off-campus life.

If you are concerned about security, I would suggest that you get an on-campus (and off-campus) police report of recent incidents.

 

5. Have questions ready
brown university campus

Researching the college prior to your visit almost always generates more questions than it answers. Information from the website and viewbooks can be confirmed during your campus visit. For example, you can ask about parking conditions, security, food quality, dorm life, etc. There are a number of other topics or concerns that will occur in the moment as you’re listening to a tour guide or interviewer.

Always ask questions during your visit and any interview. Asking questions demonstrates your interest and intellectual curiosity

.

Throughout the year, I visit dozens of college campuses and learn something new every time. With each visit, it’s important for me to write notes so that I keep track of all that I learned. Please download our Campus Visit Checklist so that your teen remembers what they learned and keep track of how each college would be a fit for their interests and needs.

Where are you visiting this spring? What additional tips do you have for making the most of your campus visits?

Colleges with Free Laundry: A Time and Money Saving Consideration

how to do laundry in college

For many of us, laundry is a dreaded chore. But when you have to pay for each and every load, this task becomes even more daunting.

As many colleges charge for the use of their laundry services, this could be an extra challenge for students.

The transition to freshman year of college can be tough even when the college is a good fit—academically, socially, vocationally and financially.

Contrary to what most may think, the biggest adjustment for college freshmen is social. This includes things like life skills, independence, roommate issues, organizational skills, and time management.

Learning new skills in college.

One of these challenging life skills can be when a student tries to figure out how to do laundry in college.

College life is busy and requires tremendous discipline as freshmen adjust to life away from home with more freedom and independence.

When my son was a freshman at Stanford, it was a major adjustment for him to manage his time, given all the social distractions that come with college, like meeting new friends, joining clubs, and going to parties.

When he came home for break, I was pleasantly surprised that he had no dirty laundry.

I thought to myself, “Wow, how impressive! He made time to do laundry!”

Well, I quickly learned that Stanford has free laundry. So, I guess it wasn’t that impressive…

Time and money saving tips for university students.

Having free laundry in college really does make life a bit easier.

It becomes one less thing for students to worry about.

No more, “Just finished studying at 1 a.m. in the morning . . . time to do laundry. No quarters . . . need to do laundry. Need a clean shirt for an interview . . . must do laundry.”

When I was in college at Stanford, there was no such thing as free laundry. I would spend a lot of wasted time thinking about how I was going to get quarters to do laundry.

Even though there was a bank on campus, it was a hassle because the bank’s 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. hours didn’t always work with my schedule. If I was lucky, I could borrow quarters from my dorm mates.

If free laundry had been an option, my (and my fellow students’) eternal struggle of figuring out how to do laundry at college would have been solved.

As was proven by my son’s experience, some things never change, like how busy and demanding the life of a college student can be. That’s why any opportunity for a student to save money and time should be looked at seriously.

Are you struggling to find the right college? Sign up for my FREE upcoming master class!

Free laundry shouldn’t be overlooked.

When a high school junior is developing their college list, free laundry may not be at the top of their list of considerations for a fit. But once they’re in college, it will make a huge difference for them.

So, when you’re putting together a list of colleges your child might want to attend, don’t discount the power of free laundry! Include information about the laundry services offered by colleges in your searches.

It might seem like a small thing at the time, but it can save valuable time and money at college—two precious resources that can be better spent elsewhere.

If you’d like to hear more about how to put together a college list, don’t miss this post. 

Are you looking for one-on-one guidance for how to get into (or pay for) college? Click here for help.

If you enjoyed this post, don’t miss these either:

Living Off Campus: Pros and Cons
College Application Checklist
Get In and Get Money: 5 Tips for College-Bound Juniors

Vassar College: For the Creative Teen with lots of Interests

college for teens with lots of interests

When I recently discussed the merits of Vassar with a family, the first response from parents was “Isn’t that a women’s college?” Over 50 years ago, indeed Vassar was a women’s college but since then has been coed.

Vassar students and academics

Vassar is known for its innovative curriculum across multiple disciplines and was the first college to offer an undergraduate degree in cognitive science.

 

The typical Vassar student is creative, proud of individuality, and has an independent spirit. Likewise, those natural inclinations match well with Vassar’s open curriculum. This “open curriculum” means that there are no core or required courses that all students must take. Instead, Vassar students must fulfill a language requirement, take a writing course during freshman year, and complete 1 quantitative course before graduation.

