College Tours

College Tours
Gray Easterling

My grandson is going to be a senior in high school this year and is busy finding the right fit for his college education. Part of that process is visiting schools that might be of interest to him. It is too late for him, but the June 4th issue of the Wall Street Journal had an interesting article on planning for these visits. The first option is to start with virtual tours. You can go online and do research to help eliminate colleges that may not fit their program without setting foot on campus. Many colleges offer virtual tours on their websites. Also there are sites like YouVisit (, eCampusTours ( and CollegeWeekLive ( These sites offer everything from sets of 360-degree photos of campus activities to periodic events designed to connect students with colleges in a live, interactive environment. Another recommendation is to start visiting local colleges as high school sophomores to get an idea of similar schools that they might have an interest in. From Central Louisiana, there are at least ten campuses within a two-hour drive. These visits can help eliminate locations that don’t fit.


There is another website—StudentUniverse (—which is a platform that is designed specifically for students planning college visits. It can be used to find low cost accommodations for overnight stays. Also, many colleges offer applicants the opportunity to spend a night in a dorm room with a current student, which can be a way to get a live, interactive and firsthand look at college life. Dining costs can also be controlled. Eating at a college dining hall is a good way to evaluate eating options at school. Plan to have one meal on campus and then explore off campus opportunities. All in all, the idea is to start doing homework early and use online resources to reduce travel costs while trying to find the perfect home for your soon-to-be graduate.


Last month, I spent five days in the hospital. I have never had that experience before and found it very humbling, having to turn over decisions of daily living to someone else. Fortunately, I had excellent care and emerged whole. In my stack of papers I save for this article, I found a page called “The Positive Pledge.” Some of it goes like this: “When I am surrounded by pessimism, I choose optimism. When I feel fear, I choose faith. When I want to be bitter, I will choose to get better. When faced with adversity, I will choose strength. I believe my best days are ahead of me, not behind me. I believe that being positive not only makes me better, it makes everyone around me better.” God loves me, and I know he loves you, so go in peace to love and serve Him.


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