College Visits

Nothing helps students and families more in the college search process than making an official college visit to schools of interest. Many college visits can take place on non-BCHS school days, but there are times when it is necessary to take a day off of school.

Every senior should try to take advantage of the opportunity to visit a college when the underclassmen take the PSAT/PLAN exams, usually in early-mid October. Seniors may choose to use additional days for college visits according to the following guidelines:

  1. Parents need to call the school regarding the student’s absence on the day of the college visit.
  2. In order for the absence to be considered excused, upon return, the student must provide verification to the main office of the date, time and duration of the college visit that he or she has made.
  3. Students must be in good standing with a satisfactory attendance record and adhere to the guidelines regarding visits.

Juniors are permitted a limited number of college-visit days.

Updated July 2017 from the Student Handbook

Helpful Hints, Part 1: Campus Visit Tips

College Visits: Insights with Mitch Warren, Purdue Director of Admissions

When my daughter Sarah was a senior in high school, we, like most other families, were touring colleges. Being in the higher-ed biz, I was surprised my emotions; excited for her, a little sad for me.

One day, we were on a campus tour at a small(ish) private university, led by an outstanding tour guide who seemed to personally know everybody. Suddenly, Sarah said under her breath, “Let’s get outta here. I don’t want to go to a college where everyone will know me and my business.”

Ironically, that college tour was one of the most important ones we took – it provided clarity. Coming from a small high school, Sarah was ready for a change and a challenge.

Campus visits do what no college website can ever do – give students a glimpse of what campus life is really like. So as you are making plans to check out different colleges, here are some things to consider.

When to visit?

If you can, visit when campus in in full swing during the academic year. But if that’s not possible, a Saturday or in the summer will still give you the campus flavor.

Official tour or hang out?

Do both. An organized tour will allow you to understand process, logistics, dates and deadlines and all the nitty gritty. Hanging out helps you get a feel for the environment.

On tour and beyond

Ask questions that aren’t about facts and figures you can find on their website. And don’t judge a university by just one tour guide or the weather on the day. After your visit is over, everybody should compare notes. Mom may have noticed something that perhaps the student didn’t. Remember, you can always visit again.

I am pleased to say Sarah finished her undergraduate degree and is continuing her education at a university that is five times smaller than Purdue. She says it feels just right.

Pictuwarren-familyred: The Warren family

Sarah, Purdue (undergrad) and Wake Forest University (first-year law student)

Mitch, Ball State (undergrad) and George Mason (masters)

Seth, Indiana State University (freshman)