Juniors: Trod The College Sod!

I coined a little phrase back in the Eighties, when I was looking for a concise and memorable way to impress high school students, especially juniors involved in the college process, about the importance of visiting colleges they were considering. Of course, it goes without saying that seniors must visit the colleges they have already applied to. Thus: You've got to trod the sod!

The trend lately, perhaps over the past 6-10 years, has been for some particularly driven students to apply to as many as 15-20 colleges (yes, you read that correctly — fifteen (15) to twenty (20) colleges!). With a list that extensive, it would take a marathon visit trip to cover all those bases. The reality for applicants in that league, however, is that they many times limit their visits to a handful of their most desired schools, leaving some of the lesser-competitive colleges for a possible last-minute visit, if circumstances dictate.

Believe it or not, many high school students don't fully understand what to look for when they do visit a college. They naturally follow the traditional tour group across campus, many times with their parents in tow, somewhat like sheep being herded, with the tour guide as shepherd. There are some anti-sheep strategies that can bring to light the more “hidden" aspects about colleges. You should be aware of these important ploys so that you're not blinded by the “marketing" approaches colleges use to dazzle you.

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