Juniors visit colleges during spring, summer breaks


Photo by Sasha Sampaio

The Florida State University in Tallahassee on Apr. 13.

During spring and summer break, juniors begin searching for colleges to gain genuine expectations of academia and college life by visiting campuses.

The late summer and early September before senior year are recommended times to visit campuses since colleges begin their fall semester as early as mid-August. The spring of junior year is a popular time to visit colleges since students have spring break.

To prevent stress, students and families may want to visit sooner, ideally before senior year. The College Board recommends the “spring of the junior year as a good time to visit campuses for students who have already done the research on those colleges.”

Junior Zach Haledjian visited Penn State University, a public state-related land-grant research university in Pennsylvania. “I liked the campus a lot; it was very big and there was a lot to see,” Haledjian said 

Haledjian scheduled a visit online and had an ambassador give him information about Penn State University, along with a tour. “I like their football team and wanted to visit because it’s always been on my list, Haledjian said.

Haledjian plans on visiting more colleges over the summer. Haledjian said, “I already have some visits scheduled but I still need to schedule the rest.”

College visits can be impactful and change students’ perspectives on a school. They typically help applicants make a more informed decision about which college is the best fit.  Most students schedule at least one visit during their senior year.

College tours allow students to ask questions, meet other prospective students and understand the college on a deeper level. How a student feels about schools once they visit in person may affect the direction of their college search and application process. College visits help students to refine their search.

Junior Katie Bowman visited Dickinson College, a private liberal arts college in Carlisle, PA, over spring break. “My brother goes to Dickinson so I’ve been there before but this time I actually took a tour and viewed the full campus,” Bowman said.

Bowman has visited several colleges. “Taking a tour of the campus allowed me to envision what college life would be like there,” Bowman said. “I liked Dickinson, I just don’t think it’s for me.”

Junior Sofie Vinick also took time over spring break to visit colleges. “I visited Boston University,  Tufts University and Northeastern University,” Vinick said.

Vinick flew to Massachusetts with her mother to visit different colleges. Vinick said, “I am really glad I went because my perspective on the colleges changed and I learned so much about each college that I didn’t know before.”