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Countdown to college: Make the most of summer campus visits

Lee Shulman Bierer, Tribune News Service on

Published in Education News

College campuses are opening up. For the first time in a long time, families are actually planning real in-person campus visits.

People always seem to apologize when they’re making plans for summer campus visits. “I’m sorry, I know we should have done all this sooner, during spring break, but we couldn’t work it out.”

Campus visits during the summer are fine. You just might need to have a little more imagination. You’ll have to picture those 9-years-olds in lacrosse uniforms as 18- to 22-year-olds cruising to classes, studying in the library and schmoozing in the student union.

If you’re crisscrossing the country and visiting multiple colleges in a short period of time, it can be hard to distinguish one library from another, and the dorms and dining halls begin to look alike.

Here are some suggestions to help make the most of your summer visits.

Check out the Covid protocols. What happens if students, faculty or administration are infected with the new variants? Are students required to be vaccinated before they return to campus? Do they have plans for a dormitory to house infected students? There are loads of questions to be asked.


Stay organized and make sure you allow enough time to arrive promptly. That usually includes an allowance for getting lost, parking and then walking to the admissions office.

Create your own checklist of things that you want to do on every visit, such as:

- Seeing a real dorm room, not the staged dorm room that many colleges display.

- Checking out the dining options and having a meal.


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