How to tour colleges with trovvit

Leaves are turning here in the Northeast and college campus tours are calling!  Here’s a quick round-up of advice about the college tour and how trovvit can help.

1.     To tour or not to tour? 

Tour!

Visiting a college in person may make it more likely the college will choose you.  Touring campus shows what admissions officers call “demonstrated interest” in a college, a factor that can influence college admissions decisions. 

 Or maybe it’s better if you don’t . . .

Some argue you might make a better choice if you don’t visit campus.  A good or bad tour, gray or sunny day, a passing comment, all of these can lead to “saliency bias” which is the tendency to focus on what is in front of us without considering what is less visible.  A tour is, in essence, a sales pitch.

A better way to make the decision about whether a college is right for you may be by relying on the advice of “experience surrogates” --  students who are like you and/or share your interests who already attend the college. 

trovvit’s advice:

If you do go on campus you can use trovvit to capture what you saw, to record questions you have and to recall your impressions later when you are making a decision. 

If you don’t choose to tour – you can seek out “experience surrogates” using trovvit.  If your school is using trovvit – you can connect with recent graduates and ask their advice and get insight into which colleges are a good fit for you.

 

mobile college tour.png

2.     When should you go? 

Although summer vacation is when many kids visit colleges, it is often better to visit during the school year when college classes are in session.  It is also a good idea to spread visits over a couple of years and not cram it all in at the last minute.  https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/25/travel/5-tips-on-how-to-make-college-tours-fun-vacations.html

BUT if you visit during your busy academic year and spread your visits out over a couple of years, how are you going to recall what you thought and felt when it comes time to apply? 

trovvit’s advice:  It is never too soon to be thinking about where you want to go and why.

Use trovvit to create a “College Collection” and keep notes about programs, opportunities and people you know at each college.  When you take your tour, sit down that day in a coffee shop and use trovvit’s app to make a quick record with photos, thoughts, contacts.  It will be invaluable when it comes time to apply.

You can also share these records with the people who are helping you in this process: school counselor, mentor, coach, and extended family members.  Once these people know what you are feeling and thinking they can offer better advice and guidance.  (You may be surprised the number of alumni you know!)

You -- and your parents -- can track how your choices change as you learn more about your own interests and passions and about the programs and specializations that many colleges have. 

 

3.     Where should you visit? 

If you are using trovvit, you are already someone who thinks outside the box – making your own record of achievements, adventures and activities. 

trovvit’s advice –Deep six that US New and World Report. Instead, review your trove and update your trovvit profile – where you have sketched out your academic and non academic strengths and interests – and let these be a factor in how you research and engage with your college choices.

Other resources we like:

Frank Bruni’s articles about the college application process, including this one on honors programs at public colleges and universities. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/09/opinion/sunday/frank-bruni-a-prudent-college-path.html

Colleges that Change Lives (https://ctcl.org/)