Planning Your College Tour

The student athlete who is on the wish list of college sports programs will probably get to take advantage of the guidelines set by the NCAA or NAIA for college visitations. You can take up to five official– expense paid visits to college campuses. These visits are limited to forty eight hours in duration. But, for all others, especially those who aren’t being recruited or have fewer options (walk-ons, etc.), there are many ways to reduce the cost of transportation, accommodations, and other expenses associated with campus visits. Here are some suggestions you may not have thought about, as suggested by College Express.com:

Some schools may have available resources to help help finance on-campus visits for students with excellent academic records, who have demonstrated financial need, are from underrepresented racial or ethnic backgrounds, or are first-generation immigrants. These programs may cover all or part of students’ transportation, accommodations, and even meals.

To find out what a school can offer, contact the admissions department to see what recommendations they have. Many colleges are able to waive application fees or give you discounted prices for local hotels and meals on campus. 

There are some super student travel websites, such as Student Universe and STA Travel, that offer discounted airline tickets and hotel rooms. Some cities with a large number of universities may have a list of agencies, websites and services with discounts for prospective students. Amtrak offers a buy-one-get-one-half-off deal for high school students traveling with a parent or guardian.

There may be schools in your area that you are familiar with, especially if you prefer to stay close to home.These in-state schools have financial benefits for home state students. 

Your initial contact with a school can set the tone for you. Is the admissions process a friendly one? Do you receive a financial aid package right away? Are all of your questions addressed in a timely and friendly manner? Is vital information available through their social media outlets? the school’s website up-to-date and easy to navigate? These are just a few concerns you may have, but there will be others. Being able to navigate the process will require more input and help that you can get through our college preparatory program.
Be sure to contact us.

When planning your visits, make sure you develop a short list that you feel will help you make the best decision . You can save time and money if your list includes schools in close proximity to each other. However, signing up for a pre-organized tour takes the burden out of  doing it yourself. It can be the beginning of developing close relationships and support from other students.

A plus in recruiting tripis could be the “buddy” system. More often, students from the same school or community often make these trips together and split the cost of hotel accommodations or travek expenses, not to mention it could be more fun! There are other options that may include the families or friends.

Lastly, if the cost of making a trip is not feasible…not to worry. Many schools have invested in “virtual tours” online. There are many advantages here even for those who are going on tours. You get a chance to actually “visit” a campus, get a feel for the environment, and other areas of student life that may help influence your interest (like interviews with professors to tours of dorm rooms to interactive maps).
It’s a great way to get a feel for each college you are considering even if you can’t handle the expenses of traveling there. 
The in-person experience is invaluable, to say the least, but you should not hesitate to use every option you can in your decision making.

Get more information in our resource center for eligibility rules for student athletes.

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