College campus visits are big help in decision-making process - Jo Ann Kirby - The Record

Here's a great story from Jo Ann Kirby of The Record (RecordNet.com) noting the importance of campus visits to help aid the decision-making process when selecting a college.  I've added a few excerpts of the story below, including my favorite part that notes students and families should think beyond the first year and consider what off campus housing might be like.  Anyone think MovingOffCampus.com might fit the bill?!  You can read the full article at http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110515/A_LIFE/105140309/-1/A_LIFE
By Jo Ann Kirby
Record Staff Writer
May 15, 2011
When 18-year-old Katie Ruhstaller started thinking about universities, the Lincoln High student and her family planned nearly a half-dozen college visits to campuses from Arizona to Washington State.

The more the merrier, said Lincoln High School counselor Kelly Jensen.

"We really encourage students to start thinking about where they want to go to college from day one," Jensen said of starting the conversation with high school freshmen. "That way, families can plan visits to campuses during vacations or school breaks."

A visit to a campus can seal the deal for incoming students and their families...

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Families who have been there and done that said it's also important to look beyond the school week and even the first year.

Some said they wish they had looked into the availability of off-campus housing to consider whether there were affordable options for the time when their student outgrew dorm life. Check into whether the university is a commuter campus or a place where students will have plenty of activities to keep them occupied on the weekends.

"Basically, when you go away to college you are going to have to make all new friends," Margie Martinez of Lodi said of her college freshman son Dylan's experience at Sonoma State University. "Ask yourself, can I see my child at this university?"

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