 

This type of program of study then frees students to design the plan of study that best matches their unique interests. The flexibility of an open curriculum allows over half of Vassar students to graduate with two majors. Upon graduation, a strong 70% of Vassar undergrads go to graduate school, with most of them going on to medical school.

 

Given its 2,500 student body, introductory courses, often taken in freshman year have an average class size of 21 students. All classes are small seminars. When it’s time to do research or simply get help with a project, each student is matched with his/her own librarian. Art majors get their own studio in senior year which can be a huge time-saving perk.

 

In terms of freshman year, a unique offering at Vassar is that freshmen are assigned to a group of 10 fellow classmates, which is led by an upperclassman leader to help with the transition.

 

Additional quick facts about Vassar:

Acceptance: 25%

Freshmen retention: 95%

Freshmen from out of state: 73%

4-year Graduation rate: 88%

Student to Faculty Ratio: 8 to 1

Most popular majors: economics, political science, biology

 

Social: There are 23 Division 3 teams at Vassar with about a quarter of the student body participating. There are over 50 theatre productions during the year and 100+ student clubs. With over 1,000 events held on campus each year, there is plenty for students to do and enjoy outside of class. There is no Greek life at Vassar.

 

Housing: On-campus student housing is guaranteed for 4 years. Interestingly, 70% of faculty also live on campus. Each residence hall has 1 or 2 faculty as house fellows.

 

Similar colleges to consider: Amherst, Brown, Columbia, Pomona, Swarthmore, Tufts, Wesleyan

 

Financial aid: Vassar meets 100% of need for domestic and international students for all 4 years. In addition, theres a low or no-loan policy for lower income families.  The cost of attendance is $73,000, with 60% of students receiving a range of scholarships from $1,200 to $60,000. The average aid package is $52,000.

 

What do you think about Vassar? What about this college is a good fit? Please post your comments below.

How To Motivate Your Teen To Visit Colleges…and Survive Visits As a Parent

What’s the best way to learn if a college is going to be great fit for your teen?

How can you help your teen choose a college that personally inspires and excites them–rather than choosing a college because that’s where his or her friends are going?

How can you get a good idea if a college will be a springboard for your aspiring young adult so you can feel more confident in the investment?

…By making college campus visits!

Campus visits can answer these questions quickly and clearly for both you and your teen. Your teen can get a true “feel” for what it would be like to stay in the dorm, to use the labs, library, gym and other facilities, to feel at home given the size of the student body, to hang out on campus and around town. Rather than imagining college based on media hype or his or her friends’ opinion, your teen can see for him/herself.

Plus, as a parent, you can help your teen compare and contrast college options since you know your teen’s preferences and tendencies so well. Walking on a campus, touring with a student guide and speaking with faculty can offer assurance in ways a brochure or website never can.

How do we decide which schools to visit if my teen has a list of 10 or more?

If time and travel allow, start with 3 colleges that provide a broad overview of the types of schools available–a small, private college, a mid-size private or public university, a big public university. These will give your teen a good overview of the wide range of options they have for schools. Once they decide (after visiting!) whether they prefer small, medium or a large student body, your teen  can start to narrow their search and spend the majority of time looking at colleges in that size range.

Should we make a campus visit during spring or summer break?

Many families plan college tours during spring or summer break since it’s the most convenient time with school calendars. Certainly, a visit to the campus during a break is better than no visit at all.

Summer campus visits can be most important for high school juniors/rising seniors. As juniors are finalizing their college list, a summer campus visit can be considerably helpful for writing applications in the fall. Likewise, given how busy the fall of senior year will be, it’s usually not enough time to go on a campus visit, especially if a teen plays a sport or participates in clubs like marching band or Model UN.

However, it’s ideal to plan a visit when school is in session. Being able to see college students “in their natural habitat” will give your high schooler an even greater understanding of what their future could be like at that college. With students and faculty on campus, your teen can even sit in on a class lecture, see a sporting event or marching band practices, check out the library in use, schedule a meeting with a coach or professor, etc.

A fun activity for you and your teen to do would be to plan to eat in the dining hall. You may not have the time to go out and find a restaurant during the day of the tour, so the dining hall would be a great way to find out what the food is like on campus. Check for cleanliness, the variety of quality foods, and accessibility. (If the campus is big, there may be multiple dining halls to consider.)

Encourage your teen to talk with students while visiting the campus (not only the student guide). It can be inspiring and helpful for your teen to hear what college is like directly from a student! This may be the most important part of your campus visits and an opportunity that too many college-bound students do not take advantage of. Teens can ask them any questions they have or about their general experience at the school. (Your teen may get more nuanced answers than from tour guides, which can help broaden their perspective on the student community at any given campus.)

