Planning College Visits

High School Students and Parents:

Students visiting college campusesCollege Admissions Representatives always tell prospective students and parents to “VISIT, VISIT, VISIT” colleges!!!   During Junior year (or earlier if you are eager to do so!), visiting colleges for an official tour is important, almost essential, for exploring “what’s out there” for you.

Your selected college will be your “new home” for four years. These years there will be a significant time in your life, a place to grow and “evolve”. Visiting helps you get a first-hand look at the types of colleges available. Then you can “reassess” and “fine tune” what location, size, and environment will best suit you.

Whereas the ideal time to visit a college is when it is actually in-session, it also helps to visit during the Summer. In either case you will benefit from planning visits in advance, in order to then get on-line or call the Admissions Office to be part of an official tour while there.

You might also plan to see additional colleges by driving through their campus while on family trips during high school– just to get an idea of the many different kinds of college available to you. Then you can investigate these particular colleges further on-line, or eventually return to check them out more carefully.

Most students tell me they can tell intuitively which colleges they are most comfortable at, and like, once they tour.   So when visiting, eat the food, talk to students, ask questions of your tour guide, walk by or visit some classes, the Student Union, or Sports, Theater, Science facililities you think you might want to eventually use if you attend there.

Happy Traveling!!!

IMG00125-20120907-1339Larry DeJohn brings first-hand knowledge of specific colleges through campus visits, having recently visited colleges in New Hampshire, Springfield, MA and Savannah. He has an understanding of the college selection process from the administrative and student perspectives.

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Visiting Rhode Island Colleges

During July, I had the opportunity to visit four Rhode Island colleges: Providence College, Rhode Island School of Design (Providence), Bryant University (Smithfield) and Salve Regina University (Newport).   In addition to taking a tour of each campus, I was able … Continue reading

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Stressed Out by the College Search Process?

Many students and parents are overwhelmed by College Planning pressure.  It helps to “plan” well to assure “success”.  Selecting the “best” college majors, and the “right” colleges from the 4,000 or so available in the U.S. can lessen the stress. … Continue reading

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I’ve been accepted! Now what?

Reprinted from an article in West Hartford Life, by Alison Jalbert, February, 2016

Larry DeJohn, Ed.D., owner and consultant at College Planning Consulting on the Hartford/West Hartford line, said students should be prepared to look at the culture and environment of a college during a second visit.

guided campus tourThey should also become more familiar with the campus and learn more about the curriculum, the cafeteria and extracurricular activities, among other things, before the official orientation.

“Go when students are in session; you really get a feel for the campus flavor,” he said.”Other wise, all colleges look the same, and there are 4,000 of them.”

Students should be thinking about potential majors, DeJohn said. He said going online and studying the majors and options at a school can help narrow the list of schools.

“If possible, they should project, over four years, what courses they’d be taking for their major. If they don’t have a particular [major in mind], be prepared for junior and senior year. [This means] choosing classes wisely freshman and sophomore year,.” he said.

DeJohn warns against “senioritis,” which often plagues high school seniors as the end of the school nears.

“It’s important for those who maybe haven’t been as successful as others, and even those who are, to keep their grades up until June,” he said. “College will look at grades, especially if a student has a merit scholarship. A college does have the right to reassess that money.”

“Most colleges have open houses and admitted student events or overnight programs. Take advantage of all of those opportunities to really be engaged with the institution itself. You want to make sure that you pick the one that may be the best fit for you,” he said. “Sometime, students fall in love with what they see on a website and step foot on campus to get a feeling for the culture.”

Although this can be a stressful time for both parents and students, DeJohn said it is important to stop and enjoy the feeling and success of being accepted.

“It’s a happy time. The bottom line is, they want to pick a college where they can really feel comfortable. It’s their new home, [a place where they can] really develop and grow.” He said. “It’s a really special time that they’re not going to have later in life.”

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Picking Colleges more likely to give Scholarships and Grants

Given that there are over 4,000 colleges in the U. S., consider selecting those that can help lower the overall cost. Check out college programs and types of related scholarships, awards, and grants offered by some of the colleges reviewed. … Continue reading

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Parent — Balancing Expected College Costs with your Future Retirement Needs

Parents often ask how to select colleges that help “balance” college expenses with their need to save money for retirement. Locating colleges that can meet their student needs and goals, and still allow them to save for their own future … Continue reading

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Stressed Out by the College Search and Planning Process?

In addition to a Guidance Counselor’s help, consider getting help from a “specialist”, a nationally certified IECA College Consultant. Many public school guidance counselors have caseloads of up to 250 or more students, and many private boarding schools counselors have … Continue reading

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College Programs of Interest

In college planning, my students may find these programs of interest during the college search progress.

Cohen Center for Holocaust and Studies at Keene State College

College Planning Consulting  -Identifies  College Programs of Interest to StudentsThe Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College, New Hampshire offers the Holocaust and Genocide Study as either an interdisciplinary major or a minor. The program is taught by several full time staff supported by over 6,000 volumes dedicated to this topic.  The Cohen Center, which houses these resources, has been recognized as a Center of Excellence by the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous.  Learn more at

Chinese Language Program at Hunter College, City University of New York

College Planning Consulting -Identifies  College Programs of Interest to StudentsHunter College offers an Honor’s Flagship undergraduate program. It permits students to learn Mandarin Chinese exceptionally well during their college experience   Students also learn much about the Chinese culture, including options for internships or study in China..  This program is particularly designed for those undergraduates who hope to pursue professional global careers.   It is one of only nine such programs in the U.S.  Learn more at

Game Design at Champlain College 

College Planning Consulting Identifies Programs of Interest - Game DesignChamplain College, Vermont, has an extensive program in Game Design.  Its programs are premised on an Upside Down Curriculum allowing Freshman Gaming majors to take five related courses their first year in college instead of starting in their later college years.  Students take numerous related courses during the next three years as well.  Learn more at

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The Importance of High School Course Selections

It is crucial to carefully plan high school course selections for Grades 9,10, 11 and 12. The actual courses, and the four-year sequence, as well as course levels, are looked at very closely by college admissions staff as the “core” … Continue reading

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Help! Making Sense of All the College Catalogs Mailed to Me

Getting so many unsolicited college catalogs mailed out to our home seems overwhelming!  What do I do with them? How about trying to organize them into different piles, or into plastic containers, and then feeling “in control” about eventually using … Continue reading

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