If You Visit Colleges During The Summer Months – Look Beyond The College Brochures!

If You Visit Colleges During The Summer Months – Look Beyond The College Brochures

Don’t judge a college by its brochure! If you’re serious about going to college, then you need to look beyond those expensive, glossy, full-color college brochures, or fancy websites, which tout the institution’s image and credentials. When you visit colleges, be sure to keep this in mind!

To get the most out of your campus visit, you must gather first-hand intelligence about the schools on your list. And the summertime is an excellent time for high-school juniors (who are about to become seniors) to plan summer/fall college visits.

The most important source of information about a college is the personal impression you receive from visiting the campus. Personal visits are mandatory. Unless you actually visit your candidate schools, you’ll never know what it’s like to be there. Going to college is one of the most important decisions that a young person makes and with over a million students starting college every fall, the campus visit is serious business.

However, most visits fall far short of their potential. This is because prospective students and parents don’t ask the right questions and they end up settling for the information that institutions routinely provide. Does it really matter how many books are in the library, or how many faculty members have Ph.D.s (which says nothing about their ability to teach)?

Many research studies show that what matters most to a high quality undergraduate experience is whether students engage in a variety of educationally sound activities, inside and outside the classroom. The more students study a subject, the more they learn about it. Likewise, the more students practice and get feedback on their writing, analyzing, or problem solving, the more adept they become. And the more experience they have with people from different backgrounds, the more sensitive, comfortable and effective they will be when working with such people. Simply put, the more engaging the college, the more students learn.

Surprisingly, students hear almost nothing about “learning” when they visit campuses. But they can find out by asking certain questions of tour guides, admissions staff and faculty members. Answers to the following questions will reveal things about a college that you may never discover otherwise:

  • How much reading and writing is assigned in the first year?
  • How often do students meet with faculty members outside of class?
  • Are students encouraged to work together to solve problems or work on projects?
  • In what ways is information technology used in the classroom?
  • Who do students talk with about career plans? Do they have a career center?

The summer is a great time to visit colleges, but asking the right questions can reveal matters of substance and style that reflect the educational quality of a college. If your student plans to visit colleges this summer, give us a call first. We can help you get the “inside information” during your campus visit.

The Summer Is A Great Time For Athletes To Get Recruited By College Coaches

With the high school season at an end, it’s very important for student-athletes to understand why the summer months are an important time in college recruiting. In case you were not aware, a college coach’s season takes place at the same time as your high school season. This prohibits college coaches from seeing athletes play during high school, unless they go to see a specific athlete on an off day. All college coaches use the summer as their main time for recruiting. They attend summer tournaments, host and work at camps, attend showcases, and any other place they can think of to see potential athletes.

If you are a sophomore or junior student-athlete, you need to develop a game plan to contact college coaches this summer. Some athletes can find the right college by contacting 5 or 10 schools and others may need to contact 50 coaches before they find a match. You won’t know until you try.

Communicate with coaches by asking them which events they plan to attend, what athletic abilities or positions they are looking for, and what you can provide them in order get on their list as a potential recruit. While some athletes are discovered, the most successful athletes are those that pound the pavement, get in front of coaches and schools that they were interested in, and push these coaches until they were either recruited, or the coach told them they were not a good match. If you are playing in a specific event, contact the coaches prior to the event to let them know you will be there. If you are wondering which events certain coaches will attend, call them up and ask them which events they normally attend, or recommend, in the area.

Summer is also a great time to begin a college financial plan. If you are parent(s) of a student-athlete who will not receive a full-ride scholarship, please contact our office and we’ll show you how you can cut the balance of your tuition bill by as much as 50%.

Just A Quick Reminder

Don’t miss our next monthly teleconference, “College Applications, Essays and Resumes” on July 3, 2012 at 8:00PM EST. You can find the dial in number on the Engus website under Family Resources. And while you’re there, you can listen to the June teleconference if you missed it!


1 Comment

  • Roslyn Maglione

    We are visiting at least 6 colleges this summer, who should we call for the “insider tip”?

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