Perks of planning ahead

Another benefit to arranging a college visit while school is in session is that you can call ahead and schedule a tour led by a current student. I recommend reserving your college tours at least 30 days in advance so that tours are not booked by the time you arrive.

Not only is it helpful to have a guide to lead you and answer your teen’s questions, but this “demonstrates interest”. By demonstrating interest in a school by making an effort to visit, scheduling a tour, asking questions and following up with a thank you note, your teen can signal their interest to admissions. This can help when it comes to reviewing your teen’s college application if an admissions officer is making a final decision between an applicant who has shown interest in attending versus one who has not.

In addition to the admissions office tour, you might also want to book an appointment with the financial aid office. Learning what options are available to your family could make a huge difference when the time comes to choose a college.

Get my free guide

Throughout the year, I visit dozens of college campuses and learn something new every time. With each visit, it’s important for me to write notes so that I keep track of all that I learned. Please download our Campus Visit Checklist so that your teen remembers what they learned and keep track of how each college would be a fit for their goals, interests and needs.

 

Why the College of William & Mary is known as a “Public Ivy”

college of william and mary public ivy

William & Mary is the second oldest college in the country with a long history of liberal arts education and a growing research and science program. Undergrads at William & Mary have numerous research opportunities. A student majoring in government described William & Mary with these three words,  “Tradition. Community. Unique.” For those prospective students seeking this type of college environment, William & Mary has a lot to offer. Although the academic climate is rigorous, students say that cooperation among peers is the norm.

Here are a few quick facts about College of William and Mary:william and mary has active social life

Acceptance: 36%

Freshmen from out of state: 31% (keep in mind . . . it’s a public college, not private)

Most popular majors: biology, government, economics

Housing: Guaranteed housing through junior year

4-year Graduation rate: 84%

Academics: The College of William & Mary is dedicated to a philosophy of personalized education as shown through small class size and extensive student-faculty collaboration. “Classes are difficult and the workload is heavy, but lectures are small and generally engaging,” says one junior. Their joint degree program allows students to spend two years in Williamsburg and two in St Andrews in Scotland and end up with degrees from both institutions.  In addition, 70% of students participate in faculty-mentored research and William & Mary boasts some of the highest numbers for alums with PhDs in STEM.

william and mary for premedSocial:  There’s always something to do on campus, but the town itself can be somewhat “hit or miss”. Popular campus events include Homecoming Weekend, with its tailgate and concert. In their senior year, students can apply to live in a downtown dorm where they put on academic programming for the town. With over 400 clubs and organizations, a student would be hard-pressed not to find something to join!

Financial: College of William and Mary offers university grants and need-based financial aid, with 78% of need is fully met.

What do you think about this college? What else would you like to learn about it? Please post your comments below.

 

Should my teen visit a campus in the summer?

The campus visit – even in the summer – is the best way to learn if a college is the right fit. Summer campus visits can be worthwhile, but families must weigh the tradeoffs of visiting when there may be few students on campus. However, when I toured Williams College in the summer with my oldest son, there were so many students on the campus visit that we took separate tours with student guides. If there are few students on campus, prospective high school students can still have the opportunity to learn about what the college offers.

Campus visit options

Many colleges offer summer visit schedules and the planning should be done weeks in advance. Here are a few different campus visit options that may be available in the summer:

  1. Individual visit – includes an information session and campus tour.
  2. Open House – comprehensive visit which may include faculty/student panels, financial aid presentation for parents, dorm tours, and/or eating in the dining hall.
  3. Self-guided tour – the short description of this . . . “you’re on your own!”

How campus visit matters

While it may be more ideal to visit during the school year to see the campus in action, the summer may be the only time that parents are available to visit with their teen. A summer campus visit is still better than no visit at all. For colleges that track “demonstrated interest”, the campus visit is a clear indicator that the student is interested in attending. This is especially important if a student lives within a 4-5 hour drive of a campus.

Summer campus visits can be most important for high school juniors. As juniors are finalizing their college list, a summer campus visit can be considerably helpful for writing applications in the fall. Likewise, given how busy the fall of senior year will be, it’s usually not enough time to go on a campus visit, especially if a teen plays a sport or participates in marching band.

When not to visit in summer

For one of my junior students, however, I did recommend a visit during fall of senior year, rather than the summer. She’s a tennis player and will have a couple rigorous AP classes and an Honors course in her busy schedule. Here’s why I made that suggestion . . .

