It's the time of year that high school seniors start looking at colleges. With a day off school Friday, many parents and students toured area campuses.
But what is it that they're looking for in a school and is cost a rising factor?
It's one of the biggest decisions a high school student has to make: where they're going after graduation.
"I've looked at a few colleges. I've been on one other tour of a campus, so I've started the process," high school senior Ally Kroehler said.
Kroehler is continuing that process by touring the University of Sioux Falls. After checking out the small, private college online, she and her parents traveled the four hours from their home in Henderson, Minnesota, to see the campus for themselves.
"A lot of the schools look really similar on paper so when students are looking through things, it's hard to tell which one is going to be the best fit for them," USF Admission Counselor Ashley Maturan said.
That's why Maturan says it's important for students to actually visit the colleges that interest them. USF hosted a large group of students and parents to give them a taste of campus life. It's an important step for the whole family.
"Probably more the feel of what the campus is like, the community, kind of, 'Is this an interesting place? A fun place? Would my daughter be comfortable here? Would I be comfortable having my daughter here?'" Keven Kroehler said.
But that's not the only thing the Kroehlers are looking at.
"I’ve been looking at some costs, and looking at getting scholarships," Ally said.
Because the sticker price of a small private university can be shocking, the tour also offers answers to financial aid questions and explains options for scholarships and grants.
Ally Kroehler isn't totally sold yet. The visit is helping her move in the direction she wants.
"I really like the small, Christian college like this one. That's kind of what I'm looking at right now," Ally said.
You can get information on schools or set up tours by calling the admissions office.