Summer university visits seem like a good idea. School’s out for summer. You won’t have to miss school and have the time and attention to visit as many universities as you’d like. The weather is warm out. You can actually see the grass if you’re visiting a university in the Northeast that is otherwise typically covered in snow. It all seems great. But it’s not. We do not encourage our students at Ivy Coach to visit universities during the summer months. And why’s that? Because what’s missing at most universities throughout the nation during the summer? The single most important aspect of a college — the students.
Sure, you’ll find some students on campus at most universities. At Dartmouth College, as an example, you’ll find the entire sophomore class as the school requires its sophomores spend their summer at the College on the Hill. But at the vast majority of schools, this just isn’t the case. So on your university visit, you won’t be able to stop the young man tossing a frisbee on the lawn to ask him what he likes about his college and what he doesn’t like. You won’t be able to see students dining in the campus dining halls. You won’t be able to see if the school’s soccer team draws a big crowd at its home games. And thus you won’t be able to properly gauge if this university is right for you.
Visit universities in the fall, winter, or spring. These are great times to see campuses in action. Sure, you’ll have to miss a couple of days of school. But it’s ok — missing a couple of days of school won’t ruin your high school career. Just be sure to plan for missing these days of school and make sure to catch up on your work so you don’t fall behind. You want to get a feel for a university and you just can’t do that over the summer. So do it when school’s in session. And don’t forget to fill out the card in the admissions office. We urge you to follow this advice.