The college she would visit was a small campus in an even smaller town. I have personally visited that same college in the summer and there was not even a student guide available to give me a tour. The campus was extremely quiet and the nearby downtown area was quieter, even on a sunny afternoon.

There’s a strong likelihood that if she visits this college in the summer, it will be hard to picture herself there. That first impression may be hard to overcome and cause her to falsely decide to not apply.

It can be a tough call, for sure, when teens and their parents are already so busy. Traveling a distance to visit college campuses can also be expensive.

The investment for college will be far greater so it makes sense to get the list right the first time. When a student has a strong impression of a campus during the summer, it will still be valuable to get a feel for how spirited a campus may be during the academic year. That visit during the academic year can be done after the student has been admitted, which will be even more telling if that college is the right fit.

Where are you planning to visit this summer?

How to have a Stress-free Campus Visit

how parents have a stress-free campus visit

Many families who take their teen on campus visits, usually visit several colleges at once to make the most of their time away. While it may save time to do these marathon visits, seeing several colleges in a 3-5 day time span can be draining. (Been there, done that!)

Top 5 tips for a stress-free campus visit

  1. Avoid bringing friends or others who may influence your teen’s perspective. It can be a distraction. Sometimes, you may not have a choice in whether you bring your teen’s best friend, family members or a neighbor. I understand so . . . keep reading to tip #2.
  1. Take separate tours. For some campuses, there may be more than one tour guide, especially when you visit during their

    columbia campus
    Concerned about safety? Visit campus at night!

    busy summer or fall months. If you have choice I would encourage you to go with a different guide than your teen. The tour guides bring their own unique experiences and backgrounds to the tour. You may hear different facts and figures about a campus that you can compare with your teen later. Also, when your teen follows a separate tour guide, it gives them the freedom to reflect and take in the tour for themselves, or ask questions that they not ask in front of you! 🙂

  1. Attend the information session even if you think there’s nothing new to learn. There will be some nuances that you will learn during the information session that for whatever reason, you haven’t already read or heard before. (I do these tours year round and some colleges I’ve visited 2-3 times. Each time, I learn something totally new.) Foregoing the information session compromises the purpose of visiting the campus.
  1. Avoid dominating the Q&A session. Most information sessions will have a Q&A session. It’s OK for parents to ask 1 or 2 questions, but please avoid asking too many questions. If you’re on a separate tour, perhaps that’s a time to ask additional questions in private. I would especially discourage parents from asking a lot of questions of the admissions officer. That’s what your teen should be doing!
  1. Check out the neighborhood surrounding the college campus. If there’s time, you may want to walk through the nearby “town” area, check out a restaurant or browse the retail shops. When your teen goes away to college, it will be their home away from home so they should feel comfortable either on campus or off. If you are concerned about safety in the area, I would also even suggest checking out the area at night.

Ultimately, the campus visit is about your teen . . . from making the reservation to deciding to apply or not. These tips are meant to keep the focus on them, their reflections and impressions.

How were your visits? Where did you go and for how long??

Last-minute Campus Visit Tips for College-bound Seniors

campus visits in senior year

Every fall, there are are college-bound seniors who decide to add a college (or 2!) to their list that they haven’t visited. In some cases, maybe a senior hasn’t been able to visit any colleges at all. There are still last-minute opportunities to visit a campus prior to the early November deadlines.

I urge seniors to visit those campuses where they have a strong interest. The campus visit can help with determining whether to keep that college on the list and writing the “Why this college?” essay. Also, many high schools encourage campus visits by permitting seniors to visit colleges without an absence penalty.

3 top tips for Senior campus visits

For those college-bound seniors who are visiting in the fall, here are 3 tips to get the most from a last-minute visit:

Blue lights are everywhere!
Blue lights are everywhere!

  • Sleep overnight –This is a great way to experience dorm life, meet students, and getting sense for the campus vibe. You’ll know right away if you “fit in” or not.
  • Interview – The admissions office may offer interviews. This will be a time that you can shine beyond your application. Be careful though . . . if you think that the interview with hurt your application, rather than help, then don’t interview.
  • Visit the campus at night – Almost every campus has a blue-light system. However, walking around the campus at night or the surrounding neighborhood will help you determine if you still feel safe in that environment. This is especially important if you’re concerned about safety and the college doesn’t offer an overnight opportunity.

Special visit programs for College-bound Seniors

So as stressful as the application season may be, the campus visit is still an important component to include on your schedule. Some of the campuses that offer overnight programs or special senior weekends are

This is a short list of colleges but there many others. Check out the admissions page of the college that interests you to learn about their special programs for high school seniors.

Where are you visiting?