Today marks the start of Iowa Private College Week, a way for students and their parents who are trying to make the big decision to coordinate a campus tour schedule.

Andy Baumert, vice president of the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, says more than two-dozen of the state’s private, nonprofit schools are taking part in the week.

“A high school freshman, sophomore, junior, senior can go to one registration website and decide on campus visit options at all 25 institutions across the state,” Baumert says. “They select those, the colleges will be notified and they can put together an itinerary for their tour around the state.” The week offers a chance for prospective students to learn about private colleges in Iowa and the courses they offer.

“It’s a really efficient way for a family to take their students around the whole state and get a lot of campus experiences all in one week,” Baumert says. Iowa’s private college week was launched in 1999 and Baumert says it’s proven to be a valuable tool for incoming students every year.

“One of the very best ways to make a good decision about the right learning environment for you is to actually get on the campus,” he says. “Talk to faculty members, talk to financial aid advisors, talk to other students about the experience. What does the campus feel like? What does the environment feel like and is that the right one for my learning style?” Tours are scheduled twice daily at each campus, typically at 9 A.M. and 1:30 P.M. Learn more at: www.iowaprivatecollegeweek.org.

(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)