In the January 6 Education Supplement of the New York Times, Tanya Mohn gave hints about keeping the cost of college visits down in her article If You Go…. It is very true that visiting colleges can add up to be an expensive undertaking, and Ms Mohn asks, “[And], who budgets for the college tour?”
Two statistics that she cites indicate the first way people can save on the cost of visiting colleges. 50% of college freshman are within 100 miles of home, and 85% are within 500 miles of home. These figures seem to say that most effective college visits can be planned with the cost of a tank of gas.
Other ways to save include using research and waiting until the end of the junior year to assess your student’s eligibility before taking expensive trips to colleges. Narrowing down to only the serious choices is also helpful, no need to check out every possible choice.
Other helpful suggestions are to plan your college visit around lunch and ask for free dining hall passes. Then you can save and check out the food. Plan to stay in hotels that offer microwaves and use frozen dinners as meals instead of going out to restaurants, or pack snacks and sandwiches.
There is no question the college visit is important. With the costs of education as high as they are, the visit is a small investment to get it right. You should also be wise and strategic in your planning. Check out how you can make the most of your college visit and get the best “bang for your buck”.