College Visits: In Summer, April, or Not at All?

I'll address high school seniors and juniors (and parents) here today. The issue: college visits — to visit or not to visit (and when to visit). Those are the questions.

Since we're approaching the middle of April as I write this, the main focus of the college-visit world is now on high school seniors. Almost every senior who has applied to an institution of higher learning has by now received his or her application results. Unless you have struck out at every college to which you have applied (extremely unlikely, in my view), you now have to make a decision.

Before you now are at least several acceptance letters and their associated financial aid packages. While it may be a relatively straightforward, objective process to select the best college from among that paperwork, the one element that's missing is your subjectiveopinion about these schools. Sure, you may have already visited once when you were trying to compile your list of candidate schools to which you wanted to apply. But now the rubber has met the road, as they say, and it's crunch time. The pressure is on to make your singular enrollment decision before May 1, melding not only the objective data of financial aid but also the much more subjective elements of your “gut" reaction to those schools, now that you have been accepted.

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