15 u Find out which of their majors and programs are the strongest, and what the college is best known for. u Questions to ask: What makes this college unique? How safe is the cam- pus? What percent of the students return after their freshman year? What percent of the students graduate in four years? Do most students stay or leave campus on the weekends? Tip: Ifyourchildhasapersonalmeetingorinterview,he/sheshouldsend a thank you note as soon as possible. The junior year is an excellent time to make college visits. If you visit colleges during the summer months, revisit any college you are seriously considering in the fall. You want to see a college when it’s in “full swing.” Once you start contacting and visiting colleges, help your child create a college file. In this file, keep notes on the contacts you and your child have made and the subjects that were discussed. Include names, dates, etc. Also, keep copies of all completed applications and written correspondence. If you can’t visit a college, you may be able to take a virtual tour on the col- lege’s website. Virtual tours are also available at www.campustours.com. Consider All Options Students today have a variety of educational options. They can go to a two-year community or technical college, a four-year college, or a career/trade school. Most careers today require education or training beyond a general high school education; however, only about one third of today’s careers require a four-year college degree. If your child prefers career-related courses or a hands-on approach to learning, consider a two-year college or a career/trade school as a postsecondary option.