College tours can involve internet tours and traveling to campuses as well as having colleges come to you. Internet tours are a great start and can help students and parents rule in or rule out some colleges. College days or nights in your community are also a great way to take a preliminary look at colleges and meet campus representatives. They are convenient, free and sometimes result in the offer of a free application or other perk.
Traveling to campuses can be done economically by taking advantage of tours conducted by high schools and special programs and traveling with other students and parents to campuses of mutual interest. Visits to campus can also be part of other programs students are involved in such as athletic teams, marching bands, robotics clubs and other activities.
Parents and students often worry about fitting college tours into busy schedules. One strategy is to visit colleges that are convenient and only tour those that are not convenient if an attractive admission offer occurs. Some families have made vacation arrangements around the location of potential colleges and made college visits part of vacations. Others have started the process as early as middle school or freshman year which takes the urgency out of the equation.
Whatever you do, choose colleges that are right for the student in terms of size, majors offered, distance from home and extra-curriculars. The right college is key to graduating on time to a J.O.B.