Many people think college students are so lucky since they have such long breaks! Their summer break is sometimes six or more weeks longer than a high schooler. It’s true, there are many perks to being a college student and long breaks are one of them. However, longer college breaks can sometimes make it tricky for high school students and their parents trying to visit colleges, especially during the summer months. During the summer there may be few, if any, students on campus, campus tours may not be available, and many faculty members will be on break as well.
It’s easy to only think of the worst case scenarios when things aren’t ideal (no students on campus, no classes in session), but with a little planning, research, and creativity, you can have a productive campus visit experience, even in the summer!
Here are few tips to help make your campus visits count in the summer:
- Do your research. It’s important to explore colleges before you visit anytime, but especially important in the summer. Make sure to research everything that is important to you and your family before your visit. Beyond the traditional research tools take a look at the school’s YouTube channel and other social media accounts to try to get a feel for what the school is like when classes are in session.
- Visit the admissions webpage and see what tours they are offering during the summer. If you can’t find information on the website about tours, don’t hesitate to call the admissions office for more information.
- Check out the school’s academic calendar to find out if they offer a late spring term or summer terms. If so, and it works with your family’s schedule, try to schedule your visit during that time. There will be some students on campus, some classes in session, and your chances of meeting with a professor are higher.
- Connect with current students! Once you have a visit scheduled, reach out to admissions to see if there will be any students on campus that you can meet. Added bonus if they are from your area or majoring in your area of academic interest.
- Reach out to faculty members from the academic department that hosts your major of interest. Some professors work over the summer. Contact them via email ahead of your visit to see if you can meet with them while you are on campus.
- Contact other departments on campus that offer services you are interested in. Not everyone who works at a college or university gets a summer break. Actually, at most colleges and universities, the administrative departments are open year-round. Some examples of departments that may be available during the summer include Career and Professional Development, Academic Support Services, Study Abroad, and Library and Media Services. Once you have your visit scheduled, reach out to the departments you are interested in to schedule a meeting with them, or ask if you can drop by before or after your visit.
And, once you have finished a campus tour don’t forget you can always reach out to the college admissions office to get unanswered questions taken care of or clarify information.
Enjoy your visits!