Start visiting campuses early
Visiting prospective colleges is a critical part of the college application process—whether your teen can picture herself as part of a particular college community may be just as important as what she chooses to study—so don’t try to cram all the visits into senior year. Instead, pace your visits so your teen has time to reflect on what they experience. “I think the best time to start visiting college is in the fall of junior year, and then again in the spring, and the remaining visits can take place at the end of the summer before senior year,” says Brittany Maschal, director of Brittany Maschal Consulting in New York. Once senior year begins, Maschal recommends continuing to visit schools into September and early October.