Visiting Campus? Why Not Take the Bus!
Jul16

Visiting Campus? Why Not Take the Bus!

Visiting campus can be the most important part of the college search. Join our Twitter chat for ideas to ease the process and expense, including an innovative approach from CoToTravel.

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Don’t Pick a College Sight Unseen
Feb23

Don’t Pick a College Sight Unseen

As a parent of two kids who attended college, I learned a very valuable lesson: never pick a college sight unseen. The rules that apply to any major purchase are even more important when making the decision to invest thousands of dollars on a college education. You would never buy a car without test-driving it, or move into a home without taking a walk through and getting a home inspection. Based on my experience with both my kids, I can tell you that your teen should never accept admission to a college without getting a feel for the campus and campus life. My daughter had her heart set on attending a university in Boston. It was inexplicable to her father and me because she had never visited the city. But from the time she was a child she dreamed of going to college there. She worked hard in school and had the grades and the high school resume to assure her acceptance to just about any top-tiered college. She was indeed accepted to several colleges in the Boston area, receiving a full-ride scholarship to one of them. But, before signing on the dotted line, I suggested we plan a trip to all the schools, just to be sure she was happy with the college that offered her a 4-year scholarship. Needless to say, it’s a good thing we did. The minute we set foot on the campus she knew it was not for her. It was too small, there was no Greek life, and she did not seem to fit in with the student population. On the other hand, there was another college that had offered her a nice financial aid package and when she met with admissions, financial aid, and some students, felt completely at home. If she had opted to attend the university that gave her a full scholarship, she would have been home in a semester—there is no doubt in my mind. It was the college visit that sealed the deal and she spent four fabulous years in Boston, and two more as a graduate student. My son attended college after a four-year tour of duty in the Marine Corps. He chose a university based on the recommendations of his fellow marines. He never set foot on the campus or took the time to speak with any of the students or faculty before showing up for his first day of class. He found out that the college that he thought would be “social” on the weekends was a graveyard. Most of the students were local and went home to their families. Most of the freshman class...

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