Trends Shaping Higher Education: Prospective Students' College Visits

Trend Toward Combining Visits With Vacation

Combining Visits With VacationA current trend involves families incorporating college visits into traditional vacations. For example, at Niagara University, we find that students often tour the world-famous Niagara Falls and the surrounding area during their visit.

College visits often take place during students’ sophomore, junior and senior years of high school. Many families book these trips during spring break or in the summer in an attempt to gather information about institutions to find the perfect match for their students’ next chapter.

With so many great college cities and towns across the United States, combining a family vacation with the all-important campus visit makes sense for three reasons. First, financially, a campus visit already involves hotel and transportation costs, so parents are getting the most from their investment. Second, from a time perspective, parents have a finite number of vacation days each year, so combining the two is efficient. Third, it may be the last time a family is able to travel together for a while, so it makes the journey memorable and it serves as a bonding experience for parents and siblings: Everyone gets to be part of the prospective student’s “adventure.”

About the Author

Kurt A. Stahura, Ph.D. is dean at College of Hospitality & Tourism Management in Niagara University, NY.