As we mentioned in this previous blog, winter and spring of junior year is the optimal time to visit colleges. And, you can click on the “tours and visits” blog category on our blog’s main page for more advice about how to make the most of your visits and why they are important.
During your first winter meeting with your Apply Right counselor, you will get a list of colleges that fit what you are seeking. But once you get that list, and if you are looking at colleges farther away, how do you go about planning these trips? Apply Right will attempt to be a travel agent in this helpful blog.
Step 1: You have your list from your Apply Right counselor, now sort the list into locations. Lets say you have a handful of colleges in the South East and a handful of colleges in the Midwest. All local (within a couple hour drive) keep separate.
Step 2: Take one of the groups of schools, say the South East, and plot them on a map. Yes, print out an old fashioned paper map, it’s easier.
Step 3: Once you have plotted them out, calculate the distance between each school using Waze or Google Maps, or another traffic app. Write those distances on the map as well.
Step 4: Go on each college’s website and figure out when they offer tours. They may offer one a day, or two a day, etc. That is important to consider. List each school and the dates/ times they offer tours.
Step 5: Plan to see one or two colleges each day. It depends on travel time, and if the tours line up, but it is oftentimes possible to see a college in the morning, drive to the next college, and see that one in the afternoon. Now that you know driving times, you can see if that’s possible for you.
Step 6: This part is like a puzzle; start piecing together the college visits and drive times and plan your trip.
Step 7: Now plan the other details: airfare, rental cars, hotels, meals, etc. Try to work in some fun during your trip. Think about it, this may be one of the last trips you take as a family for a while, and certainly as “kid” and “parent.” So, ENJOY it! Certainly, the tours and information sessions aren’t typically super fun, so find ways to make that happen. You won’t regret it!
Best of luck planning your winter/ spring college visits. If you need help, your Apply Right counselor is only a phone call away.