4.    Don’t go on every tour.  While it’s nice to visit colleges as a family, it drains both the budget and the work schedule. For Sondra’s last two college visits, we sent her from Seattle to the L.A. area to look at two colleges. Both schools were more than helpful in picking her up and getting her from place to place. If your child feels comfortable (and you do) let them try a college visit on their own.

5.    Wait.  It’s o.k. to hold off visiting every college. Sondra has been accepted by three colleges she’s never visited. Instead of flying off on another trip, we’ve decide to wait until her financial aid award letter arrives from each school. If the package seems promising, we’ll have her visit the campus.

6.    Rehearse.  Teach your son or daughter to make eye contact and speak in full sentences! Many college visits include an interview with the admissions director. This is the time for your child to shine, especially if their grades aren’t stellar! Role play shaking hands, and looking the admissions staff directly in the eye. Rehearse answers to questions such as “What would you change about your high school experience?” Because Sondra is skilled at doing TV and radio interviews, she knew how to handle herself during admissions interviews. Two colleges accepted her after the interview even though her paperwork wasn’t complete.

7.    Relax! While it’s nice if your child attends Princeton, most students thrive in the thousands of other colleges offering. 

Silvana Clark is a writer, motivational speaker and mother of Sondra, whom she home-schooled for a year so they could travel the US in an RV.