It’s tough to relax when your kids are growing up and the biggest wake-up call we get as parents are when your children start looking into colleges. College visits can be stressful for both you and your teen when they are supposed to be fun.
Of course, you want your child to go to a school close to home so they can visit whenever they want, but you need to be understanding if they want to look at schools out of state too. So prepare yourself on your upcoming college visits buy knowing what to look for when you are on campus.
10 Look For Security On Campus
Sending your teen off to college is emotional for parents. It’s the first real-time our kids get to explore the world on their own. Even though they are going to be living on a campus filled with other students you still want to look for security when you are on a college visit.
Colleges now have security on campus for extra protection. Many times you can find them in their own building and walking around the school. Also, be on the lookout for emergency call buttons located throughout the campus. These buttons are there to people to press if there is an emergency and will instantly notify campus security.
9 Pay Attention To How The Students Act
A good way to tell if students are actually happy with their school is to look around and see how people are acting. Though college can be stressful at times, overall you want to see students sitting together while talking or laughing.
You want to make sure that the environment your child's going into is going to be positive and just being on campus can give you a feeling if it is a fit or not. Seeing if students are happy and friendly will represent the overall student population at the school.
8 Visit A Dorm
If you are taking a college tour you are going to be able to see a dorm room, but if you are not going on a full tour make sure you talk to an admission representative to see the dorms on your visit. This will show your teen what the size of the room is going to look like when they are living on campus.
Visiting a dorm is also great to find out about how many students are in one room, and what items they should bring and are not allowed in the rooms. Let your child see where they are going to be living for the next four years by visiting a dorm.
7 Look Into The Classes
One of the best ways for your teen to know if they are going to like a school is to experience it. Several colleges now offer potential students to be able to sit in and attend a college class towards their major.
Letting your child sit in a class and see what the professors are like will give them a good idea if they are going to like that teaching style and overall feel of the academic programs the school offers. So talk to your child’s admission counselor to see if you can schedule a class visit.
6 Go To The Cafeteria
When your child is off to college you want to make sure that they are going to be able to get a good meal when they are hungry. Each school has a different set up for how their cafeteria is run. One school may have it be a point system you buy at the beginning of the year while another has it on their student ID with money you pay for each item.
Either way, your teen is going to need to know this before they start school there. Also, make sure to check to see if your kid's school works with any dietary restrictions they have.
5 Look For Social Clubs
College is not all about academics today. College is now a time for people to find themselves and get involved with other students. You want to make sure that the colleges you are visiting offer many social clubs your teen can attend.
Clubs can range from team sports to hobbies to even ones that can help them network with their major. Having your child involved with clubs at the school is going to be helpful for them making friends and easing the transition of leaving home for the first time on their own.
4 Visit The Library
No matter what college your child attends they are going to need a place where they can study and complete homework. Making a stop to explore the library will give you and your teen a chance to see how big the primary place they are going to study is.
When at the library to check to see if there are any strictly quiet areas for your teen to study at and ask about rooms they can book if they have a group project. The library is an important spot on campus and you want to make sure your child has a great place to study at.
3 Ask About A Wellness Program
Teens think that they are invincible, but if your child does end up getting sick, you want to make sure that there is a place for them to go and be able to see a nurse. Ask about the wellness center when you are on campus.
Many colleges will have at least one nurse during the school week, but you should check up to find out how many nursed there are and what hours they are available. Also, check to see if the college you are visiting offers other programs like support meetings or counselors.
2 Remember It’s For Your Teen
The hardest part of being a parent with your teen while on campus is taking a step back. You need to remember that you do have a right to have all of your questions answered but you want your child to be the one exploring, asking questions, and getting a feel of the school is right for them.
Try your best to not overshadowing them on their visit since you can always call an admission representative to have anything answered. But at the moment on campus let your child take control since this is their decision.
1 Talk To Financial Aid
Money is always an important aspect when it comes to the choice of school your child will be attending. One of the best ways to be prepared as a parent is to make an appointment and talk to that college financial aid office.
Talking to financial aid can help you get a better understanding of the cost of your child attending the school. The financial aid office will also be a great resource to find out more information about the FAFSA, grants, and any in school scholarships that can help lower the overall cost.