We counsel our students about the importance of a visit to their prospective colleges. Yes, online admission material is compelling (panoramic website views of stunning campuses, informative virtual tours, and links to social media accounts with engaging content). But nothing truly takes the place of being there, of talking to current students, of sampling a meal at a dining hall or enjoying coffee at the library Starbucks. The task is daunting: in accounting for time, money, and distance, you feel as though you have to be independently wealthy with abundant leisure time. Don’t fret. With some strategic planning, you can make college visits manageable. Plus, if you’re truly unable to schedule a visit, we have some tips at the end of this post to help you plan a stay-at-home college tour – the next best thing.