Visiting colleges freshman year

<p>Is it ok to visit a college my fr year in high school? I want to be able to have time to visit everywhere I want. Plus I think it would be fun. But everyone I talk to say ahhh don't do that your not supposed to until your a junior.</p>

<p>You can but you won't remember them by senior year.</p>

<p>Visit local schools to see what types you want. Visit Big State U, the nearby LAC, Directional State, the 4000 - 7000-student small university, etc. This will give you a taste for what kind of school you like.</p>

<p>Or wait until next year.</p>

<p>I disagree with many people who say wait until you're a junior. I think it's a great idea to get an idea of what you want. Also, seeing all those lovely campuses and looking at websites can keep you motivated to do well in high school. But you'll find most people say not to think about it yet.</p>

<p>And visiting colleges isn't particularly fun after the first few. :p There's a one-hour walking tour (cool to see how well the guides walk backwards!!) where you see a dorm, some statues, and some classrooms. There's a 30 minute about-our-school presentation where you learn how much they absolutely love each and every student. There's (optionally and unofficially) eating overpriced food at the dining hall. And there's (optionally and unofficially) accosting wandering students and asking them what they like best. And that's about it! They aren't going to let you do overnighters as a freshman.</p>

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You can but you won't remember them by senior year.

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<p>That's why one should always keep good notes from their visits.</p>

<p>I took my son to one college his sophomore year - so he would understand what was ahead and so he would get more motivated. Freshman year is fine for an informal visit, but they may look at you strange on an official tour.</p>

<p>We took our youngest son, just starting Jr High, with us when Big Sis visited schools.</p>

<p>He recommended that she apply at Northwestern, and he was just admitted there ED. I think it was good motivation for him, and focused him on what he had to do to achieve his goal.</p>

<p>Although he also toured other campuses after Soph and Jr. years, they just didn't appeal to him as much. So you just never know. Good luck to your son.</p>

<p>What I would recommend is, first, that you visit one close to home. As a freshman, there aren't colleges so likely to be and remain your first choice to be worth the trouble and expense of a trip far away. (Especially since you should visit any school that does become your first choice again junior/senior year to double-check that it remains so.)</p>

<p>My second piece of advice, which holds for all potential college-visiters, is not to visit your dream school first. College is great; sometimes, though, a first-time visitor confuses the greatness of college in general with the greatness of that first-visited college in particular, and decides that a maybe-not-ideal institution is the perfect school for them. I visited a school I thought I'd like--visiting one you think you'll dislike is far too far in the other direction--but I knew it wasn't going to be Choice Number One, and I think that was a good idea. It gave me a better baseline to compare other colleges to than visiting HYP first. For instance, after visiting that first college, I liked NYU. Had I visited Stanford or what have you first, setting Stanford up to be the baseline, I might have been more disappointed in the quality of other excellent colleges I visited later. (I don't think this is a large enough effect to sway many minds about where to actually matriculate, but I thought it made my college-visiting experience better.)</p>

<p>We took our son to visit a few schools between freshman and sophomore year and a few more during the winter break of sophomore year. He found that the schools he had been dreaming about were not nearly as appealing to him as he had expected and also found that he strongly preferred smaller schools -- LAC's or LAC-like universities. This was all very surprising and I believe helpful.</p>

<p>I think freshman year is early to visit colleges because kids change so much in HS, but if you use the visits as an informal introduction to different types of colleges (large state schools, small LACs, mid-size universities, specialty schools etc.) then I guess it can't hurt. I would reiterate what others have said - it is way to early to focus on what school you will want to apply to since there is a long way to go in terms of grades/standardized test scores/changing interests/environment that will feel most comfortable etc.</p>

<p>For what its worth, our HS dean advised against talking about colleges with our kids until junior year so the kids would have a chance focus on getting the most out of their high school experience and not think of HS only as a stepping stone to college. And we are in a hyper-competitive college-oriented HS. We started looking early in junior year for both of my kids and we felt like we had plenty of time to see schools (we probably visited 10-12 colleges per child and made multiple trips to a couple of top choices).</p>