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When to Schedule School Visits

We frequently receive questions about when is the best time for students to visit boarding school campuses. The answer is…that depends on what experience will help your family take the next step in your school search.

Some families like to build campus visits into summer travel plans. Just stepping foot on a campus can help students get a feel for the atmosphere of boarding school and begin to envision themselves having a future in this setting. Visiting a school during the summer, however, differs in key ways from other times of the year. You will often have a self-guided experience because admission departments may not be fully staffed and offering tours.

Families who are ready to think about school visits that include student-led tours and candidate interviews, should consider looking ahead to the fall and winter. Because of convenience, many families target holiday weekends in September and October. There is no need to feel rushed because November, December, and January are also excellent times to interview. Getting deeper into the academic year allows your candidate to have a stronger sense of themselves because they have had more time to reflect on goals for their next school. It also gives them more to talk about in interviews because they will be actively generating a fresh set of accomplishments at their current school. If possible, allow space between interviews and schedule the visits to your dream schools last. Parents are often surprised—and delighted—to see how much their children grow from this experience. Candidates who asked no questions on their first campus tour and seemed unsure in their first interview can open up once they have the confidence that comes from experience.

With so many competing priorities, managing family calendars is an art. At The Bertram Group, our team can help you strategize about when and how to make the most of your school visits and develop an individualized plan so that you and your candidate can truly enjoy this exciting process.

Cammie Bertram, founder and president of The Bertram Group, is highly respected within the educational community for her dedication to helping families accomplish their educational goals. She has more than twenty years of experience assisting students through both traditional and therapeutic advising at junior, secondary school, and college levels. She can be reached at cammie@thebertramgroup.com