This article was written by my colleagues at College MatchPoint
As a parent, you want your child to have every opportunity to succeed. So when it comes time for college visits, you might think it makes sense to focus only on the schools that seem like reach schools. After all, those are the ones where your child has the best chance of getting in, right?
Wrong. We encourage all families to make sure that students actually visit two schools in their possible category for every reach school they tour. Why? Because it can help your child get a better feel for what they’re looking for in a college and also increase their chances of being admitted somewhere. Plus, touring colleges is expensive – so you don’t want to waste money by only visiting reaches.
Before you start planning your next college visit, keep this advice in mind. It could make all the difference in your child’s college search process.
It’s important to remember that college touring isn’t just about reaching for your dreams – it’s also about making realistic plans. Taking the time to visit schools that are within your possible category ensures that you have more options when deciding where to apply and increases the chance of acceptance from at least one of your dream schools. Consider taking two schools in your possible category for every reach school you tour, so that you can make an informed decision about where to commit four years of your life. Taking the time now for a comprehensive college tour could mean better options later!
There are a few reasons why this is important – first, you may end up liking one of the possible schools more than you thought you would. Second, it’s always good to have options. Third, visiting a variety of schools will help you get a better sense of what you’re looking for in a college.
When creating your balanced college list, it’s important to make sure that you visit two possible schools for every reach school you tour. Doing this opens up a few different opportunities – you may end up liking one of the possible schools more than you had initially thought, having options ensures that even if your top choice is out of reach, there’s still an option should all else fail, and visiting a range of schools will help give you a better understanding of what exactly it is that you’re looking for.
Although it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of touring your reach schools, don’t forget to also visit colleges that are in your possible category. This is important for a few reasons – first, you may end up liking one of the possible schools more than you thought you would. Second, it’s always good to have options. Third, visiting a variety of schools will help you get a better sense of what you’re looking for in a college. So when you’re planning your tour schedule, make sure to include a mix of reach and possible schools. That way, you’ll give yourself the best chance of finding the perfect college for you.
Lisa Bain and Bob Carlton from CollegeMatchpoint