Expansive library? Check. Comfortable dorm rooms? Check. Well-stocked dining hall? Check. Those are just a few of the amenities prospective college students and their parents will be peeking into during a college visit.
But besides the high-speed wireless internet, availability of on-campus parking, and a well-equipped workout gym, what else should you consider during your campus tour?
1. How about picking up a copy of the school newspaper? (Or reading it online?) The college newspaper is a great way to gain insight into the pulse of the school and to get a feel for the different campus environments.
2. Also, many parents don’t realize that since the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Crime Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics was passed in 1990, every college is required to make available its security policies and its safety record. How safe is this campus? Have there been any violent assaults? Rapes? Car thefts? This is an important element to consider when deciding what college is most suitable – and safe.
3. Expand your visit beyond a formal tour. During your visit, take the opportunity to talk to other students you come across, beyond those who conduct the tour. The random students you encounter are apt to be more honest in their appraisal of the pluses and minuses of a particular college.
As a general suggestion, consider a college visit to be a clue game. You look for hints about whether or not this college is going to be a good fit and appropriate match for your child, and then decide together what makes sense.
Photo by Patricia Drury via flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/patriciadrury/3236417577/