Summer Can Be the Perfect Time for Rising Underclassmen to Visit College Campuses
College visits are a crucial component to shaping a student’s balanced college list, however many students and families find it hard to carve out time during the school year to visit prospective schools. While it’s best to visit a college campus during the fall or spring when school is in session, for rising sophomores and juniors, a summer campus tour can be a great opportunity to check out some schools while they’re still getting a feel for the type of institution they’d want to attend.
Before going on a summer campus tour, students and parents should do their research and plan ahead. Students should think about the types of institutions they want to visit and what they hope to learn and gain from a summer tour. Remember, students won’t get the full effect of a college campus in full swing since classes will be in limited session, so a summer tour should be considered more of an opportunity for rising sophomores and juniors to feel out a particular school or get a sense of a certain type of campus, i.e., urban vs. suburban, small vs. large, etc.
Because many schools limit their tours and information sessions during the summer, it’s very important to do your homework on summer session offerings and registration requirements in order to ensure that your visit will fit into your schedule. Some colleges offer special summer tours and events on certain weekends, so it’s crucial to research in advance.
If you’re looking to visit some colleges this summer, here are examples of schools that offer great summer campus tours and events:
A small liberal arts college located in Grand Rapids, MI, Calvin College offers special summer campus tours that include meetings with the admissions office, financial aid advisors, student-led campus tour, and even a picnic lunch with students on campus. For a more in-depth visit, students can sign up for Calvin 101, which includes a meet and greet with students and faculty, Q&A session, and free time to explore the facilities on campus.
Johns Hopkins University
JHU offers Summer Saturday Sessions for students who wish to visit during the summer months. This special summer visit includes a chance for families to learn about life on campus, the residential experience, and Baltimore from a current student, information sessions on the admissions and financial aid process, and a student-guided tour of the campus.
While many colleges and universities scale back their campus tours and information sessions during the summer, Yale has one of the most active and robust summer campus visit schedules. Even though school might not be fully in session, families still get the experience of the complete tour.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
At the University of Illinois, Summer Visits are offered every weekday during July and August, and offer prospective students the opportunity to meet with students and faculty of the specific college (business, engineering, etc.) they plan to apply to. Summer Visits also allow students and families to interact with current U of I students during a panel and go on a student-led tour of the campus.