5 Types of Parents You’ll Find on a College Tour

March 22, 2016

College tours are an important part of the admissions process for parents and students alike. When it comes to school, parents have all different ways of going about things. Once on campus, though, you’re likely to see plenty of types of parents in your tour group. What category do you fit into? Here are some of the most common parents you’ll find on a college tour:

1. Overly Inquisitive

The ones that ask too many questions for their own good. These parents focus on… well, everything. Whether they’re asking about the types of smoke alarms in the dorm rooms or the average temperature in the classrooms, they tend to focus on every single detail. And they have questions about every one. If you find yourself asking for a schedule of office hours for every professor on campus, this might be you.

2.  Unusually Unaware

The ones who don’t even know where they are or why they’re there. If all you’ve done is drive up and down the coast non-stop, and walk around what seems like the same college campus, this is you! You’re always by your child’s side when he or she asks, but typically, your child is always in control and making the decisions. In fact, your child’s probably the one that asked to go on this college tour, organized everything on his or her own and you’re just along for the ride.

3. Constantly Working

The ones who want to be there, but work keeps them on the phone more than they like. Though they’re interested in what’s going on, life on Wall Street never stops. They tend to stand in the back, constantly sending emails and chatting on the phone. Unfortunately, they don’t catch much of the information, so they just ask for a recap later at the hotel. If your focus continues to drift back to your day job, odds are, you’re the constantly working parent.

4. Excessively Protective

The ones that only ask questions related to underage drinking, secure drug policies, and single sex dorms. Are you the one that never lets go of your child’s hand on the college tour? If that rings a bell, then you’re the overly protective adult. You give plenty of freedom to your child - what they want to study, which college they want to go to…but when it comes to their wellbeing, you can’t help be protective.

5. Evenly Engaged

The ones that ask the right questions but ultimately let their kid make the decisions. All your instincts tell you that you should be a tiger mom, but you don’t let that take over. You probably wondered about academic programs each university offers, but also want to know what the campus culture is like as well. It doesn’t even matter - because no matter what, it’s your child’s decision.

At the end of the day, every parent is different, as is every child. After all, making the huge jump from high school life to college independence is difficult for both sides. While it might not be best to be too extreme or too spacey, only you know your child and how they succeed best.

There are certain aspects of a college tour that you and your child can pay attention to together. Size of dorm rooms and classrooms, number of students, dining hall food, and just generally absorbing the environment of the campus are factors to consider. It’s always good to have your own questions, though - while your child might focus on food and social life, your focus might be on academics, networking, and health/safety.

After all is said and done, talk to your child about what you saw and experienced. They might feel a rush of emotions, from nervousness to excitement to utter confusion, and as they’ve likely never made a huge decision like choosing where to attend college, guidance is greatly helpful. They’ll be making the final decision about where they want to go, but making sure they’re well-informed is a great way to help. Keep them informed by checking out profiles from students who have already gotten into college and see the essays, stats, and scores that helped them get in.

About The Author

AdmitSee Staff
AdmitSee Staff

​We remember our frustration with applying to college and the lack of information surrounding it. So we created AdmitSee to bring much-needed transparency to the application process! Read more about the team here.




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