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College-bound students: Make the most out of summer months and visit college campuses


RESTON, Va.—A full 86 percent of parents say they will visit college campuses with their college-bound students this summer, according to a new poll on Sallie Mae’s Web site. It may be tempting to spend summer time-off lounging on the beach, but remember that the summer months are the perfect time for rising high school juniors and seniors—and their parents—to take a first-hand look at their top school choices and get a feel for life on those campuses.

Before students invest in a four-year higher education, families should sit down, talk about their options and plan their campus visits. The best way to get to know the personality of each campus is by experiencing everyday life: eating in the dining hall, reading the student newspaper, using school transportation and spending a night in the dorm. These things will help make the college choice a whole lot easier.

“Selecting a college is one of the most important decisions you will make, so families should prepare in advance to take full advantage of their campus visits,” said Martha Holler, spokesperson, Sallie Mae. “Before you leave, put together a list of key questions to ask during each visit. Don’t be afraid to ask current students what they like about the school and the dorm life. It can also be helpful to sit in on a class in session and meet with a professor who teaches in your area of interest.”

To help students and families make the most of their summer college visits, Sallie Mae’s comprehensive online “going-to-college” Web site,, offers a number of tools and resources to help narrow down college choices and make the most of a college visit. College Answer’s School Search Tool allows college-bound students to search a database of nearly 4,000 colleges and universities and evaluate which schools will be the best fit. The site also provides college-visit checklists to help students and families make the most of their campus visits.

For more information and tips on visiting college campuses this summer, visit


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