Touring Colleges in the Summer

So many people ask us when is the right time to go visit colleges. Should we take a tour during the school year when the students are in session? Is it ok to visit colleges in the summer? Certainly, it would be ideal if you could go visit every college that you wanted to during their school year while they were in session, but sometimes that is just not possible or practical with everything that is going on in your daily life, i.e., sports, activities, volunteering, family events, etc. As a result, visiting a school during the summer months is perfectly fine.

Some Summer Tour Planning Tips

If you want to make the most of those summer visits, it’s important to make a plan.

Sign Up for the Tour and Information Sessions WAY Ahead of Time

Since the pandemic, it has become more difficult to sign up for tours and information sessions since they fill up quickly. You need to book your visit in advance. We’ve been finding with the families that we’ve been working with that the sessions are filling up because either the schools aren’t offering as many information sessions and tours or putting a cap on the number of students and people that can attend. So it’s important to be very proactive in signing up ahead of time.

Sign Up Using the Student’s Name and Email Address

For tracking purposes, you should sign up for a tour and information session using the student’s name and the email address they will be using for applying to colleges. This allows the colleges to tie the visit with their application. This is very important to show demonstrated interest. There is a correlation between showing demonstrated interest and college admissions – and you want to make sure you are showing interest!

Do Your Research Ahead of Time

You want to be sure to maximize your tours and information sessions. And to do that, you need to put in some work BEFORE you visit the school:

Attend a virtual information session
• Take a virtual tour
• Review information on the school in the Fiske Guide to Colleges (If they have an overview in Fiske – Around 400 colleges do)
• See what students are saying about the school on
• Visit the school’s website to look at their programs and curriculums

How to Research Colleges – Follow this Checklist
Best Websites to Research Colleges
What to Consider When Searching for Colleges
How to Research for Colleges Online
How to Begin the College Search

Prepare a List of Questions to Ask the Tour Guide and Admissions Officers

You’ll want to have your questions ready so you can get the information you want to know most. Don’t be shy. Ask away! Some good questions to ask include:

What’s your favorite thing about this school?
Why did you choose this school?
What kind of clubs do you belong to?
What’s the outside environment like?

Ask questions so you can dig deeper. It’s all about you finding a set of colleges that are your SAFE match: socially, academically, financially, and emotionally. For more sample questions, read our blog Good Questions to Ask on a College Tour.

Use Our Campus Visit Checklist

We’re happy to share our Campus Visit Checklist. It is on our website you go to our website and it has different sections that allow you to cover all the different pieces of when you’re on campus, as well as a section for notes. It is phone and tablet ready. Just fill it out and it will be sent to your email. We always tell our students to create a main campus visits folder and move that completed campus visit checklist into that folder so you can always go back and access it.

Take Pictures

When you are on campus, be sure to take pictures of the college and save it to an album on your phone with the name of that college. Trust us – after visiting multiple colleges the images in your mind will all start to blend together!

Summer College Tours Summary

All of the above may seem like a lot to do, but it’s not really that much. If you just make a plan, you can maximize your summer visits and have a better feel for whether the college is a SAFE match for you.

Looking for help with the college search and application process? We help students and families through the entire college planning journey – from search, applications and essays to interview prep, financial aid consultation and final school selection.