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BRIAN EBERMAN Chief Executive Officer



s my son and I visited a large public university last summer, there was a telltale sign that it wasn’t for him: Cliques started to form on our walking tour. We were among about 50 parents and students and as the tour went on, the jocks started gravitating toward each other and walking together, as did the pierced-and-dressed-in-black goth crowd. Parents migrated toward each other in the back. My son summed it up best: “OK, this is just like one big high school.” He decided it wasn’t for him; but for others, maybe finding an immediate friend to fit in with sealed the deal. As B R I AN C AR R Molly Rideout of Madison Wisconsin found out, you just don’t know if a school is a good fit until you take a tour. She tells us how a campus visit tour changed her college decision and her life (see “Grinnell is Swell,” page 22). At, some of our most passionate responses are from parents who felt they have wasted hours of their lives visiting campuses on disorganized tours. So take advantage of the tips you’ll find in this guide. For example, Colleen Ganjian, founder of DC College Counseling in Washington, DC, recommends that parents and students split up when the college tour groups are formed, so that they can see the campus from different perspectives (see “Campus Tours: What to do Once You Arrive,” page 14). When it comes to visiting, college expert Beth Fredericks, M.Ed., says applicants should be comfortable but also “do their homework” before a tour (see “All About Your College Interview” page 27). As one admissions director told us, taking a tour may even help you get accepted, because you are showing a true interest in the school. In addition, don’t miss our advice on how to ensure a drama-free road trip (page 18) and our top questions recommended by five college admissions counselors (page 30). We trust you’ll find the tips and advice in this guide helpful. Please help other parents and students by passing on what you learned on your tour on our reviews for that school.

AMY WILSON Junior Web Designer

Happy touring!

BRIAN CARR Chief Marketing Officer DEAN TSOUVALAS Editor-In-Chief ROB CARBONARO Vice President of Sales CLIFF W. LIBBY Director of Business Development TODD RODGERS Vice President of Engineering SANDRA PROULX Community Manager TRACEY TOPOR Content Manager ASHLEY WALLACE JONES Production Manager

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At, some of our most passionate responses are from parents who felt they have wasted hours of their lives visiting campus...