Campus Visit Tips for Moms and Dads


Prospective students should take the lead during campus visits, but if parents are tagging along they also have a role to play.

An extra set of eyes and ears can prove invaluable, W. Kent Barnds, executive vice president of Augustana College (IL), wrote in a recent Huffington Post column.

And perhaps more importantly, moms and dads can help prepare their student to make the most out of the visit.

“As a parent, it’s important to think of questions to ask your student before the visit. These don’t have to be profound, but they can serve as a touchpoint to make sure you know what your student is thinking,” wrote Barnds, a NACAC member. “Here are a couple of ideas: What are you looking forward to the most during the visit? Is there something special about this college that you want to check out while you are on campus? Is there anything that makes you nervous about this visit? Do you know anyone from your high school who attends this college?”

Barnds goes on to say that parents should also be on their best behavior. He encourages moms and dads to set their cell phones to silent and let students lead the conversation with college representatives.

“Admissions officers want more from you than a signed check,” Barnds wrote. “The bottom line is that we should be partners, and your student is our real focus.”

Read the full column and check out more tips for parents included in NACAC’s Guide to the College Admission Process.

Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at

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