Dear Estelle. What are your thoughts on visiting colleges during the summer? There’s so much less hassle getting organized to do this and yet the consensus seems to be that there is virtually no activity on campuses and not many students in attendance during the summer. For our family, we could plan a family vacation and work in the colleges as part of the trip. Our college-bound teen will be a senior this fall with a schedule to rival a CEO and our younger child will be a sophomore. JP, Littleton, CO
Having just returned from one of my national college meetings in Philadelphia where we toured 10 colleges in 2 1/2 days and visiting the Boston area the previous week with a visit to eight campuses, I can tell you personally that summertime is an excellent time to go. While it’s true that there are fewer students on campus, most colleges don’t “fold their tents” but in fact have many summer programs geared specifically for visiting high school students and their parents. Campus tours and information sessions are available daily with many schools offering 2-3 different appointment times. The tour guides are regular students who are specially selected as guides for their summer jobs. They are very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about their campus. Although there are few classes in session, the guides provide invaluable insights, both pro and con, into the academics and college life. You can easily view a dorm room and visit the facilities. Your children can definitely benefit from a summer campus visit. Remember to plan ahead and schedule appointments online with each college.